When to prune potentilla?

Yellow Flowering Shrub Stock Photos and Images

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  • Yellow tubular flowers of the dwarf, summer flowering sub shrub, Penstemon pinifolius ‘Mersea Yellow’
  • Rosa ‘Canary bird’ Rose Yellow flowers on shrub
  • Bush in front yard
  • Forsythia, Yellow flower subject,
  • Yellow Flowering Shrub Taken In Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Ulex europaeus. Flowering gorse in the Devon countryside. UK
  • Yellow flowering shrub, Rock rose (Hamilium hamiliumfolium) on sandy beach, Santa Anna, Pineta, Sardinia, Italy, Europe
  • Berberis Darwinii. Darwin’s barberry flowers in april. UK
  • Kerria Japonica, Bachelor’s Button,yellow flowering shrub
  • Rosa ‘Graham Thomas’. Yellow rose portrait.
  • Berberis Darwinii. Darwin’s barberry flowers in april. UK
  • Rosa Golden Beauty ‘Korberbeni’. Deep yellow rose
  • Rosa ‘Graham Thomas’. English Rose
  • Kerria Japonica, a bush full of bright yellow flowers in the spring, here from the botanical garden in Oslo Norway
  • Yellow-flowering shrub of Skaapbos
  • Rosa ‘Graham Thomas’. English Rose
  • Angel’s Trumpet flowers, Brugmansia Angel Trumpets, dramatic shape exotic vibrant yellow flowering shrub, Corfu, , Greece
  • Eleagnus angustifolia ‘Quicksilver’ flowering fragrant ornamental garden shrub with glaucous, grey, silver, foliage and small yellow flowers, Berkshire
  • Kerria Golden Guinea yellow flower
  • View up into the open yellow bells of the free flowering wall shrub, Abutilon ‘Waltz’
  • aucuba japonica with red berries fine art photography Jane Ann Butler Photography JABP527
  • Flowering shrub, Palo Verde, Parkinsonia, Jerusalem Thorn Parkinsonia aculeata, Fira, Santorini, Cyclades, Greek Islands, Greece
  • Common Gorse Flowers Ulex europaeus
  • aucuba japonica with red berries fine art photography Jane Ann Butler Photography JABP526
  • Low box edging around sloping bed with yellow flowering shrub in large country garden
  • gorgeous colour flower soft ethereal and elegant azaleas fine art photography Jane Ann Butler Photography JABP501
  • Stachyurus chinensis. Chinese Stachyurus plant in early spring. UK
  • Red-collared Lorikeet (Trichoglossus rubritorquis) in a flowering tree
  • Mahonia aquifolium ‘Orange Flame’. Sir Harold Hillier Gardens.
  • Stachyurus chinensis. Chinese Stachyurus plant in early spring. UK
  • Yellow flowering jasmine shrub taken in summer
  • Close up of Cytisus – Broom
  • Yellow-flowering shrub of Skaapbos
  • Stachyurus chinensis. Chinese Stachyurus plant in early spring. UK
  • Senna didymobotrya ‘Irwin and Barneby’. Popcorn senna.
  • Eleagnus angustifolia ‘Quicksilver’ flowering fragrant ornamental garden shrub with glaucous, grey, silver, foliage and small yellow flowers, Berkshire
  • Kerria Golden Guinea yellow flower
  • View up into the open yellow bells of the free flowering wall shrub, Abutilon ‘Waltz’
  • Potentilla fruticosa ‘Elizabeth’ (shrubby cinquefoil) flowering in the herbaceous border of an English garden in May, England, UK
  • Berberis yellow flowering shrub grow
  • Dew covered Hypericum flowers.
  • yellow flowers of garden mums
  • forsythia flowers
  • Rhododendron lowii, a yellow flowering shrub native to Malaysia.
  • Yellow flowering shrub in early spring in front of a church, cathedral building, sunlight
  • Red-collared Lorikeet (Trichoglossus rubritorquis) in a flowering tree
  • Hamamelis mollis ‘Boskoop’. Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Hampshire.
  • Azalea. Yellow Azalea shrub, also known as Rhododendron luteum and Honeysuckle Azalea in the UK.
  • Yellow flowering jasmine shrub taken in summer
  • Kerria japonica ‘Golden Guinea’ close up flower
  • Yellow-flowering shrub of Skaapbos
  • Ulex europaeus. Flowering gorse in the Devon countryside. UK
