For most gardeners, a beautifully flowering perennial plant seems ideal, which at the same time easily propagates by seeds and does not require special care, while withstanding the rather harsh conditions of the Russian winter. It is safe to say that a plant like Nepalese Potentilla comes closest to the requirements of this ideal image.
General description of Nepalese Potentilla
Nepalese cinquefoil belongs to the genus cinquefoil, which in turn belongs to the pink family. The genus Potentilla is one of the most numerous in terms of the number of species included in it, more than 300.
Plants are a wide variety of life forms: from annuals and biennials to perennials, from ground cover creeping grasses to voluminous shrubs up to 1.5 meters high with woody stems. Some of the wild Potentilla species are of significant medicinal value. No wonder the Latin name of the genus (Potentilla) is translated as "power", "strength".
But not so many species are used in culture, and among them, it is the Nepalese Potentilla that is distinguished by a special charm. Its homeland is the mountain ranges of the Western Himalayas and Nepal. Hence the comparative unpretentiousness of plants to growing conditions. In the article below, you can find not only a description of different hybrid varieties of Nepalese Potentilla with a photo, but also information about planting and caring for this interesting and undemanding plant.
This type of Potentilla is a herbaceous perennial, the average height of which varies from 30 to 50 cm.The stems grow straight in purple hue and branch rather strongly. They are covered with interesting finger-shaped leaves that really resemble the paw of some outlandish animal and can reach a length of 15 cm.
On the other hand, experienced gardeners find some similarity between the leaves of Potentilla and strawberry, although the former are superior to the latter in size. It is not for nothing that both of these plants belong to the same family.
Attention! The color of the leaves of Nepalese Potentilla may depend on the composition of the soil on which the plant lives, and varies from a light green shade to dark purple with rare blackish veins.
On the tops of the shoots from June to August, rather large (up to 3 cm in diameter) five-petal, most often single flowers bloom. The petals are heart-shaped or obovate. They come in all shades of pink or reddish orange.
Plants are distinguished by good winter hardiness and, as a rule, do not need shelter for the winter.
Popular varieties of Nepalese Potentilla
In culture, this type of Potentilla has been used since 1820. Since that time, many interesting and attractive hybrid varieties have emerged, the most popular of which are described below. You should not only confuse the Nepalese Potentilla plants with its shrub sister, which is also often used in horticulture. In any case, the Nepalese Potentilla is a purely herbaceous plant, its shoots never become lignified, and the height does not exceed 50 cm.
The varieties of this variety of Potentilla practically do not differ in care. The main features are the different colors of the flower petals and the timing of flowering.
It so happened that the Nepalese Potentilla variety Miss Wilmott became the most popular, and this is not at all surprising if you look at his photo.
The flowers have such a rich pink hue that it can even be compared to cherry. In the middle of each flower, a darker eye is clearly distinguished, due to which the color becomes even more expressive.
The variety is more lush and longer flowering than other varieties. At the same time, the cultivation and care of Miss Wilmott's cinquefoil is no different. These flowers are hardy and very unpretentious.
In a variety with such a poetic name, the flowers traditionally have a darker center of almost burgundy color. At the same time, the petals are characterized by a thick pale pink hue, which changes rather sharply at first to carmine red and only then turns into a completely dark eye.
The cultivation of the Nepalese legendary Potentilla does not present any particular difficulties, and the photo shows one of the most common manufacturing companies from which you can buy seeds of these flowers.
Flowers of Nepalese Potentilla fiery flame are distinguished by a unique color. The dark center, combining crimson and red shades, occupies most of the flower. And against the background of delicately vanilla petals with pink tints, it seems that it is burning with a bright flame.
This variety begins to bloom in July and lasts until September. Although the plants themselves are not large in size, they grow up to 40 cm in height, they look very impressive.
RON MC BEATH
The flower color of this variety is slightly reminiscent of Miss Wilmott's Potentilla. A deep pink, almost cherry shade of the petals passes into a darker, star-shaped center.
