© Dorling Kindersley Ltd


Shrubby potentillas

Common name: Shrubby cinquefoil

Shrubby potentillas have a number of uses – at the front of a mixed planting, as ground cover to fill open spaces or as low hedging. They're pretty shrubs for summer display.


Shrubby potentillas make compact, mounding cushions, often with softly hairy silvery leaves. They're medium-sized, deciduous shrubs with an average height and spread of around 75cm to 1.2m (30in-4ft). They're covered in single flowers over a long period often from late spring through the summer. The wide colour range includes yellow and white, orange and pink. 


Shrubby potentillas grow in any garden soil that drains easily in a sunny or lightly shaded position. They do well in poor soils.


Orange-, red- and pink-flowered varieties can fade in hot sunlight, so are best positioned where they will be shaded around mid-day and early afternoon. Very rich soil leads to lax growth, so there's no need to fertilise shrubby potentilla. As they like well-draining soil, avoid places that sit wet in winter.

Did you know?

To keep the plants neat, trim over shrubs annually. Do this in early spring before flower buds delelop. Avoid pruning later or you could lose flowers!

Growing guide

Shrubby potentillas we recommend

Useful advice

Buying: trees and shrubs

Buying: trees and shrubs

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.