Potentilla is a prolific summertime bloomer that does well with minimal care. This plant is cold hardy all the way into USDA zone 2. This perennial maintains its easy-care reputation all year and does not require much effort during the winter. However, this plant does need some assistance to successfully overwinter.
Protecting Potentilla in Winter
This hardy plant will not have the same visual appeal during the winter, but it does not require much care. The biggest issue this plant is likely to face is foraging animals that nibble on the bark. Damaged bark can be devastating, and the plant may not quickly recover. Wrapping the plant can protect against animal damage. Potentilla usually does not need to be covered, but plants located near buildings or areas where snow may pile up may benefit from a cover.
Cutting Back Potentilla For Winter
Tender growth like flowers and foliage will die back after the first heavy frost, but most of this growth can be left in place. Leaving the damaged growth can help insulate the plant from chilly temperatures. Spring is often the best time to clean the plant up and remove damaged growth from the previous year.
Potentilla Winter Care in Pots
At the lower end of its growing range, potted Potentilla plants will benefit from a protected area during the winter. The space does not need to be heated, and a shed, garage, or basement are generally suitable spaces to store a plant. Potted Potentilla plants do best when they are protected from the elements.
Watering Potentilla in Winter
Plants need water when they are actively growing, and since Potentilla plants do not grow during the winter, watering them is unnecessary during the winter. This is true for potted plants too. The plants are dormant and naturally conserve water during the winter, so wait until the temperatures warm up before starting back up with a watering routine.
Growing Potentilla Indoors
Potted Potentilla plants can be brought indoors for the winter, but they are not likely to grow and offer the same level of interest they provide during the warmer months. The plant may respond to bright, indirect light, but find a cool, protected area to store the plant until the temperatures warm up enough for the plant to be brought outdoors.
Steps To Care For Potentilla in Winter
Step 1 - Leave the plants in place and do not prune or remove dead or damaged growth
Step 2 - Plants in extreme conditions may benefit from being covered, but it is generally unnecessary
Step 3 - Plants prone to animal damage can be wrapped
Step 4 - Potted Potentilla can be allowed to go dormant and stored in a cool, dry place
Step 5 - Trim plants in the spring and return potted Potentilla plants outdoors
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