But, as follows from the description of the variety, in terms of height, the Nepalese Potentilla Ron Mac Bis is distinguished by the smallest size, reaching only 30 cm. But the flowering is very abundant and long, it can last from May to September.
Flowers of this variety have a coral shade with a traditional darker center. The very name of the variety characterizes the flowering period, which is long in time and in the number of flowers formed, from mid-June to mid-September.
It adapts well to almost any soil, but such an abundant flowering requires a sunny location.
Another of the popular varieties of Nepalese Potentilla, blooming during June-July. The petals have a light coral hue, which turns into an orange-red center.
The bushes of this variety are medium in size, growing up to 50 cm.
Flowers of this variety look no less attractive than other varieties of Potentilla. Salmon orange petals have lighter, creamier tints. Many veins emanate from the dark center, beautifully streaking with light petals.
Application in landscape design
In the landscape design of the site, Nepalese cinquefoil looks very impressive in a single planting, thanks to the original coloring of the flowers, especially if you create a carpet from several of its varieties of different colors, for example, Miss Wilmott, Roxana and Legend. She will have to go to the yard on large alpine hills, in gardens among stones.
Borders of Potentilla plants planted in a row will also look great, with which you can fence flower beds or paths.
But these plants are very harmoniously combined with other perennials, creating bright spots in mixborders. They will stand out favorably against the background of relatively undersized flowers, such as veronica and bells. And they will create a bright carpet that goes well with medium-sized flowers, such as cornflower, lupins, cornflowers.
How the Nepalese Potentilla reproduces
Nepalese cinquefoil can be propagated quite easily by almost any of the known methods.
Potentilla seeds can be sown at almost any time. If we are talking about sowing in room conditions, then throughout the year, if it is possible to provide a sufficient amount of light to young plants. Plants bloom only the next year after sowing, but the plants are guaranteed to be strong, healthy and you can immediately make a whole flower meadow out of them.
Judging by the reviews of gardeners, the reproduction of Potentilla by Nepalese seeds is not difficult at all. The seeds germinate well even when sown in open ground and they quickly develop powerful flowering plants.
By dividing the bush
This method of reproduction can be applied to Potentilla bushes that have lived in one place for at least 4 years. The bushes are dug up in warm weather in spring or autumn and divided into several parts with a sharp knife. So that each part contains a certain amount of roots and buds (leaves).
They are planted immediately after separation to a new place, observing the interval between plantings of 25-40 cm.
Reproduction by layering is carried out in the middle of summer, in July or in August. For this, a strong and healthy shoot is chosen that grows in the immediate vicinity of the earth's surface. It is slightly cut with a sharp knife. Then they are tilted to the ground, fixed in such a position that the incision is covered with soil. Usually, by the fall, the shoot has time to grow roots at the incision site. Then it is separated and immediately planted in light and loose soil.
Rooting cuttings can be harvested from last year's ripe cinquefoil shoots throughout the summer. Usually they are cut into a length of 9-10 cm. The lower leaves are removed, leaving only a few in the upper part of the shoot. The lowest part of the cutting is treated with phytohormones and planted in light, loose soil. You can plant them for rooting in small containers, and if there are a lot of cuttings, they are immediately placed in the soil in a shady place on the site. On top of them, it is advisable to cover them with polyethylene on arcs or plastic bottles to create a greenhouse effect of high humidity. The soil under them must be kept constantly moist. And if buds form on the cuttings during rooting, then they must be removed. In autumn, mature plants with roots can be planted in a permanent place.
Planting and caring for Nepalese Potentilla
Nepalese Potentilla is a very unpretentious and undemanding plant to care for. Nevertheless, in order for it to become a worthy decoration of the site, it is necessary to understand and fulfill all its basic preferences.
How to sow Nepalese cinquefoil for seedlings (terms, rules)
Collected or bought in a store seeds of Nepalese Potentilla retain good germination for 2-2.5 years.
Cinquefoil can be grown using seedlings literally all year round. The most convenient period is from February to April, since as a result, grown plants can be transplanted into open ground at the chosen permanent place of growth already this season (in August-September).
