Potentilla shrubs are also known as Bush Cinquefoils. Potentilla shrubs are native to the Northern Hemisphere and are deciduous with copious saucer-shaped yellow, pink, orange, or white flowers over a long blooming period. The potentilla is a very hardy plant that can thrive in zone 2 winter temperatures.
Where Does the Plant Name Come From?
The name cinquefoil derives from the French cinq meaning five and feuille meaning leaf, for the plant’s five-petaled flowers. The potentilla moniker originates in the Latin potens for powerful, referring to the early medicinal use of potentilla to ease stomach aches. This bush is sometimes called a five-finger or barren strawberry for its resemblance to the berry but lack of fruit.
Modern Use of Potentilla
Today’s potentilla is grown for its ornamental value. Potentilla plants are used as shrub borders, low hedges, as edging plants and for mass planting. The long bloom period and short plant stature allows for a look that is unique, featuring low mounds of blue-green pinnate leaves and lush, compact blooms. Potentilla is easy to grow and adapts to a wide range of soils and is attractive all season. Potentillas attract butterflies but are not favored by deer.
Special Care & Potential Planting Issues
Potentillas are almost entirely free of diseases and pests. As with any flowering shrub, timing your pruning is imperative, but potentillas require only minimal pruning to keep them in any shape you desire. Early spring pruning includes cutting back old flower stems and foliage using bypass pruners. Prune out the oldest stems to keep the plant from getting leggy.
Potentillas are a durable plant. They will tolerate drought and flooding, and they will easily survive transplanting. Potentilla perform best when planted in a full sun area with late afternoon shade, which will help prevent color fade on the flowers.
Planting Power, Delivered to Your Door
Nature Hills Nursery is committed to bringing the highest-quality trees, bushes, and plants directly to your door. Our inventory includes several varieties of potentilla, like Goldfinger, Happy Face® Pink, McKay’s White and more. Click the photos to learn more about specific instructions or call our plant experts at (402) 934-8116 for personalized assistance. We’re happy to help with anything from the right way to water plants to advice on over-wintering.
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