  • hermannia saccifera yellow flowers flowering shrub bloom blooming shrubs
  • Eleagnus angustifolia ‘Quicksilver’ flowering fragrant ornamental garden shrub with glaucous, grey, silver, foliage and small yellow flowers, Berkshire
  • Kerria Golden Guinea
  • Yellow bell flower of the long flowering lax deciduous shrub, Abutilon ‘Canary Bird’
  • Potentilla fruticosa ‘Elizabeth’ (shrubby cinquefoil) flowering in the herbaceous border of an English garden in May, England, UK
  • Berberis yellow flowering shrub detail
  • A fantastically festooned flowering Forsythia shrub smothered in bright yellow florets in mid-Spring in an English garden UK
  • Summer leaves of Redbud Cercis canadensis Eastern USA
  • A single round flower head of the Edgeworthia chrysantha shrub – Paper Bush
  • The flowering shrub Forsythia, yellow flowers close up against a black background, England, UK
  • Azalea Rhododendron Luteum – Yellow Azalea or Honeysuckle Azalea
  • Red-collared Lorikeet (Trichoglossus rubritorquis) feeding on nectar in a flowering tree
  • Hamamelis mollis ‘Boskoop’. Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Hampshire.
  • Azalea Rhododendron Luteum – Yellow Azalea or Honeysuckle Azalea
  • A fly sits on a Lesser Celandine, Hampshire woodland, UK.
  • Kerria japonica ‘Golden Guinea’ close up flower
  • The magnificent yellow flowering head of a Banksia shrub.
  • Pink Flowering Shrub Against Yellow Wall
  • hermannia saccifera yellow flowers flowering shrub bloom blooming shrubs
  • Shrubby cinquefoil ‘Elizabeth’, Potentilla ‘Elizabeth’, yellow flowers and leaves of low growing ornamental shrub, Berkshire, August.
  • Red and yellow Scotch broom flowering in June in Scotland
  • Pale yellow flowers of the early spring flowering evergreen shrub, Rhododendron leucaspis
  • An ageing Rosa ‘Imogen’ (Austritch), a soft lemon English shrub rose in late bloom in Summer in West Sussex, England, UK.
  • Yellow flowerheads of the Skaapbos shrub, African Daisy, South African Daisy, Cape Daisy (Tripteris oppositifolia), Namaqualand
  • Yellow Flowers On A Garden Shrub
  • Launaea (Launaea arborescens), flowering shrub in volcanic landscape, Canary Islands, Tenerife
  • Turnera ulmifolia. Yellow Alder flower in India
  • Common Gorse flowering in yellow, backlit by the rising sun on a spring morning.
  • Halimium halimifolium lovely yellow flowering shrub plant with dark incarnate center belonging to the Cistaceae family greenish yellow background natu
  • Red-collared Lorikeet (Trichoglossus rubritorquis) feeding on nectar in a flowering tree
  • Hamamelis mollis ‘Boskoop’. Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Hampshire.
  • Oregon-Grape (Mahonia aquifolium), flowering.
  • Large forsythia shrub flowering in the spring garden.
  • Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa), Saguaro National Park, West, Tucson, Arizona
  • Bright yellow spring flowering broom bush blooming as an ornamental shrub in a garden in Surrey, south-east England in springtime
  • Green Bay Lakefront Subdivision on Okanagan Lake West Kelowna British Columbia Canada with yellow flowering shrub in foreground
  • Rosa Buttercup,rose buttercup,shrub rose,roses,yellow,flower,flowers,flowering,RM Floral
  • Yellow flowers on Mahonia x media ‘Winter Sun’ on a prickly flowering garden shrub in autumn
  • Red and yellow Scotch broom flowering in June in Scotland
  • Pale yellow flowers of the early spring flowering evergreen shrub, Rhododendron leucaspis
  • Mahonia bealei (Beale’s barberry, Beal’s mahonia, Leatherleaf mahonia) with yellow berries in early Spring in the UK.
  • Yellow flowering rhododendron, Bantry House, West Cork, Republic of Ireland, British Isles, Europe
  • Close up of the yellow flowers of Mahonia Wagneri ‘Pinnacle’.

