Fertilizing Potentilla

Potentilla is native to North America, and most varieties are cold-hardy in USDA zones 2 through 8. As a native plant, you may wonder if you should fertilize Potentilla, and the answer is yes. Native plants can do well without fertilization, but taking the time to feed your plants will ensure they thrive and look their best. Plants that receive a boost of nutrition are more likely to have a more consistent and faster growth rate and feature abundant flowers. Find out what you need to know about fertilizing Potentilla plants. 


How to Fertilize Potentilla

Plants grown in manicured landscapes do not always receive the balanced nutrition that plants in nature receive, so many gardeners assist by feeding the plants. There are several ways to feed Potentilla plants. Potentillas prefer rich soil with a pH ranging from 5 to 7. Fertile soil will support plenty of growth, and you can test the soil pH to amend the soil as needed. 

Consider top-dressing the soil with organic compost each spring to condition the soil and conserve moisture. A balanced fertilizer, applied while the plant is actively growing, is another way to feed Potentilla.


Best Time To Fertilize Potentilla

Spring is the best time to apply organic compost or manure. Feeding the plant as it comes out of its dormant stage can help it start the growing season strong. Fertilizer can be used in the spring. Potentilla plants are not heavy feeders, and one application of fertilizer at half strength  is usually enough, but follow the instructions on the packaging to ensure the best results. Too much fertilizer can harm the plant, so it is essential to follow the proper dosage.

Best Fertilizer For Potentilla

A balanced fertilizer, like a 10-10-10 NPK formula, is suitable for Potentilla. The balanced ratio will help the plant produce more foliage and flowers. A slow-release formula will continue to nourish the plant throughout the growing season. Options like Espoma Plant-Tone, Dr. Earth Flower Girl, and Miracle-Gro Liquid All Purpose Plant Food are good for supporting Potentilla health.

Potentilla Fertilizing Tips

  • Apply organic compost or fertilizer in the spring as new growth starts to emerge
  • Use a balanced fertilizer mix intended to encourage all-around growth
  • Potentilla is not a heavy feeder, so one application of fertilizer in the spring is enough to support the plant throughout the growing season
  • Water the plant before applying fertilizer to protect the roots from fertilizer burn


-Always wear protective gloves and a face mask when handling chemical fertilizers.

-Closely follow all directions and storage guidelines that are on the fertilizer label.

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 Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 07-12-2022