The Q&A Archives: Hedge Cotoneaster

Question: I have a 4-5' wide section of an ugly cement retaining wall along my property that I would like to screen. The wall is about 4' high. The spot gets a lot of sun. I need something that will grow to at least 5' and can be kept to about 2'deep and the 4-5'wide. Would the Hedge Cotoneaster work for my situation?

Answer: In my experience this is quite a large shrub at maturity and can really only successfully be kept at about a four foot width so it will be too wide for this space. There will also be a lot of reflected heat and sun both winter and summer due to the concrete and this will be especially stressful on evergreens in the winter. You might consider using a vine such as Parthenocissus virginiana which can cover a wall (it turns red in the fall and is deciduous) although this might be too large as it can cover a very large space in several years time. You might also consider one of the Euonymus fortunei cultivars which will mound at the base and then climb. These are versatile plants and easy to grow. Your local professional nursery staff and/or county extension may have additional suggestions based on a more detailed understanding of your planting site and design goals. Good luck with your project!

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