Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster Integerrimus ‘Centennial’)

Plant: Table of Contents

All About Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster integerrimus ‘Centennial’)

Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster integerrimus ‘Centennial’) is a versatile and attractive shrub that holds a special place in the world of landscaping and horticulture. With its rich history, diverse uses, and unique characteristics, cotoneaster has become a popular choice for homeowners, gardeners, and landscapers alike. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various aspects of this remarkable plant, including its culture, uses, maintenance requirements, and much more. So, let’s dive into the fascinating world of cotoneaster!

What is Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster integerrimus ‘Centennial’)?

Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster integerrimus ‘Centennial’) is a cultivar of Cotoneaster integerrimus, a species of flowering plant in the genus Cotoneaster within the Rosaceae family. Renowned for its ornamental value and adaptability, this cultivar is cherished for its dense, spreading growth habit and its exceptional resilience in challenging growing conditions.

This evergreen shrub typically reaches a height and spread of 2-3 feet, forming a dense mat of glossy, dark green foliage that provides an exquisite backdrop for its delicate white flowers in spring and its vibrant red berries in the fall. It is a low-growing, hardy shrub that brings year-round interest to the landscape, making it a highly sought-after plant for a wide range of applications.

Key Takeaways – Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster integerrimus ‘Centennial’)

Before delving into the specifics of cotoneaster culture, maintenance, and usage, let’s summarize the key takeaways regarding this remarkable plant:

  • Botanical Name: Cotoneaster integerrimus ‘Centennial’
  • Common Name: Cotoneaster
  • Plant Type: Evergreen shrub
  • Growth Habit: Low-growing and spreading
  • Foliage: Glossy, dark green
  • Flowers: Delicate white flowers
  • Berries: Bright red berries
  • Special Features: Drought-tolerant, ornamental, wildlife-attracting
  • Uses: Ground cover, erosion control, borders, landscaping, wildlife habitat
  • Maintenance: Low maintenance, adaptable to various growing conditions



Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster integerrimus ‘Centennial’) is known for its exceptional drought tolerance once established. While it prefers well-draining soil, it can withstand periods of dryness, making it an ideal choice for water-wise landscapes. However, for optimal growth and berry production, regular watering is recommended, especially during prolonged periods of heat and drought. When watering, it is important to ensure that the soil is moist but not waterlogged, as overly saturated conditions can lead to root rot and other moisture-related issues.


This cultivar thrives in full sun to partial shade, displaying the best growth and berry production in locations with ample sunlight. However, it can also adapt to shadier conditions, albeit with potentially reduced flowering and berry development. When selecting a planting site, it is advisable to choose a spot that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day for the best performance of Cotoneaster integerrimus ‘Centennial.’


Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster integerrimus ‘Centennial’) is not particularly demanding when it comes to fertilization. In most cases, a balanced, slow-release fertilizer applied in early spring can provide the necessary nutrients for healthy growth and abundant flowering and fruiting. It is important to follow the recommended application rates and avoid over-fertilizing, as excessive nitrogen can lead to lush vegetative growth at the expense of blooming and berry production.


This cultivar prefers well-draining soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH. It can tolerate a wide range of soil types, including sandy, loamy, or clay soils, as long as they provide good drainage. Amending heavy or compacted soils with organic matter, such as compost or peat moss, can improve drainage and soil structure, promoting optimal growth and performance of Cotoneaster integerrimus ‘Centennial.’


Pruning is an essential aspect of cotoneaster maintenance, helping to shape the plant, promote bushiness, and remove dead or damaged growth. It is best to prune Cotoneaster integerrimus ‘Centennial’ in late winter or early spring before the onset of new growth. During the pruning process, it is important to maintain the plant’s natural form while removing any wayward or crossing branches. In addition, spent flowers and old, unproductive stems can be pruned to encourage fresh growth and improve the overall appearance of the plant.


Cotoneaster integerrimus ‘Centennial’ can be propagated through various methods, including seed propagation, cuttings, and layering.

  • Seed Propagation: Collect ripe berries in the fall, extract the seeds, and sow them in a prepared seedbed. With proper care and favorable growing conditions, the seeds will germinate, giving rise to new cotoneaster plants.

  • Cutting Propagation: Semi-ripe cuttings can be taken from the current season’s growth in late summer. These cuttings can be treated with rooting hormone and placed in a well-draining, soilless potting medium to encourage root development. With adequate moisture and protection from harsh environmental conditions, the cuttings will root and can be transplanted once they have established a strong root system.

  • Layering: Another method of propagation involves ground layering, where a low-growing branch is pegged down and allowed to develop roots while still attached to the parent plant. Once roots have established, the newly rooted section can be separated and transplanted to a desired location.