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Poor flower bud hardiness (left) vs. good flower bud hardiness (right)

Cultivated varieties of forsythia for Minnesota

One limitation to growing forsythia is flower bud hardiness. Dormant flower buds of non-hardy varieties are often winter-killed in Minnesota.

When spring arrives, these plants only bloom at the base of plants where snow cover insulated and protected flower buds.

Consult the list below for cultivars that are flower bud hardy to provide reliable bloom. Note that even the most hardy of forsythia may still suffer occasional flower bud death during mid- or late-winter thaws.

‘Northern Sun’ after it’s done blooming

The following cultivated varieties have been selected for flower bud hardiness, plant form and size, and pest and stress tolerances.

  • ‘Fiesta’ – 6 feet tall by 5 feet wide, variegated green and yellow foliage, red stems

  • Gold Cluster™ – 4 feet tall by 4 feet wide, compact growth habit

  • ‘Meadowlark’ – 10 feet tall by 10 feet wide, excellent flower bud hardiness to -35

  • Show Off®Starlet – 3 feet tall by 3 feet wide, compact growth habit

  • ‘Northern Gold’ – 8 feet tall by 7 feet wide, good flower bud hardiness

  • ‘Northern Sun’ – 10 feet tall by 9 feet wide, good flower bud hardiness

Perfect Potentilla

(Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on March 7, 2008. Your comments are welcome but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to respond to your questions.)

The Potentilla fruticosa is one of my favourite bushes. I have them scattered every 10 feet or so throughout my gardens. The pretty flowers begin in June and continue until first frost. There are not very many flowering bushes, if any, that can even come close to such a long blooming period. They are wonderful placed on the corners of beds, or along a sidewalk. These bushes are low growing and compact in nature, requiring minimal pruning to keep them tidy. They are deer resistant, making them a must have in areas with a heavy deer population.

Here in Ontario, they are a native plant, as they are in most of North America and much of the northern hemisphere, and I have seen them growing in the harshest of conditions and the poorest of soils. They can tolerate drought or flooding and are hardy to zone 2. They are also virtually pest and disease free. I have never had a problem with my potentilla bushes, nothing likes the taste of them, including bugs. Even the rabbits hopping around my yard stay clear of these.

They now come in a variety of colours, red, pink, salmon, and almost every hue in between, as well as the more common white and yellow. With the red, pink,and salmon coloured varieties the flowers do tend to fade in hot afternoon sun so some late day shade is beneficial for those ones. They will grow equally well in full sun or in dappled shade all day.

Pruning requirements are minimal. A touch up, if desired, in the fall to maintain a nice shape. I do not prune mine, I prefer the “wild” look, although even unpruned they still stay tidy. I have had Potentilla for 15 years and the oldest bush never exceeds a height of 3 feet and a spread of the same. Occasionally, in the spring, I have to trim back a few dead branch tips. Sometimes, older bushes need a bit of thinning, they tend to cascade after a few years, which I personally think is a nice effect. New growth develops along the branches, and in mid summer, new shoots emerge from the centre of the bush.

They do not require fertilizer, although mine get their yearly dose of compost.

Propagation of Potentilla fruticosa is very easily done. I take a semi ripe 4 inch cutting in mid summer, like you would from a Lavender or Weigela, and remove all of the leaves except for a few at the tip. Cut off any flowers or buds and stick the cutting in a pot of soil, water, and place in a shady area. They will need shelter from direct sunlight for the first month or so. They also have a fine habit of rooting themselves wherever a branch touches the ground. I have been known to take advantage of this trait by placing a rock or brick on a low lying branch to help the process. The young bushes, once thoroughly rooted, can easily be transplanted.

I cannot speak highly enough about this bush. It is a wonderful addition to any Northern garden. Virtually maintenance free, well behaving, and it blends well with either annuals or perennials. It is deer and rabbit resistant. Can withstand drought or flooding, clay soil or sand. Untouched by bug or fungus. The perfect flowering shrub!!

Many thanks to Weezingreens for her photos.

Potentilla fruiticosa/ Potentilla or Cinquefoil Bonsai

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The Potentilla genus consists of about 500 species of shrubs, herbaceous perennials and a few annuals and biennials found throughout the Northern hemisphere. For use as bonsai it is the shrubby Potentilla fruiticosa and its varieties that are commonly used.
Potentilla fruiticosa is a compact, bushy, deciduous shrub with pinnate leaves to 4cm long, composed of 5 to 7 narrowly oblong, dark-green leaflets. Saucer shaped yellow flowers to 4cm are borne singly or in cymes of 3, over a long period from late Spring to mid-Autumn. Its bark takes a mature appearance even when young, developing a red-orange colour and peeling off in strips. The trunk of older specimens becomes very muscular as live veins of wood become prominent. In its native habit which includes Europe, North Asia and North America, Potentilla fruiticosa reaches heights of 1metre with a spread of 3metres.

There are now many varieties of Potentilla fruiticosa which carry different flower colours of which all are eminently suitable for use as bonsai.

POSITION Full sun.
FEEDING Fortnightly feed through the growing season with a balanced feed.
REPOTTING Every year in early spring as buds extend. Use basic soil mix.
PRUNING Growth must be continually pruned back to keep foliage compact, Potentilla are very vigorous and can require fortnightly maintenance pruning. Individual leaves and their stems can be cut back with scissors but it is preferable to gently pinch outpull out leaf stems with fingers to avoid pruning marks that brown off. When pruning large branches consider leaving a stub to create future jins as Potentilla do not callus over pruning wounds. Potentillas are one of the few deciduous trees that suit deadwood styles.
PROPAGATION Sow seed outside in Autumn or Spring. Take greenwood cuttings in early summer.
STYLING Suitable for all forms in extra-small to medium sizes.

