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The deciduous five-finger shrub (Potentilla fruticosa) has long been the genus of finger herbs (Potentilla), his botanical affiliation finds the finger shrub from the family of the rose family (Rosaceae) today, however, in the genus Dasiphora (Dasiphora fruticosa). However, the five-finger shrub is still popular as an ornamental shrub in gardens and parks, and it still shows itself to be robust, long-flowering shrubs with its small, cup-shaped flowers.
Growth & flowering
The five-fingered shrub (Potentilla fruticosa), whose 5-fold pinnate leaves are reminiscent of the five fingers of a hand, reaches a stature height of about 40 cm, with some varieties reaching heights of up to 150 cm. A few species have 3 to 7-fold leaves, but they are all hairy at the bottom. Its numerous small flowers show the compact-growing bush from June to October, with some species already in bloom from May. The perennial flower is available in many and very intense colors, with its exclusive, partly filled white, yellow, orange, red or pink flowers are always in a magical contrast to the fresh foliage of the wood-forming shrub. The variety Potentilla fruticosa "orange shimmer" changes color from a bright yellow to a shimmering orange at the end of the flowering period.
Substrate & soil
The five-finger shrub prefers sunny and humid locations. Unpretentious in the care and undemanding to its environment, the five-finger shrub thrives on almost all soils that provide a minimum of nutrients. It thrives in normal garden soil, but also in barren soil and in rock gardens the Potentilla fruticosa feels well. The flowering plant receives a rather nutrient-poor soil, with an acidic to slightly alkaline pH particularly contrary, but it also tolerates a neutral to moderately acidic substrate. However, the permeability of the soil is important. Calcareous soils get the Potentilla fruticosa poorly and too nutrient-rich soils have a negative effect on the flower formation.
- The sturdy shrub is widespread almost all over the world.
- He is hardy and can easily cope with the urban climate.
- Winter protection is not required for the five-finger shrub.
- At the beginning of the cold season, the woody shrub casts its leaves.
Spring and fall are ideal for sowing Potentilla seeds.
With so much flowering, the Potentilla fruticosa feels well in a partially shaded to full sun. For a healthy prosperity and a rich flower splendor at least a few hours of sunshine are required daily. Red-blooded varieties of the five-fingered shrub prefer the penumbra, but are also less drought-resistant than other varieties and also feel better in fresh and nutrient-rich soils.
The five-finger shrub is planted all year round, provided that the soil is frost-free. From January to December the plants are planted in a partially shaded to sunny spot with a distance of 30 to 40 cm. When planting hedges, about 3 plants per meter are required; when used as ground cover, 5 plants per square meter are required. Particularly popular as ground cover is the variety "Potentilla fruticosa gold carpet". Heavy or heavily compacted soil should be mixed with split or sand and occasionally loosened. Pot plants and potted plants can be planted without any problems year-round. All shrubs, however, should be watered in a bucket or large enough container before planting. In the outdoor planting, the plant is placed in the planting hole and first refilled with the excavation. Thereafter, a sufficient irrigation takes place.
When flowering, if possible, should not be repotted. Even during the flowering break pre-fertilized soil should be avoided if possible when repotting.
The water requirement of the Potentilla fruticosa is relatively high. As soon as the five-finger shrub has formed wood, it can handle dryness well. However, after longer dry periods, he is grateful for additional watering. In the growing phase, a drying out of the soil is to be avoided.
Even when fertilizing the Potentilla fruticosa shows undemanding. However, one-sided or excessive nitrogen fertilization should be avoided so that the shoots can mature well without becoming too long. A decorative garden fertilizer at the recommended dosage provides the white or yellow shrub with all nutrients. The colored varieties in pots or tubs are regularly supplied with a complete fertilizer. In the case of planted shrubs, the fertilizer is fertilized with a complete fertilizer in spring. In May / June, well in advance of flowering, a slight nitrogen fertilizer may be applied.If horn chips are incorporated into the ground in early summer, additional summer fertilization is not required. In the main flowering period, from July, this summer flower should no longer be fertilized to prevent the growth of new shoots before the onset of winter. New shoots can no longer sufficiently lignify in the few months to the rest period and die already with the first frosts. Therefore, the gift of a long-term fertilizer in spring is foreseeable.
The natural growth of Fünffingerstrauch is more in the width than in the height. The Potentilla fruticosa is cut in the spring or immediately after flowering - by a third. The pruning on 2/3 of the plant prevents the planting of the plant from below. As a typical summer bloomer, the five-finger shrub shows its flowers on this year's formed ("new") wood. Basically, a pruning about every 2 to 3 years is sufficient. If necessary, such as after a pest infestation, can also be cut back stronger. The drastic rejuvenation cut, however, should not go too deep into the old wood, as weak or outdated shrubs can go into it.
The five-finger shrub can easily be multiplied by cuttings, which are cut off from the existing plants in summer. These are placed in a mixture of garden soil and sand and held only slightly damp in the following time. Also an increase by seeds is possible. For this purpose, the seeds are collected from a shrub in autumn and sown directly back to the desired location in the garden.
Diseases of the five-finger shrub has little to fear, but may be expected with mildew. Even more resistant than the yellow and white plants are the wild forms of Potentilla fruticosa. If the pH of the substrate is too high, this can lead to iron deficiency (iron chlorosis) of the plant, too much fertilizer negatively affecting flowering.
Aphids can occasionally occur and can be controlled by the commercial means against pest infestation.
Tip from the editor
With its small size, the five-finger shrub is not only suitable for potted planting, but is also very good, individually or in groups, in small gardens, as ground cover, in slope planting or as a grave and bed enclosure. In Japanese, formal and modern gardens, the Potentilla fruticosa looks particularly attractive after a shape cut. Somewhat sensitive, this plant reacts to a very calcareous soil, then their leaves get quickly unsightly spots or turn yellow. To prevent this, the shrub is best watered only with rainwater.
Frequently asked questions
- How is the five-finger shrub cut? Every two to three years, a pruning of 1/3 of the plant is sufficient.
- Is the five-finger shrub evergreen? The shrub throws off its leaves in winter, but is absolutely hardy.
- The five-finger shrub (Potentilla fruticosa) is an extremely easy-care plant that blooms over a long period of time.
- This small shrub is available in different varieties that form yellow, red, white or pink flowers.
- Depending on the variety, the flowering period starts in spring or early summer and lasts into autumn.
- Some of these varieties are very suitable as ground cover, while others are more suitable as a small bush or as a hedge plant.
- The five-finger shrub is usually about 50 to 70 cm high and grows quite bushy.
- It can be set individually or in a group...
- ... and is also suitable as a low hedge, which can be kept at a desired height by a regular cut.
- The five-finger shrub should get a sunny to partially shaded place, where it is not too hot in the summer.
- If necessary, it can be shaded by slightly larger trees.
- After the plant has grown well, it usually does not need to be poured, because it comes out with little water.
- For this reason, the five-finger shrub is also very suitable as a rock garden plant or for other rather dry spots in the garden.
- However, the soil should also not be too dry, so the five-finger shrub should be watered occasionally in summer during long periods of drought.