Container Popularity

While cotoneaster is typically grown in the ground, it can also thrive in containers, making it a versatile choice for various gardening applications. Its compact size, adaptable nature, and ornamental value make it well-suited for container gardening, where it can be used as a standalone feature or as part of mixed plantings. When selecting a container for cotoneaster, it is important to choose one with adequate drainage holes and a well-draining potting mix to support healthy growth and prevent waterlogged conditions.

Container Maintenance

When growing Cotoneaster integerrimus ‘Centennial’ in containers, it is essential to provide the appropriate care and maintenance to ensure its well-being and longevity. Regular watering is crucial, as container-grown plants are more susceptible to drying out compared to those planted in the ground. Additionally, the plant may require more frequent fertilization, as nutrients in container soil can become depleted over time. Pruning can also be necessary to keep the plant in proportion to the container and maintain its desired shape.

Common Diseases

Disease Diagnosis

Cotoneaster integerrimus ‘Centennial’ is generally resilient to most diseases; however, it can be susceptible to certain issues, especially in conditions of poor air circulation or excessive moisture. Common diseases that may affect cotoneaster include:

  • Fire Blight: A bacterial disease that causes wilting, browning, and blackening of the stems and foliage. Prune and destroy infected plant parts and apply appropriate bactericides as a preventive measure.

  • Powdery Mildew: A fungal disease that manifests as a white, powdery coating on the leaves. Improve air circulation, avoid overhead watering, and apply fungicidal treatments if necessary.

  • Anthracnose: Another fungal disease that leads to dark lesions on leaves and stems. Prune and remove infected plant parts and apply fungicidal treatments to control the spread.

Common Pests

Cotoneaster integerrimus ‘Centennial’ may attract certain pests, including:

  • Aphids: Small, sap-sucking insects that can cause deformation and discoloration of foliage. Use neem oil or insecticidal soap to control aphid infestations.

  • Scale Insects: These pests appear as small, waxy bumps on stems and leaves, draining the plant’s sap. Use horticultural oil or insecticidal soap to manage scale insect populations.

  • Spider Mites: These tiny pests can cause stippling and webbing on foliage. Regularly irrigating the plant and using miticides can help control spider mite infestations.

Botanist’s Tips

As a plant scientist, I have a few tips for maximizing the beauty and performance of Cotoneaster integerrimus ‘Centennial’:

  • Ensure Good Drainage: Whether planted in the ground or in containers, providing adequate drainage is crucial for preventing waterlogged conditions and promoting healthy root development.

  • Regular Monitoring: Keep a close eye on the plant for signs of pests or diseases, intervening promptly to prevent potential issues from escalating.

  • Pruning Care: When pruning, use clean, sharp tools to make precise cuts, and prune conservatively to maintain the natural form and health of the plant.

  • Promote Wildlife: Cotoneaster integerrimus ‘Centennial’ is renowned for attracting birds and other wildlife with its berries. Embrace its role in supporting local ecosystems and enjoy the flurry of activity it brings to the garden.

  • Mulching Benefits: Applying a layer of organic mulch around the base of the plant can help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and provide insulation for the roots, contributing to overall plant health.

Fun Facts

Here are some intriguing and fun facts about Cotoneaster integerrimus ‘Centennial’:

  • The word “cotoneaster” is derived from the Latin words “cotoneum” (quince) and “aster” (resembling), alluding to the plant’s quince-like fruits.

  • In addition to its ornamental value, cotoneaster holds practical uses, such as in erosion control, where its dense roots help stabilize the soil on slopes and embankments.

  • Cotoneaster integerrimus ‘Centennial’ can serve as an excellent ground cover, creating a lush, green carpet and bringing visual interest to various landscapes.

  • The berries of cotoneaster are a valuable food source for birds during the winter months, contributing to the plant’s role in supporting local wildlife.

  • With its vibrant autumn foliage and persistent berries, cotoneaster adds an enchanting touch to the fall and winter garden, offering year-round visual appeal.

Links to External Resources

For further information on cotoneaster, cultivation tips, and horticultural insights, consider exploring the following resources:

By delving into these valuable resources, you can expand your knowledge and appreciation of this remarkable plant, gaining insights from experts and enthusiasts in the field of horticulture.

In conclusion, Cotoneaster integerrimus ‘Centennial’ is a captivating and versatile shrub that offers an array of aesthetic, ecological, and practical benefits. Whether employed as a ground cover, erosion controller, or ornamental feature, this resilient plant enriches landscapes and provides year-round interest. By understanding its cultural needs, maintenance requirements, and botanical characteristics, we can fully appreciate the remarkable contributions of cotoneaster to the world of gardening and environmental stewardship.

So, whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a novice enthusiast, consider introducing Cotoneaster integerrimus ‘Centennial’ to your outdoor spaces and relish in its enduring beauty and ecological significance. With its evergreen charm, vibrant berries, and adaptability, this exceptional shrub is sure to captivate hearts and enrich landscapes for years to come.

Picture of Peter Taylors

Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.