Beginner tips for Cotoneaster

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Bakersfield, CA
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0776A0D7-01CE-4C0A-B018-3E64D0A00787.jpeg
Hi I am seeking tips on how to take care of this bonsai. It’s my first time taking care of one so any tips are helpful! (Trimming, how to repot, soil type, etc.)

Location: Bakersfield, CA
USDA Zone 9B
 
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SeanS

Shohin
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Right now it’s a plant in a plastic nursery pot. You should water it when it needs water and give it sun.
 

Graft

Mame
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Cotoneaster are pretty tough. My mum had one that the squirrels ate nearly all the roots of. It bounced back within a few weeks. Any good substrates will do fine. For me thats Akadama, kyadama, and washed pumice in thirds. Maybe plant it in air basket / pond basket to get the roots going. Do this at the start of the growing season. Prune back long growth to keep the shape you are looking for. Enjoy your bonsai.
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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I just deleted Bakersfield from my weather list. Means you're not alone here....hear!?

Welcome to Crazy!

Don't feed the berries to your gerbil!

Sorce
 

Bonsai Nut

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Welcome to the site! Interestingly, we were talking about Tom Vuong on another thread, and here is one of his cotoneaster bonsai to motivate you! (It is a less common variety with orange berries instead of the more common red berries).

coton.jpg

Cotoneaster are pretty hardy plants - even in Bakersfield - as long as you are gentle with their roots and don't mess with the roots (repotting, etc) during the heat of the summer. They can easily handle full sun, but need free-draining soil and do not like to sit in water / saturated dirt. Cotoneaster, from the Latin, means "resembling quince" and it grows similarly (in my opinion).

If you compare the foliage on your tree to the foliage on Tom's, you will note that your tree looks somewhat parched. This can be a function of not enough water OR a functional of too much water, where the roots get choked from not having any oxygen and start to die. I don't know how your tree is being cared for, but sometimes you might see this in a tree that is sitting out in the heat of the day and you forget to water for several days.

Regardless, it appears to need some TLC. Gently slip it out of that black plastic nursery pot and check the health of the roots and soil and let us know what you find. In the interim, I would move this tree into shade cloth protection or indirect sun. Bakersfield still has some baking to do this year, and this little guy needs some love.
 
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