The Cotoneaster Apiculatus (Cranberry Cotoneaster) Full Care Guide

The Cranberry Cotoneaster, otherwise known as the Cotoneaster Apiculatus or Jade Plant ‘Hummel’s Sunset’, Crassula ovata ‘Sunset’, Golden Jade Tree, is a rather well known cactus/succulent plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and moderate growth, this cactus/succulent will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

This is why all the topics you need to know in order to achieve this will be covered in this Cranberry Cotoneaster Care Guide. Ready? Let’s go!

The fundamental caring guidelines for every Cranberry Cotoneaster can be summed up into the following:

  • Water: The Cranberry Cotoneaster wants regular watering to enhance fruit production but as a landscape plant, too much water will be a problem.
  • Light: Keep your Cotoneaster Apiculatus in an environment where it can receive partial to full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Cranberry Cotoneaster in soil with well-draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of sand and loam.

And that’s practically it! If you keep these three factors in check, your Cranberry Cotoneaster will likely have all it needs for it to survive and even thrive.

Cotoneaster apiculatus plants

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Cranberry Cotoneaster belongs to the Crassulaceae family, the genus Crassula and the species Ovata, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Cotoneaster Apiculatus (ko-to-ne-AS-ter a-pik-u-LA-tus).

As with other Crassula’s, the Cranberry Cotoneaster is a deciduous plant, which means it will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

Growing Region

The Cranberry Cotoneaster is a plant native to the South Africa.

As a rule of thumb, we recommend to always keep in mind your plants’ native region and environment, since these are the conditions that your Cranberry Cotoneaster is most accustomed to, thus where it can most favorably.

With this in mind, the Cotoneaster Apiculatus will be most used to the heat zones in the 1 – 11 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 11b, 11a, 12a, 12b and the ideal climate zone is between 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2.

Growth and Size


In terms of size and growth, the Cranberry Cotoneaster is a relatively moderate grower, which makes things somewhat easy for any plant enthusiast.


But, how big does the Cranberry Cotoneaster actually get? What should you expect in terms of size? Let’s dive right in…

The Cotoneaster Apiculatus can grow up to 1′ – 3′ (30cm – 90cm) in 1′ – 3′ (30cm – 90cm) and 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm) in 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm). 

These dimensions make the Cranberry Cotoneaster a relatively medium cactus/succulent compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.

Also, expect it to grow in a wonderful spreading shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 24″ (60cm) free so the Cranberry Cotoneaster can spread to its best extent.


In terms of watering, the Cranberry Cotoneaster is a fairly complicated plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Cotoneaster Apiculatus wants regular watering to enhance fruit production but as a landscape plant, too much water will be a problem.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively low needs in terms of water. 

Cotoneaster apiculatus care


As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Cranberry Cotoneaster in soil with well-draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage, occasionally dry, and very dry properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

But, if you want a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to watering your Cranberry Cotoneaster then you should consider the famous ‘finger’ test. To perform this test, you just need to put your finger in your plant’s soil and determine if it’s moist or not. If it is, then don’t water; if it isn’t, then please do. In any case, this test will allow you to know if your Cranberry Cotoneaster needs or does not need water, every time.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Cranberry Cotoneaster prefers to have soil with good drainage, occasionally dry, and very dry properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of sand and loam.

This is why most experts agree that the Cranberry Cotoneaster requires soil with loam (silt), which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Cranberry Cotoneaster requires partial to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this cactus/succulent will do well as long as you keep it in partial to full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Cotoneaster Apiculatus in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).


Being a deciduous plant, the Cranberry Cotoneaster will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (early, mid, late), the summer (early, mid, late), the fall, and during the winter.


In particular, this cactus/succulent is well known for its showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.

The Cranberry Cotoneaster produces some beautiful pink, or pink and white flowers around this time of year.


The leaves from the Cranberry Cotoneaster have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a simple arrangement with a opposite organization in its leaves.

You can expect the leaves from your Cotoneaster Apiculatus to be around (1-3 inches) in size.

Cotoneaster apiculatus up close

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Cranberry Cotoneaster is well known for its tolerance to rocky soil, dry soil, drought and animals like deer, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Cotoneaster Apiculatus will be fine.


Now, let’s talk garden and how your Cranberry Cotoneaster will look best in it.

Most Cotoneaster Apiculatus owners agree that this cactus/succulent will look great in most contemporary, asian/zen and rustic gardens of all types. 

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of gravel and rock garden, coastal garden, and in mediterranean garden styles. 

In particular, the Cranberry Cotoneaster’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, and in patio and containers, others use it for landscaping in a hedge, urban garden, border, ground cover, rock garden, mass planting, firescaping/fire wise, erosion control, or a wildlife garden.

Companion Plants

Cranberry Cotoneaster’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Magnolia, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Juniperus will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!


So that’s it! These are the main plant care requirements that you need to keep in mind in order to have a healthy Cranberry Cotoneaster in your garden or home.

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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