Woody Potentillas are popular plants for the shrub border. These small-leaved compact bushes bear brightall summer long – a property shared with the herbaceous Potentillas grown in the flower border. The herbaceous varieties, however, do not form neat clumps like their woody relatives – they have weak sprawling and strawberrylike . Grow them close to the front of the border, mulch around the shoots in spring, and provide support for the stems. Water in dry weather and your reward will be a continual of bright saucer-shaped flowers. Cut down the stems in autumn; lift and replant every three years.
VARIETIES: The named garden hybrids have been developed from P. nepalensis, P. atrosanguinea and P. argophylla – basic details of these hybrids are height 1 -2 ft. Spacing 1.5 ft.
Flowering period: June-September. The popular trio are ‘Miss Willmott’ (red), ‘Gibson’s Scarlet’ (red) and ‘William Rollisson’ (semi-double, deep orange, yellow reverse). The most colourful variety is ‘Firedance’ – red-centred and yellow-fringed blooms borne in great profusion.
SITE AND SOIL: Any well-drained soil will do – thrives best in full sun.
PROPAGATION: Divide clumps in autumn or spring.