Potentilla Plant Care: Tips For Growing Potentilla Shrub

Bright yellow flowers cover shrubby cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa) from early June until fall. The shrub grows only 1 to 3 feet tall, but what it lacks in size it makes up in ornamental impact. Gardeners in cold climates will find many uses for this hardy little shrub that thrives in climates as cold as USDA plant hardiness zone 2. Use it as a foundation plant, as an addition to borders, in mass plantings and as a ground cover.

Shrubby Potentilla Info

Although the species shrubs produce single yellow flowers, you’ll find many cultivars with color variations and some with double flowers.

  • ‘Abbotswood’ is a very popular cultivar with single white flowers and bluish green leaves.
  • ‘Sunset’ has orange flowers that fade to yellow in the heat of summer.
  • ‘UMan’ features bicolored red and orange flowers.
  • ‘Primrose Beauty’ blooms in a soft shade of yellow and has silvery leaves.
  • ‘Medicine Wheel Mountain’ has bright yellow flowers with ruffled petals. It is shorter than most cultivars and spreads about 4 feet wide.

Potentilla Plant Care

Potentilla needs full sun or light shade. A little shade during the heat of the day keeps the plant blooming longer. It prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soil, but tolerates, clay, rocky, alkaline, dry or poor soils. Strong disease and insect resistance makes growing Potentilla easy. Here are some tips on how to care for Potentilla:

  • Water Potentilla shrubs during prolonged dry spells. The plant survives without consistent watering but thrives when it gets plenty of moisture. This Native American shrub grows wild in boggy soils.
  • Give the shrubs a shovelful of compost in late spring as the flower buds begin to swell, or fertilize it with a complete fertilizer.
  • At the end of the flowering season, cut out the old branches at ground level or rejuvenate the shrub by cutting the entire plant back to ground level and allowing it to regrow. After a few years, it takes on an awkward shape unless you cut all the way back.
  • Use organic mulch to help the soil retain moisture and discourage weeds. Pull back the mulch before the first freeze, and then push it back around the plant when the ground is frozen.

Potentilla fruticosa is a spectacular long-flowering plant, which is strewed with yellow, white or salmon-pink flowers from May to October. Typical for this plant are its pinnate, five to seven-petaled flowers, which resemble the fingers of a human hand. This typical rock garden plant offers countless decoration possibilities and planting locations in the domestic garden.

Plant Profile

  • Family: Rosaceae
  • Genus: Potentilla
  • German names: Fünffingerstrauch (five-finger shrub), Strauch-Fingerkraut
  • Origin: Eurasia, North America
  • Growth: ground-cover plant, dwarf shrub, overhanging, densely branched
  • Height: 30 – 120 cm depending on varieties
  • Flowering period: May to October
  • Flowers: unfilled, 2 – 3 cm wide, crown-shaped
  • Flower colors: bright yellow, white, light red or salmon-pink
  • Leaf: fresh green, depending on variety three, five or seven-petaled flowers, slightly hairy
  • Fruits: small inconspicuous nuts

Originally from Eurasia and North America, shrubby cinquefoil grows as a summer green, upright, overhanging and compact dwarf shrub. Depending on the variety, it reaches a height of 30-120 cm. It is very robust, even the flowers are heat, sun and rain resistant. The long-flowering period is exceptional and makes shrubby cinquefoil a versatile garden plant. As a colorful hedge plant, its dense foliage protects against prying eyes, as ground-cover plant covers masterfully bald spots and it is, as a solitary plant, a decorative eye-catcher.


Potentilla fruticosa is unpretentious and carefree and thanks to its modesty it is also a good beginner plant for new gardeners. Once grown, the care is mostly limited to watering and pruning.


Shrubby cinquefoils are predominantly light-hungry plants. As a result, they usually thrive best in full sun locations. The more sun, the richer the abundance of flowers. This is especially for varieties with yellow and white flowers. Exceptions are red-flowered varieties, which feel more comfortable in the shade.


Basically, Potentilla fruticosa can cope with any good and loose soil. Nevertheless, it prefers fresh to moist gravelly or nutrient-poor and loose soils. These can be acid to slightly alkaline, with a pH between 5 and 7. A higher pH value would have adverse effects on flowering and could promote a so-called iron chlorosis (iron deficiency).

Heavy and compacted soils should be made looser and more permeable by adding sand or grit and avoiding very sandy and very humid soils. In the case of appropriate soil conditions, a plant neighborhood appears to the ornamental cherry tree, the European smoketree, weigela and other plants of the rose family, which are related to shrubby cinquefoil.


At the right time of planting, it is important whether we are talking about bare-root plants and therefore plants without soil blocks or pots. While bare-roots plants can be planted from September to the end of April, there is a year-round planting time for plants in pots, as long as the soil is frost-free. Basically, spring is the best time for planting.


