London (change)
18 messages
01/02/2013 at 15:09

I've got a shrubby, semi trailing Potentilla, rich yellow flowers, 2 years old, planted in a raised bed full sun west-facing.

Stupidly misplaced the name tag and can't remember which kind it is exactly, nor when to prune it.

Last year I think I pruned it mid spring and it produced a measly amount of flowers late Summer.

Haven't touched it yet this year - too nervous until you experts out there give me some advice!

Is this a kind that flowers on the current year's growth, so needs pruning BEFORE flowering, or does it flower on the old wood only (?no pruning required?)

RHS is a bit vague - just tells me that Potentillas evn if deciduous (mine is) are Pruning Group 10 - er, yeah! Means nothing to me

*Thank you*




01/02/2013 at 15:39

Hi, if you look here scroll down you'll find Pruning Group 10 instructions 

01/02/2013 at 19:29

Thanks Dove - I had read that bit already, but it doesn't help me identify whether my Potentilla is the type that flowers on old or new wood, sadly.

01/02/2013 at 20:10

Try that one, seems more straightforward. I don't think they need a lot of pruning. Your potentilla will almost certainly be a cultivar of potentilla fruticosa. 

01/02/2013 at 20:18

To be honest I hardly ever prune Potentilla fruticosa, just the occasional light clipping/shearing if needed during the winter to keep a nice shape.  The last one I planted was the white Abbotswood, in my parents' garden about 6 years ago and it's never been pruned -  it's a lovely regular mound about 3ft high and 4ft accross and is a picture throughout the summer and early autumn.

I think Potentiall fruticosas flower on new wood, so if needed I would trim in the late autumn or winter, but as I said - most of the time it probably doesn't need it. 

01/02/2013 at 20:26

They don't do that well for me as a rule. I think 2 of them are in too dry a spot and the other one is too shaded. Maybe I'll get it just right next time.

01/02/2013 at 20:33
I have red, white , yellow and orange and never touch them other than a little stray clip . They are quite new so not exactly brilliant but seem quite happy in my clay soil, they are in sun but ground is pretty moist...unless we have a heat wave
01/02/2013 at 20:46

Mother's is on a southfacing bank on light seaside soil - it was quite a big plant when we planted it so we gave it loads of water in it's first summer, but since then it's been more or less ignored 

01/02/2013 at 21:46

Heat wave I wish!

Thanks for all your replies - mine is in quite heavy soil in a raised bed with plenty of sun. 

I onlylightly clipped it last year, after it had flowered, but it literally only produced about 5 flowers!

*Dove* If mine is one that flowers on new wood (I think the flowers were in late-ish summer rather than spring) then shouldn't I prune it lightly in early to mid Spring rather than Autumn/Winter, or doesn't it make any difference?


01/02/2013 at 22:18

I think Dove's right, they don't need much pruning and autumn/ winter is the time. But you won't kill it if you do it at the wrong time.

01/02/2013 at 22:25

I've got a creamy yellow one, that grows in shade and apart from taking off the straggly ends that get in the way I never prune it, and it flowers profusely every year.

In fact the poor thing gets very little attention, but it still keeps going and looks a picture, so I leave well alone.


01/02/2013 at 22:32

thanks *love* good advice do you also tidy it up in autumn?

also thanks to *dove and *Nut* - I guess I won't kill it is I tidy it up a bit in spring

just reluctant to touch it in case I then cause it to hardly flower at all!


01/02/2013 at 22:42

I don't have any particular time to prune it. Just if I happen to be passing it and think it needs a bit of a tidy up.

01/02/2013 at 22:52

that's my kind of gardening Chris

02/02/2013 at 06:53

I think there's a misconception that everything 'needs to be pruned'.  Some things don''t need pruning until they're outgrowing their space or until the plant needs rejuvenating. As yours is only two years old it's got lots of growing to do before it reaches that stage. Why not try leaving the snippers alone this year and giving it a top dressing with some blood, fish & bone or rose fertiliser this spring - that'll encourage it to put on some new flowering shoots 

02/02/2013 at 07:51

thanks Dove - that's a good point - I may just leave it this time - I fear I am a bit prune-happy!

02/02/2013 at 08:10
ilovemontydon wrote (see)

thanks Dove - that's a good point - I may just leave it this time - I fear I am a bit prune-happy!

Nothing like a prune to keep you regular 

02/02/2013 at 12:51

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