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With its little air of a wild rose, the cinquefoil seems to have been created to introduce beginners to the joys of gardening.
Its graceful and generous bloom lasts all summer and sometimes until frost if the fall is mild.
The cinquefoil flowers appear on the shoots of the year, as early as May for the earliest varieties and until October for the later ones. Delicate, they have pretty colors, bright or pastel, depending on the species. Very accommodating, the cinquefoil thrives in any well-drained soil, even limestone, poor or sandy. Easy to grow, it is resistant to cold (down to - 25 ° C) and drought.
Read also: how to grow cinquefoil
Flower of cities
Cinquefoil is a plant of choice for small gardens and balconies. A large pot of at least 25 cm in diameter ensures it will grow for two or three years without repotting. Use as a substrate a mixture of equal parts of "balcony terraces" soil, garden soil and river sand. Two applications of liquid fertilizer per month, from April to the end of September, will ensure excellent growth.
Place the pot in full sun and water every two to three days during the summer. In autumn and early spring, a weekly water intake will be sufficient. In winter, water every fortnight, only if it is dry. Prune in the spring to maintain the bushy shape and stimulate flowering as the flowers appear on the shoots of the year. With pruning shears, remove the older branches, halve the other stems, just above one eye (bud).
Easy to multiply
Shrubby cinquefoils are easily propagated by cuttings. Take the ends of young stems in August (10 cm long) and prick them into a pot containing a mixture of sand and half peat moss. Propagation by dry wood cuttings from November to February is also very easy. It is advisable to take cuttings regularly, as many varieties are quite ephemeral.
Divide the perennial cinquefoil clumps every three years to rejuvenate them. In ground cover forms, remove the suckers that take root around the plant, so that it does not become too invasive. The branches of the creeping cinquefoils are naturally layered.
Potentilla fruticosa Red Ace, a variety that does better in shade than the yellow varieties. © The Plant of the month.