Tibetan Cotoneaster Cotoneaster conspicuus 'Decorus'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Tibetan cotoneaster 'Decorus'


Cotoneaster conspicuus 'Decorus' is an ornamental plant known for its striking features that make it a popular choice in gardens and landscapes. This plant produces a dense and tangled mass of branches, which gives it a lush, somewhat rugged appearance. The leaves are small and oval-shaped with pointed tips, exhibiting a dark green color on the top and a lighter shade beneath. These leaves provide a glossy texture, contributing to the plant's vibrant look throughout the year. During the fall, the foliage can turn various shades of red and orange, adding a splash of seasonal color to the garden. Clusters of small, white or pale pink flowers bloom profusely in the springtime. These five-petaled blossoms create a delicate, frothy effect amidst the glossy leaves, attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies. After the flowering season, the plant bears a striking display of red berries. These vivid fruits are small, rounded, and persist on the branches well into the winter months, providing a stark contrast against the darker foliage or any wintry backdrop. The overall habit of Cotoneaster conspicuus 'Decorus' is semi-evergreen, meaning it retains most of its leaves throughout the year, only shedding some during colder seasons. The interplay of its flowers, foliage, and berries offers multi-seasonal interest, ensuring that the plant remains a focal point of beauty in the garden throughout the year. The plant is also appreciated for its hardiness and low-maintenance needs, making it suitable for a variety of landscape designs. Whether used in mass plantings, as a ground cover, or for ornamental borders, Cotoneaster conspicuus 'Decorus' adds structure, color, and texture to the outdoor space without requiring significant upkeep.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Tibetan Cotoneaster, Decorous Cotoneaster.

    • Common names

      Cotoneaster decorus

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Cotoneaster plant contains mildly toxic substances that can cause adverse reactions if ingested. In humans, symptoms of Cotoneaster poisoning can include gastrointestinal discomfort such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In some cases, ingestion may lead to more severe symptoms, including trouble breathing or an altered heart rate. It is important for individuals, especially children, who have consumed any part of the plant to seek medical attention as reactions can vary.

    • To pets

      For pets, particularly cats and dogs, the Cotoneaster plant can be toxic if ingested. Symptoms of poisoning in pets can include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and loss of appetite. In rare cases, more severe symptoms like respiratory difficulties or changes in heart rhythm may occur. Immediate veterinary attention is recommended if a pet is suspected to have ingested any part of a Cotoneaster plant, as prompt treatment is important for their health and safety.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6 feet (1.8 meters)

    • Spread

      8 feet (2.4 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: Adds aesthetic value to gardens with its attractive foliage and bright red berries.
    • Wildlife Attraction: Berries provide a food source for birds during the fall and winter.
    • Low Maintenance: Requires minimal care once established, and is relatively drought tolerant.
    • Erosion Control: Its dense root system can help stabilize soil on slopes and prevent erosion.
    • Hedging and Screening: Can be used to create hedges or privacy screens due to its dense growth habit.
    • Year-round Interest: Provides visual interest throughout the year with changing foliage and berry coloration.
    • Tolerates Various Conditions: Adaptable to a range of soil types and can handle urban pollution.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Cotoneaster Decorous plants can be used in bonsai art for their beautiful small leaves and potential to create scenic miniaturized landscapes.
    • The dense growth habit of Cotoneaster Decorous makes it suitable for use as a privacy screen or hedge in gardens and yards.
    • With their abundant berries, Cotoneaster Decorous can serve as a food source for wildlife, particularly birds during the winter months.
    • Cotoneaster Decorous can be planted on slopes or banks for soil stabilization and erosion control due to its rooting system.
    • They can be featured in rock gardens, providing an attractive ground cover among stones and boulders.
    • These plants can be used to create naturalistic garden designs, simulating woodland edges or underplantings in forest-like settings.
    • Cotoneaster Decorous branches may be used in floral arrangements for texture and their persistent berries offer a splash of color.
    • For those with model railroads or miniature scenes, Cotoneaster Decorous shrubs can be pruned to represent scale trees or woodsy backdrops.
    • The plant can be incorporated into a sensory garden for its varied textures, from the smooth leaves to the rough bark and soft berries.
    • In larger landscape designs, Cotoneaster Decorous can be utilized as a transition plant, blending different garden areas with its unobtrusive habit.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Cotoneaster is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Cotoneaster is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Resilience: Cotoneaster plants, including the Cotoneaster conspicuus 'Decorus', are known for their hardiness and ability to thrive in a variety of conditions, symbolizing the ability to endure and adapt to life's challenges.
    • Protection: With their dense growth habit, cotoneaster shrubs are often used as hedges or natural barriers, representing safety and the protection of boundaries in a symbolic context.
    • Attractiveness: The bright red berries and white flowers of Cotoneaster conspicuus 'Decorus' exemplify beauty and the capacity to attract positivity and admiration, much like the plant attracts birds and wildlife.
    • Prosperity: The abundant produce of the plant in terms of its berries can be indicative of wealth and an overflow of resources or opportunities.
    • Generosity: With its plentiful berries often used to feed birds in the winter months, this cotoneaster can be suggestive of a generous spirit and a willingness to share one's abundance with others.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Tibetan cotoneaster (Cotoneaster conspicuus 'Decorus') prefers evenly moist soil, so water it thoroughly when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. For a newly planted specimen, this is typically once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions. As it establishes, you can reduce watering to every couple of weeks unless there's significant rainfall. During hot, dry periods, increase watering to prevent stress, providing about 1 to 1.5 gallons per session to saturate the root zone.

