Pruning Potentilla Shrubs - Knowledgebase Question

Athol, MA
Avatar for wplaford
Question by wplaford
August 7, 1998
Should a potentilla shrub be cut back after it has flowered?

Answer from NGA
August 7, 1998
Most gardeners trim these shrubs quite hard in early spring to remove any winterkill and to bring them into a uniform shape in preparation for the coming season. This helps to keep them compact, dense and bushy. Later on, if a branch or two become very lanky, you can cut them off from deep into the shrub; you can also give the entire shrub a light shearing in mid summer to tidy it up if needed. Once the initial flush of bloom is over, the shrub will continue to throw additional blooms throughout the summer provided it receives adequate water and nutrients, so it isn't usually a good idea to do more than a light shearing during the summer.

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