Cotoneaster adpressus Tom Thumb (syn Little Gem)
Cotoneaster adpressus Tom Thumb (syn Little Gem)

Creeping Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster 'Tom Thumb' is a low growing cushion-forming plant with glossy dark green leaves. It is a useful plant for rock gardens, or anywhere you want a plant to creep over a wall or along a path. It roots as its creeps making a dense groundcover. The shiny dense foliage turns red in the fall. It rarely flowers, but when it does, the flowers are small white blooms tinged with pink and are followed by small red fruit. As it grows numerous small branches sprout perpendicular to the main stem. This creates a unique herringbone pattern.

  • Height: 15 - 20 cm (6-8 in)
  • Spread: 91 - 122 cm (36-48 in)
  • Hardiness: Zone 4
  • Sun or Shade: sun to part shade
  • Bloom Time: summer
  • Leaf Colour: green turning orange red in fall
  • Bloom Colour: white tinged with pink
  • Critter Resistance: rabbits, deer
  • Nature Attraction: not attractive to wildlife

Growing and Maintenance Tips

Cotoneaster 'Tom Thumb' grows best in moist, loamy well drained soil in full sun to part shade. It is a tough and adaptable plant that will tolerate less than ideal soil but does need good drainage at all times. Once established the plant will have some drought tolerance. Apply a thick mulch around the plant to prevent weed growth because the dense foliage makes it difficult to weed around. Situate it so that it can creep and spread naturally because excessive pruning will ruin the lovely herringbone pattern that is created by the branches as they grow.

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