  • sunLight

    Tibetan cotoneaster thrives in full sun to partial shade. The best location offers at least six hours of direct sunlight each day, though the plant can tolerate some light dappled shade, especially in hotter climates. Avoid deep shade as it can hinder the plant's growth and flowering potential.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Tibetan cotoneaster is hardy and can withstand winter temperatures down to around -10 degrees Fahrenheit; however, it prefers a range of 50 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal growth. The plant can tolerate brief periods of higher heats but may require additional watering during such temperature spikes.

  • scissorsPruning

    Tibetan cotoneaster should be pruned to maintain shape and promote denser growth. The best time for this is late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Prune sparingly, removing any dead or damaged branches, and shape as desired. Annual pruning also facilitates better air circulation, which can reduce the risk of pests and diseases.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    For Tibetan cotoneaster, the best soil mix is well-draining with a combination of loam, sand, and organic matter, such as compost. A slightly acidic to neutral pH between 6.0 and 7.5 is ideal for optimal growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Tibetan cotoneaster rarely needs repotting as it is commonly grown in the landscape; however, if grown in containers, repot every 2-4 years to refresh the soil and provide additional space for root growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Tibetan cotoneaster is adaptable to a wide range of humidity levels and typically thrives in the ambient outdoor humidity without the need for special attention to humidity conditions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright light, well-draining soil, and limited water.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun to partial shade, in well-draining soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-7 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Cotoneaster 'Decorus' starts its life cycle with seed germination, which requires well-draining soil and warmth to initiate. The seedlings then develop into juvenile plants, establishing a root system and producing their first leaves. As it matures into an adult shrub, it develops a woody structure and a more extensive root system to support growth and photosynthesis. During the spring and early summer, Cotoneaster 'Decorus' flowers, producing small attractive blooms which after pollination develop into red berries (pomes). These berries serve to disperse seeds, either through animal ingestion or decay, allowing new plants to begin the life cycle again. In its final stage, after many years, the plant will eventually senesce and die, completing its life cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Propogation: Cotoneaster conspicuus 'Decorus', commonly known as Decorative Cotoneaster, is predominantly propagated through semi-hardwood cuttings. This process typically takes place in late summer, which is the optimal time to ensure the cuttings have the best chance to root. To propagate, one cuts a semi-hardwood stem of about 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters) long from a healthy parent plant. The lower leaves are removed, and the cut end is often dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root growth. This cutting is then planted in a well-draining potting mix and kept in a warm, humid environment until roots develop, after which it can be transplanted outdoors.