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Cinquefoil

Potentilla from Lubera

Whether as a beautiful bedding plant with a long flowering period or as an enchanting ground cover: the Potentilla (cinquefoil)  is a perennial that can be found in many locations. It captivates with pretty, bowl-like flowers in many bright colours, which contrast beautifully with the characteristic foliage.

   
 
No image available Potentilla atrosanguinea

Ruby cinquefoil

From £3.80 *

Potentilla aurea

Golden cinquefoil

From £3.90 *

Potentilla megalantha

Woolly cinquefoil

From £3.90 *

No image available Potentilla neumanniana

Spring cinquefoil

From £3.90 *

No image available Potentilla palustris

Marsh cinquefoil

From £4.90 *

Potentilla tridentata 'Nuuk'

Three-toothed cinquefoil

From £4.90 *

   
 

More information about Potentilla

 

Palmate leaves are the trademark of many of these species. Full sunny site and permeable, often even barren soils are their territory. Some original species from the genus remain quite low in growth and thus fit perfectly into a rock garden. They also provide nice splashes of colour around dry stone walls.

On the other hand, some representatives are very popular as bedding perennials. In cottage gardens, borders or along the edges of trees and shrubs, they are a welcome element and are particularly effective in groups. Several species and varieties are also ideal for keeping in pots on balconies and terraces.

There is even a suitable plant for a pond edge: the palustris type is a native species that also likes to stand with its feet in the water.

 

 

Species and varieties

  • The spring cinquefoil (P. neumanniana) is a charming wild species native to Europe, which forms dense, approximately 10 cm high leaf cushions and with its carpet-like growth is quite capable of covering larger areas. It shows its sunny yellow flowers between March and May and often blooms a second time in late summer. It is the ideal ground cover for sunny, dry locations. In nature, it grows on open gravel and sandy soils, rocks and on vineyard walls.
  • The large-flowered Potentilla megalantha is also an original species that originates from East Asia. Its silvery grey, three-part foliage, which has earned it the name "strawberry-leaved cinquefoil", and its great joy in flowering are impressive. The yellow flowering plant can cope with any garden soil but prefers a loose, nutrient-rich soil.
  • The blood-red cinquefoil (Potentilla atrosanguinea) originates from the Himalayas. From May to August it adorns itself with ruby red flowers. It provides colour in sunny flowerbeds or decorates balconies and house entrances. The species is also ideally suited for lightly wooded borders. It reaches a growth height of 50 cm.
  • ‘Miss Willmott' (Potentilla nepalensis) is a clump-forming perennial with pretty pink flowers that look great in a mixed border. At the time of flowering, it reaches a height of 50 cm. It is also known as Nepal cinquefoil. Its shoots are overhanging from low to arching and rise again at the ends. If it can support itself on neighbouring beds, its growth will be upright.

 

Use

 

Due to the luminosity of its flowers and the long flowering period, the medium-high representative is ideal for planting in borders. In small tuffs of three plants, the small plants are very effective. At the edge of the border, they also look extremely attractive in a row. Beautiful companions are the blue flowers of catnip as well as yellow flowering partners such as sunflower or evening primrose. You can combine the Nepal cinquefoil well with other perennials and ornamental grasses with which it likes to weave its shoots.

Since the lower leaves of the Potentilla often spread out on the ground like rosettes, some species can be used as ground cover. The spring cinquefoil and the golden cinquefoil fit perfectly into a rock garden or can even be used for roof greening. Some species, such as P. aurea, are also proven medicinal plants. Those who cultivate these plants in a herb bed can choose sage, lavender and the evening primrose as neighbours.

 

Interesting facts

 

The genus of Potentilla includes dwarf shrubs, also known as cinquefoil, as well as many herbaceous, perennial species, some of which are native to us. The numerous representatives are mainly found in a temperate climate and in alpine and arctic regions. Finger types bear the simple, five-petal flowers typical of rose plants. The perennials vary in height between 10 and 60 centimetres. They are an excellent source of food for butterflies and bees.

Most species and cultivars are completely hardy and sprout anew every spring. The pure species of Potentilla develop pods which contain seeds.

 

Suitable location and soil

 

These plants prefer a sunny to semi-shady spot. Many plants of the genus are thermophilic and adapted to rather dry soil. It is important that the garden soil has good permeability, stagnant wet soils should be avoided. The P. aurea, for example, thrives best in nutrient-poor and lime-free soil.

The nepalensis types, the red type and several other varieties prefer a loose, nutrient-rich, moderately dry to a fresh substrate.

 

The right care

 

These plants are usually undemanding and easy to care for. They can be cut back in autumn or early spring. If you regularly cut back withered plants from the higher growing species and varieties, the flowering period will be extended.

Cultivated breeds need a little more attention when it comes to fertilisation. Garden forms should be given compost or other organic fertiliser once a year.

 

Propagation

 

Regular rejuvenation by division is not necessary with these plants, but this method can be used for reproduction. The division of the root ball is best done in the spring or autumn.

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