Potentilla – an extensive genus of the Rosaceae family, which includes about 500 varieties. Among them are shrubs, semi-shrubs and herbaceous plants. This culture is popularly called “five-leaf”. The most popular species are L. silver, l. white, l. upright, l. goose, l. nepalese and l. hybrid.
The flowers are rounded, enclosed in corymbose, paniculate or umbrella inflorescences. In some representatives of the genus, buds form singly. The color of the petals is predominantly golden yellow, white, cream, rarely pink. Potentilla blooms for 3.5 months, starting in May, ending flowering at the end of summer.
The fruit is a multi-seeded, smooth or hairy capsule. One fruit contains from 20 to 90 brown seeds. The size of the box can be different, but the larger it is, the more interesting the plant looks.
Species and varieties
Potentilla argentea. A bush with straight arcuate stems, the length of which is 30 – 40 cm. The leaf plates are divided into 3, 5, 7 segments. The upper part of the leaves is smooth, dark green, the lower part is light green, fleecy. The flowers are rounded, 1.5 cm in diameter, carmine or light orange.
Potentilla apennina. A perennial species, which is a sprawling bush with a diameter of 100 – 120 cm. It can reach a height of about 1.5 m. The leaves are trifoliate, dense, folded in half in the central part, dark green, covered with white pile, enclosed in a dense rosette. When describing the cinquefoil of this species, it is worth noting large saucer-shaped, white or pale pink flowers.
Potentilla alba. A low-growing perennial with a height of no more than 30 cm. The leaves are palmate-lobed, bright green, enclosed in a basal rosette, and have a smooth surface. Inflorescences – loose brushes or umbrellas, consist of small rounded flowers with a diameter of 3 cm. The color is predominantly white, less often light yellow.
Potentilla erecta. Perennial species with a strong woody rhizome. Its height is 20 – 40 cm. The leaves are trifoliate, can be sessile or long-petiolate. Flowers solitary, 1 cm in diameter, yellow. Flowering is observed throughout the summer season.
Potentilla anserina. Bush about 1 m high. Densely covered with trifoliate rich green leaves with pubescence on the surface. The flowers are golden in color, saucer-shaped, 2 cm in diameter.
Potentilla Nepalese ( Potentilla nepalensis ). Tall perennial, the stem of which reaches up to 150 cm in length. The shoots branch intensively, forming a sprawling bush. The leaves are palmate, rich green, 30 cm long. The flowers are round, wide open, pink or red, enclosed in loose paniculate inflorescences. This species begins to bloom in mid-summer. The buds remain on the bush for 2 months.
The best varieties of Potentilla Nepalese:
“Floris” – differs in expressive flowers of a coral shade. There is a red eye in the center of the buds.
“Roxana” – has bright orange inflorescences with dark veins in the central part of the flowers.
‘Miss Wilmott’ – prized for its profuse flowering, during which the plant is strewn with many piercing pink flowers with a dark eye in the center.
Potentilla hybrid ( Potentilla x hybrida ). It has erect or slightly decumbent stems with strong branching. On their surface there is a slight pubescence. The height of the bush is 90 – 100 cm. The leaves are trifoliate, sessile, rich green, long-leaved, with small teeth along the edge. The inflorescence is corymbose or racemose, consists of saucer-shaped flowers with a diameter of 4 cm. Their color is yellow and pink.
Popular varieties of Potentilla hybrid:
“Volcano” – forms double flowers of scarlet color.
“Master Floris” – a variety with simple, light yellow inflorescences that form on a bush in large quantities.
“Yellow Queen” – an undersized variety up to 25 cm high. It has golden yellow buds.
These photos show what cinquefoil of various types and varieties looks like in the landscape design of a personal plot:
Herbaceous species of cinquefoil are propagated using seeds, which are recommended to be planted immediately in open ground in the autumn. During the winter months, they will undergo a natural stratification, and when spring comes and the snow cover comes off, strong shoots will appear.
Spring sowing is also possible, but in this case, the seed will need to be stratified by placing it in a cold place a couple of months before sowing.
Many gardeners prefer growing Potentilla through seedlings: sowing seeds in containers filled with soil begins in late February or with the onset of March.
From above, crops are covered with a film to create greenhouse conditions. The containers are kept in a room with a temperature of 15 – 18 degrees, airing daily. Accumulated condensate is regularly removed from the film, watering is carried out as the topsoil dries out.
After the appearance of sprouts, the shelter is removed. When the plants have a third full leaf, they dive into small pots. In August, they are transplanted to the site. Seedlings are covered for the winter so that they successfully endure sub-zero temperatures.
Landing in open ground
Shrub species of cinquefoil are obtained with the help of seedlings, which are purchased in a store, or by dividing an overgrown bush already on the site into parts. For planting, holes are made of such a size that the root system fits freely into them.
A layer of lime gravel is laid at the bottom of the planting pit, then a substrate is poured from leafy soil, sand, humus and a small amount of mineral fertilizer.
When planting seedlings, it is important to consider that the root collar should not be buried. After placing the seedlings in the hole, add the soil, tamp, water. During the care of young plants in the next three weeks after planting Potentilla, you need to ensure that the open ground near the seedlings is constantly wet.
As practice shows, growing cinquefoil is not difficult – you just need to take care of the plants, observing the simple rules of agricultural technology.
- Location. An open space is suitable for growing Potentilla, where a shadow will not fall on the flower. Optimally suited for this culture of elevation in the garden. Places in the lowlands should be avoided to avoid root rot with frequent accumulation of moisture. The area where the cinquefoil will grow should be closed from cold gusty winds, which can weaken the immune system and provoke various flower diseases. You can plant this crop near a fence or other plants.
- The soil. Potentilla does not impose special requirements on the soil composition, it is able to develop in any areas, but it feels most comfortable on nutritious, loose, slightly acidic soils.
- Watering. This flower can do without moisture for a long time, and it reacts very painfully to its excess. It is enough to water the bush once every two weeks. In dry months, it is recommended to carry out water procedures 1 time in 7 days. In order to retain moisture longer in the soil, you need to sprinkle the area around the bushes with a layer of mulch. In addition, this will help minimize weeding and loosening.
- Topdressing. In order for the cinquefoil to actively develop and bloom, it is enough to apply fertilizer 1 time during the growing season. The soil should be enriched in March after the snow has melted. Any mineral complex for garden flowers will do.
- Pruning. Health pruning is carried out 2 – 3 times a year, during which broken, damaged, thickening branches are removed. In autumn, the shoots are cut to ½ of their length. To maintain a neat appearance of the plant, faded inflorescences and dried leaves are removed in a timely manner. In some species, the crown is given the desired shape.
- Transfer. When breeding cinquefoil, it is important to consider that this flower reacts painfully to transplantation, so it should be carried out only as a last resort. The bush should be carefully dug up, and, without clearing the earthen clod, placed in a new hole. After transplanting, it is necessary to fertilize and water the plant. So there will be more chances that it will take root and get stronger.
- Treatment of diseases. This culture is almost never attacked by harmful insects. However, cinquefoil can be affected by diseases such as powdery mildew and rust. With the defeat of an annual variety, you will have to dig up a bush and destroy it. If a perennial plant has undergone a disease, it will be necessary to treat it with fungicides, for example, Fitoverm or Decis. Bordeaux mixture is also suitable for this purpose.