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Saving Private Cotoneaster

Okay, maybe a little dramatic and all my other cotoneaster are fine but this one is the largest and has been a source of joy for myself and the bees every year as it “lights up” with the buzz of hundreds of the blighters reassuring me that my garden does some good for the world :)

I have basically done nothing with this bush for fifteen years, I started trimming it about five years ago and I usually mulch it in winter now.  This year I’ve left the garden to itself and the usual bindweed got more out of control than usual.

At the end of july I stripped off the bindweed and noticed that a lot of the leaves were browning or brown, by august it looked like it was in autumn mode, and now in september it’s like winter started early for about 70% of it:

So given it’s awful state I decided to do some long overdue clearing out, no risk as it could be dying anyway:

A *lot* of bindweed tubers have come out, some ivy and *seven* cherry laurels! I’ve also moved all the stones/rocks and discovered the true shape of the bed :smiley: There is still a large cherry laurel to come out when I have dug it’s destination hole and three young cotoneasters I will move once I’ve decided if the main bush is going to live or die :(

Two hours of crawling around with safety goggles on poking and scrabbling around.  The good news is that there are tonnes of worms in there so I reckon the soil is good.


1.  Will it live?
2. What is hurting it?
3. Is it just old age?
4. How quickly would one of the younglings grow to replace it?

Thanks all



  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,292
    All the other stuff growing in and around it has been the problem  :)
    While they're quite drought tolerant, the other plants have taken all the moisture, and the light. 
    Young ones grow fairly quickly, but any small plant, of any kind, takes several years to reach maturity.
    Cut back the existing one, water it, and give it a mulch of you feel like it. The autumn and winter rain should revive it. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,729
    That’s welcome tidings @Fairygirl, I shall do as you say and wait for spring :)

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,292
    I'm not saying it's 100% that it'll come back @JoeX, because I can't poke about at it in the flesh [ ;) ] but they're very tough plants, so unless it's been totally annihilated by the other plants and lack of moisture, you should find it'll be ok.
    Might take a wee while though  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,729
    All that effort was sadly in vane, the cotoneaster is no more and today I hacked it to pieces 😭

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