  • before planting water the root balls for about an hour
  • in this way the roots can absorb water, which makes them easier to grow
  • in the meantime loose the soil in the planting location thoroughly
  • if necessary, mix some mature compost
  • then dig a sufficiently large planting hole
  • it should be 1.5 times as deep and twice as wide as the root balls
  • do not put into the planting hole fertilizer and stable manure
  • they would burn the roots so that they could no longer absorb nutrients
  • the roots should neither be snapped nor turned
  • before the planting is carried out, broken and snapped parts are cut out in the root area
  • for bare-root plants cut the roots to 25-30 cm


When being planted, shrubby cinquefoil is placed in the center and straight into the planting hole and filled with excavated soil all around. Finally, the plant should be so deep in the ground that the root collar ends with the top soil. If the soil in the planting area is very dry at the time of planting, the plant hole is filled only to three-quarters, then watered and finally filled with soil. In the case of ground-cover plants, about 5 plants per square meter are recommended and for hedge planting 3 specimens per linear meter.


The water requirement of this plant is relatively high. This is why you should water abundantly after planting. Even after this, watering is not a negligible action, especially until shrubby cinquefoil has grown, as well as in aridity during particularly hot and dry summer days. The soil should never dry out and waterlogging should be avoided at all costs. With a mulch layer you can keep the moisture longer in the soil and thus protect it from excessive dehydration.


In terms of nutrient requirements this plant is very modest. An excess of nutrients could even hinder flowering. Therefore, you should rather fertilize moderately. A small amount of fertilizer is usually provided in the spring, a slight nitrogenous fertilization is carried out between May and June, for example, in the form of horn shavings or nettle. A one-sided or excessive nitrogenous fertilizer should be avoided, so that the shoots can mature well until winter. Fertilization stops from July to prevent the plant from developing new shoots before winter.


In order to prevent the shrub lose its leaves or age, it should be subjected to a regular pruning. Corresponding pruning can take place both in the spring and in the autumn, whereby shrubby cinquefoil usually recovers faster after a pruning in spring. Only if its shape is maintained, the shoots can be shortened by a third after flowering.

If necessary, it is also sufficient to remove old, diseased, dead and disturbing shoots from time to time, and the plant is practically pruned. In hedge plants it is easy to cut back into the old wood.

Since shrubby cinquefoil blooms on the one-year-old wood, a stronger pruning is possible in order to rejuvenate it. It can be cut back to 10 cm above the ground. It sprouts again, grows denser and lush, and its flowering joy is also preserved. Such a rejuvenation cut is useful every 2-3 years. After pruning, cuttings are treated with a wound closure method such as grafting wax.


At the beginning of the cold season, the potted shrub Potentilla fruticosa drops its leaves, it sets a resting phase. Since it has a very good winter hardiness, it can do without any kind of winter protection.



A type of propagation is sowing, which requires a little more practice, in contrast to the multiplication or division. The required seeds can be taken from the flowered shrubs in autumn. After flowering, the seed heads are formed, which contain numerous small hairy nutlets, the actual seeds.

  • these seeds are sown as quickly as possible into small pots with potting compost
  • the soil should be kept uniformly moist until germination
  • waterlogging must be avoided
  • the young plantlets are relatively sensitive and should therefore winter in the house
  • next spring they can be planted to the final location in the garden


For a propagation by cuttings annual shoots are used which are taken from a healthy plant in late spring or summer. First, cut thick about 15-20 cm long cuttings. These cuttings are then cut to a length of 6-8 cm and cut to the lower end about 1 cm below a leaf. Afterwards, the lowest leaves are removed and the cuttings are inserted approximately halfway into the potting compost. Coconut coir is said to be particularly suitable for cultivation.

The soil is slightly moistened and preferably placed in a light-permeable plastic bag, which should remain almost completely open at the top. The whole is placed in a sheltered place, so that it can not rain into the bag, because moisture on the leaves or wet soil can very quickly lead to mold growth. For this reason the cuttings should not be sprayed. Once they have formed sufficient roots, they can be planted.


  • spring is the best time for a root division
  • it is the fastest way for propagation
  • the relevant plant is excavated and the loose soil carefully dried
  • the ball is divided into a corresponding number of pieces with a sharp spade
  • each individual piece should have sufficient roots
  • immediately plant the newly obtained plants at their new location
  • finally, water thoroughly


Leaf spot disease

The leaf spot disease caused by fungi is relatively frequent in the shrubby cinquefoil. It manifests itself in reddish-yellow to brownish leaf spots and it is often the result of care mistakes. This can be caused by a too wet location, unfavorable soil conditions or insufficient airing. Infested leaves should be pinched off or cut off and disposed of in household waste and by no means on the compost.

