Garden School:

Garden School:
Suspended for now - instead we'll have C-19 Garden Questions!

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Why is the lawn not full of Cotoneaster seedlings?

Exhibit One, M'lud:

This is the lawn under a spreading Cotoneaster tree - probably C. waterii, I'm not sure.

And just to remind you all (I'm grinning at my current Trainee, who struggles with this one), it's pronounced K'Tony-aster.

Not cotton-easter. K'Tony-Aster.

Every year this K'Tony-Aster  produces hundreds of berries, which blanket the ground underneath the tree - it's partly in a shrubbery, partly overhanging the lawn.

I rake up the berries on the beds with ease, but it's a lot harder to get them out of the lawn, and a lot of them get "squashed" into the grass as people walk over them

So why is this lawn not knee-deep in Cotoneaster seedlings, I wonder?

In fact, I wonder this every year! I have yet to see a single seedling, in the lawn or in the bed,  which seems odd, bearing in mind the sheer volume of them.

There is a Sycamore tree in next door's garden, and every year we have hundreds and hundreds of Sycamore seedlings: they pop up in between the patio slabs, in the beds, in the lawn, everywhere: I regularly spend several hours in early spring just weeding the patio!

So why isn't there an equivalent Cotoneaster  seedling forest?


  1. Or the jokey "Cotton Easter"...

  2. ...but to answer your question see Stratification and weed removal for 5 years are suggested if raising from seed. Passing through the digestive tract of a bird might also help.

    1. Thanks, Mal, that's fascinating - I had no idea that K'tony-aster were so hard to propagate, as in other gardens, I do find seedlings popping up all over the place. There's one in particular which is very free-seeding, I must make an effort to identify it. It's not a particularly nice one, certainly not as lovely as this one, it's more of a scruffy upright shrub. Ironic but unsurprising that the desirable one is hard to propagate, and the unlovely one is easy peasy!


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