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Potentilla Care and Propagation

Sometimes called 'Cinquefoil', Potentillas are excellent deciduous shrubs for the small or large garden. Almost totally free from disease and pest, they are compact plants requiring only minimal pruning to keep them to the shape and size you want.

They require almost no maintenance once established, yet they produce a mass of flowers from June to October.

The flowers come in shades of yellow, cream, white, orange and even red. The leaves are a mass of tiny green fingers which are attractive in their own right.

Key Facts

Botanical Name Potentilla

Common Name Cinquefoil

Type Deciduous shrub; late spring and summer flowering.

(after 5 years)
Varies but normally 1.2m (4ft) x 1.2m (4ft)

Position Full sun but see main article for those with red, orange or pink flowers.

Soil Medium and well-drained

Hardy Fully hardy

Flower Many, yellow, red, pink, white and orange

Foliage Dark green

Scent No

Season of
Late spring through summer.

Propagate Semi-ripe cuttings in July, click here for semi-ripe cutting article.

To cap it all, Potentillas are fully hardy, and will live through all a British winter can throw at them. Potentillas are shrubs which deserve a place in all gardens small or large.

Name: Margo Mulholland
E-mail: Private
Date posted: July 09, 2011 - 08:25 am
Message: My Potntilla frticcosa is quiet old maybe 12 years. It was here six years ago when we bought the place. I take all the dead branches off in spring, but it does not seem to flower like it should. It is mid july and only a few flowers have come out at the bottom. Should I cut it way back in the fall? Or wait until spring to give it a hair cut.

Name: chris welch
Date posted: November 19, 2010 - 07:29 am
Message: I am keen to know if it is okay to split a potentilla shrub at this time of the year?


Name: Deanna
Date posted: August 31, 2010 - 08:42 pm
Message: I have an Abbotswood potentilla. This is its second year and it was good sized when I bought it. It has never had more than one or two blooms on it. What can I do to help it bloom? I water consistently, it gets full sun, I have fertilized the same as my other plants. Help