The cutting tool used for this purpose should then be disinfected in order to prevent transmission to other plants. It is not possible to fight with biological resources. Therefore, appropriate broadband fungicides must be used where necessary. In the case of a wide infestation, it is generally unavoidable to dispose completely the relevant plant. In order to prevent this disease, you should pay attention to the optimal location and soil conditions as well as sufficient planting distances to neighboring plants.

Iron Chlorosis

The so-called iron chlorosis is a disturbed formation of chlorophyll. The reason for this is a lack of iron or a lime excess in the soil, which favors chlorosis. Above all young leaves and shoots turn yellow, the growth is clearly limited. The leaf veins remain green at first. Later, the entire color turns whitish-yellow. In order to determine the exact cause of chlorosis, a precise soil analysis is recommended. Sometimes it is sufficient to inject the plants with iron chelate compound from the specialty store, or to provide a slightly acidic pH value of the soil by applying humus.

Powdery and downy mildew

In the case of powdery and downy mildew, it is a fungal attack, which shows itself on a powdery graying veil covering the plant. While downy mildew is first seen on the leaves and later on the shoots and buds, the powdery mildew attacks the leaf undersurface. Responsible for a mildew infestation are in most cases unfavorable location conditions.

Possibly the plants are too tight, the exposure is insufficient or draught and strong temperature changes are responsible. Mildew can only be effectively combated with appropriate biological fungicides. Preventively, you should, if necessary, revert to mildew-resistant varieties or pay attention to optimal location conditions.



If shrubby cinquefoil has rolled up, deformed or curled leaves, they may be signs of aphid infection. Usually the small black, yellow or green lices sit on the leaf bottoms and the shoot tips. In order to combat or minimize at least one attack, infested plants can first be sprayed with water. If this is not sufficient, suitable insecticides are available at the specialty stores.


Potentilla fruticosa “Abbotswood”

  • Potentilla fruticosa “Abbotswood” is a variety with pure white flowers and light green leaves
  • it blooms from June to October and reaches a height of up to 100 cm
  • a special feature is its resistance to mildew

Potentilla fruticosa “Kobold”

  • from the end of May to October, this shrubby cinquefoil shines with the typical for a shrubby cinquefoil plate-shaped, bright yellow flowers
  • main blossoming is in June/July and in September/ October follows a second blossoming
  • the growth height is between 50 and 80 cm
  • this variety is very suitable for creating a flowering hedge

Potentilla fruticosa “Daydawn”

  • Potentilla fruticosa “Daydawn” impresses with salmon-colored, up to 3 cm large flowers, which appear from June to October
  • they form a nice contrast to the light green foliage
  • this variety is up to 100 cm tall and is suitable for a hedge planting

Potentilla fruticosa “Pink Queen”

  • as the name suggests, the „Pink Queen“ variety produces an abundance of slightly pink flowers
  • it is also up to 100 cm high and blooms from June to October
  • it is ideal as a companion and hedge plant

Potentilla fruticosa “Red Ace”

  • the flowers with up to 70 cm height, relatively low variety shine in bright red-orange to orange-yellow colours
  • the main blossoming is in June/July and a second blossoming in September/October
  • thanks to its extraordinary flower color, it is suitable to stand alone as well as as a ground cover or for a jardiniere

Potentilla fruticosa “Tangerine”

  • Potentilla fruticosa “Tangerine” is littered with orange-yellow flowers from June to October, which stand out clearly from the dark green foliage and pass into yellow at full sunny locations
  • it reaches a height of up to 100 cm


Article by David Marks
Potentillas are deciduous (lose their leaves over winter) shrubs which grow well in our climate. There are several species but almost all those sold in the UK are known as Potentilla fruticosa and these are covered by this article. In some older articles these shrubs are called Cinquefoil but this name is rarely used nowadays.

The following feature list should help you decide if a Potentilla is suited to you and your garden conditions:

  • Potentillas flower from May to the end of August. The peak flowering time is early May to June.
  • When established they require no feeding if your soil is average fertility and in most parts of the UK they will not need to be watered at all unless the soil is very light / sandy.
  • They are deciduous and begin to loose their leaves in November, regaining them again in April / May time.
  • Potentillas are fully hardy throughout the UK.
  • They prefer full sun for the flowers to develop to their best but will still thrive in part shade. If you have sun for five or more hours a day they will be fine.
  • Potentillas are long-lasting shrubs and will live for fifteen years or more.
  • Sizes vary from 25cm / 10in to 2m / 6ft high.
  • They are readily available from garden centres and online suppliers in a wide choice of varieties and colours.
  • They grow equally well on a wide range of garden soils.
  • Potentillas are deer resistant and very unlikely to be eaten by deer.
  • Potentillas tolerate neglect well because their nutrient and water requirements are low and they grow well with minimal pruning.


Potentillas are one of the lowest maintenance shrubs and when established require no attention other than pruning to keep them to the size you want. No special techniques are required, a simple “haircut” will do them fine. If they get out of hand the best treatment is to cut them back hard and wait for them to reappear the next year.

Potentilla can in fact be pruned down very close to the ground and they will soon reappear. They may not flower as well in the first year but after that they will do fine. They can be pruned at any time of the year but September is good time if you want them to flower well the next year.

Potentillas grow best on slightly poor soil and in slightly drier than normal conditions. So don’t be tempted to feed them and only water in drought conditions.

The best time to plant a newly bought potentilla is in late September in the UK. The ground will be warm and at the same time natural rainfall will supply enough water in most areas. However, they can be planted at any time when the ground is not frozen or waterlogged but in spring and summer you will need to keep them watered for the first three months until the plant is established.


Potentillas can be grown in containers but they do best in the open ground. The shorter varieties make ideal rockery plants


This section is almost not needed for potentillas because they very rarely suffer from any problems at all. If they are grown in water-logged conditions the roots can rot. The solution is not grow them in these conditions. If they get less than four hours of sunshine a day the flowering display will decline. If they are left totally unpruned for many years they may also fail to flower. In this case prune them back hard to a third of their size to rejuvenate them.


Potentillas grow most reliably from semi-ripe cuttings. The best time to do this is from July to August. Look for stems which have grown this year where the base of the stem is slightly woody but the top 10cm to 15cm (4in to 6in) is soft and green. The best stems will be at the top of the plant and fully exposed to the sun. Avoid taking cuttings from stems which have flowers on them.

Use a sharp knife to cut off a 10cm / 4in stem just below a leaf node. Trim off lower leaves so that only four or so remain at the top. You can dip the base of the cutting in hormone rooting powder but this is entirely optional. Fill an 8cm /3in pot with multi-purpose compost and insert the cutting into it so that at least 3cm of the stem is in the compost. It can be inserted further but you don’t want the leaves to touch the compost.

Water the pot from the base, insert a marker with the variety name and date the cutting was taken. Cover the pot with a plastic bag which is kept off the leaves. Keep the cuttings in a light place but not in direct sunlight. The bag should be removed after four weeks at which stage the cuttings will have begun to root. Keep the cutting in the same pot over winter in a light, frost free position such as a greenhouse or against a heated house wall.

In spring the next year, pot the plant up into a larger pot (15cm / 6in) and let it grow on. Keep well watered. In early September the potentilla can then be planted in its final position outside or into a larger pot.


Almost all the Potentilla fruticosa for sale nowadays are crosses between varieties. The seeds will not come true to type and this is one of the reasons that they are not normally sold.

Another complication is that the flowers are dioecious. This means that each flower is either female or male and that any individual plant will only produce all female or all male flowers. To produce viable seed you will need two plants, one producing female flowers and one producing male flowers.

Combining the two features above explains why producing new potentillas from seed is best left to the experts. The best method of producing new potentilla plants is from cuttings as described in the previous section.


When choosing a variety of potentilla the two key difference to look for are size at maturity and the colour of the flowers. The list below shows some of the most popular varieties In alphabetic order:

ABBOTSWOOD – has an RHS Award of Garden Merit. Height and spread 75cm / 2ft 6in. White flowers over a longer than normal period of time.

Potentilla Abbotwood

DAYDAWN – our favourite potentilla because of the delicate shades of pink and yellow of the flowers. Height and spread 75cm / 2ft 6in.

GOLDFINGER – Golden yellow flowers which retain their bright colour even in full sun. This is a tall variety at 1.2m / 4ft and a spread of 75cm / 2ft 6in.

HOPLEY’S ORANGE – has an RHS Award of Garden Merit. Height and spread 75cm / 2ft 6in. Attractive yellow and orange flowers. A bushy variety.

PINK BEAUTY – one of the prettiest flowers, pink with white edges. Height and spread 75cm / 2ft 6in.

RED ACE – probably the the reddest of all the potentilla flowers with a yellow-gold centre. Height and spread of 60cm / 2ft. The flowers can fade to orange if in full sun.

MEDICINE WHEEL MOUNTAIN – has an RHS Award of Garden Merit. Height 30cm / 1ft spread 1m / 3ft. Deep yellow flowers, ideal as a rockery plant.

RED ROBIN – sometimes called Marian Red Robin, has an RHS Award of Garden Merit. Maximum height and spread of 1m / 3ft. Flowers start off as red but fade to orange if in full sun. A good variety for partial shade.

The GardenFocused approved online supplier of Potentilla Red Robin is Crocus. Click here to view their informative page about this variety.

WILLIAM ROLLINSON – has an RHS Award of Garden Merit. Height 60cm / 2ft, spread 45cm / 18 in. Semi-double red flowers.


Below we list the key strengths and weaknesses of Potentillas.

HARDY (to -12°C)
SHADE No, partial, full sun
FLOWER TIME June to September

Other shrubs in this series include Camellias, Choisya, Hebe, Skimmia, Mock Orange, Lilacs, Magnolia, Mahonia, Potentilla and Rose of Sharon (hibiscus syriacus) all with pictures, full care and pruning instructions.

Sometimes our readers ask specific questions which are not covered in the main article above. Our new
Potentilla comment / question and answer page
lists their comments, questions and answers. At the end of that page there is also a form for you to submit any new question or comment you have.

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Prune Like A Pro With The Help Of These Tips

After a hard, long winter and cool spring, plants can be delayed or just not sure what they are doing yet.

By the beginning of June many of these plants will have just finished blooming. Here is how you prune them.

Pruning of Spring Flowering Shrubs

Early spring flowering shrubs like Flowering Almond, Lilac, Sand Cherry and Forsythia should be pruned immediately after flowering. If you prune them before they bloom you will lose the flowering this season and maybe next depending on how hard you pruned.

If you want to rejuvenate mature spring flowering shrubs, as soon as the last flowers fade, use a pruning saw to cut off one-fourth to one-third of the biggest, oldest stems at ground level. Use pruning shears to shorten all of the stems to two or three feet from the ground. If you wish to greatly limit the shrub’s size, you can cut the branches as far back as six inches from the ground. By the end of the growing season, new branches will have formed. These will arch gracefully from the center and will be covered with new flower buds for next year’s spring show.

Summer Pruning

The pruning or trimming of summer flowering shrubs should be done by early June . If you miss the short window due to the weather, not to worry. Cut out any dead growth you can with a hand pruner. Otherwise leave the shrub alone to flower, especially Weigela and Spirea. Once the flowers are done, go ahead and cut back a bit and thin out like pictured below.

Pruning of Summer Flowering Shrubs

Summer flowering shrubs like Spirea, Potentilla, Weigela, and even Roses should be pruned in early spring before growth begins and then again later in season to remove spent flowers and encourage more blooms.

If Hydrangeas, specifically Endless Summer Hydrangeas are off to a really slow start like mine (pictured here) they can struggle to produce the flowers they once did. Fertilize them with a fertilizer with a high middle number i.e. 15-30-15 and add some compost around the base of the plants. This should kick them into high gear and the compost will help keep them there. If you try it, please let me know how it works for you.

Pruning of Evergreens

There are 2 types of pruning for evergreens; Selective and Non-selective. Selective is more time consuming but overall will be better for the plant in the long run. It involves using a hand pruner to cut back the evergreen at a specific point. Non-selective is using pruning shears to level the ends of the stem regardless of where the new growth is coming from. This creates a “tight” appearance on the outside but prevents light getting to the inside of the plant. If the outside is damaged (like the pic below) there is no green to cut to.

This year Boxwood and Yews may need a harder pruning than usual to remove the winter dieback and prune for shape prior to spring growth. Ice from winter is really hard on boxwood and yews but in most cases with the right care they can bounce back. Here are my yews:

I used selective pruning to cut back my stems that were severely damaged by an ice storm and a fallen tree and now the new growth is slowly coming in.

But in some extreme cases like this one…

The damaged leaves are too deep into the plant. I am afraid that if you trim back to the next green part of the stem, there would be no plant left, therefore, you are better off replacing them.

And lastly when working at creating a hedge it is important to trim hedges narrower at the top to let light get to the bottom of the plant, this is a common mistake that leads to the dying off or lack of green on the lower branches of evergreens.

Pruning Potentilla, Spireas and other Summer Blooming Shrubs

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Tame those floppy potentilla and spirea and bring other overgrown summer flowering shrubs down to size in late winter through early spring.

Summer blooming shrubs produce flowers on new growth. Enjoy their winter show and start pruning as the worst of winter weather subsides and if possible before spring growth begins.

Many of these shrubs tolerate severe pruning. I prefer a more moderate approach. This allows you to control growth and encourages sturdier stems. Cut all the stems of potentilla and spirea back halfway to the ground. Then remove half of the older and thicker stems to ground level.

New shoots will emerge in spring. The older remaining stems will provide support for the thinner often floppy new growth. The result is greenery from ground to stem tip and a sturdier neater plant for you to enjoy.

And be sure to wait to prune lilacs, forsythia and other spring flowering shrubs until right after bloom.

A bit more information: Spring flowering shrubs like bridal wreath spirea, lilac and forsythia form their flower buds the summer prior to flowering. Pruning these shrubs any time other than soon after flowering eliminates the following spring’s floral display. The plants will be fine, but you eliminate the reason (flowers) most of us grow these plants.


prune lilac forsythia

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