Attention! If the sowing is carried out in summer, autumn or winter, then the whole season it will be necessary to care for the seedlings at home, providing it with the right amount of light and a sufficient amount of moisture.
Since the seeds of Potentilla are small in size, they sow it superficially on moistened soil and lightly sprinkle it with fine sand on top. In room conditions at a temperature of + 20-22 ° C, it is advisable to cover the sown seeds with glass or polyethylene to maintain the necessary humidity. The first shoots should appear in about 12-15 days.
During this period, caring for young Potentilla sprouts is reduced to placing them in a bright, cool place with a temperature of about + 18 ° C and to moderate watering 2-3 times a week.
Nepalese Potentilla Pick
The seedlings develop very slowly during the first 3-6 weeks. It seems that they are frozen in place and do not grow at all. After 4-5 weeks of development, when the first true leaves appear, young Potentilla sprouts can be sorted into separate containers. If you do this carefully, trying to touch the microscopic roots to a minimum, then the plants will not only not stop growing, but will begin to develop at a faster rate.
When picking, it is important to take into account the acidic and mechanical composition of the soil. Due to its unpretentiousness, Potentilla will grow on almost any soil, but will not show that abundant and long flowering, which it is capable of under favorable conditions. Plants prefer light and loose soils with a neutral or even slightly slightly alkaline reaction.
When warm weather is established, it is already permissible to plant seedlings at the age of 2-2.5 months in a permanent place in open ground.
Potentilla seedlings will not require any special care. Plants only need to be watered regularly, trying not to overdo it with the amount of moisture. After two months, young plants can be fed with a highly diluted compound fertilizer.
Planting Nepalese Potentilla in open ground
You can plant Potentilla plants in open ground at any warm season, from May to September inclusive. Moreover, transplanting bushes, if necessary, is also possible, both in spring and in autumn after flowering.
Despite the fact that plants are able to exist and in partial shade, this choice will not be the best for their full development. Nepalese cinquefoil is able to show itself in all its glory only in an area well-lit by the sun. After all, if you look closely at the flowering plant, it will become clearly visible that in cloudy and sunny weather the flowers do not even fully open.
In terms of soil preparation, drainage must be monitored. In the place of future planting, water should not stagnate.
Attention! Best of all, Nepalese Potentilla will feel at the foot of the roots of clematis, forming a blooming carpet there and protecting the delicate vine from overheating of the roots on hot summer days.
Planting Potentilla plants itself will not cause any difficulties even for novice gardeners. Plants are planted in holes specially dug and spilled with water, keeping a distance of 20-30 cm between them.
Follow-up care (watering, feeding, loosening, mulching, pruning, preparing for winter)
If the weather is dry and hot, then Potentilla needs watering 2-3 times a week. For 1 sq. meter of planting is consumed in this case about 10 liters of water.
In rainy and cloudy weather, watering of plants should be limited, since the root system of flowers can suffer from excessive moisture.
Three times during the entire vegetative period, Potentilla can be fed with organic fertilizers. It is very good to add an ash solution to them. It is better to time fertilizing with the following phases of plant development:
- in early spring, immediately after the melting of the main snow cover;
- around mid-May, at the time of the formation of the first buds on the plant;
- after flowering - in August or September.
Instead of loosening the soil and removing weeds under the cinquefoil, it is more advisable to use mulching with any organic matter: hay, straw, rotted sawdust. This can be done both in spring and throughout the growing season.
Only withered, dried and diseased shoots are cut off from plants. Regular removal of wilted flowers will result in longer flowering times.
The Nepalese Potentilla flower tolerates almost any frost. The bushes should be protected only in regions where in winter there are simultaneously frosts above -25 ° C and thaws to zero and above. In this case, a good layer of mulch or coniferous spruce branches can help.
Pests and diseases
In general, plants are rarely attacked by parasites and pathogens.
But with an excess of moisture, Nepalese Potentilla plants can be affected by fungal diseases: rust, powdery mildew or brown spot. For processing, use Bordeaux liquid or any systemic fungicide.
Of the pests, the most active are usually scoops, which are easy to fight by spraying with any insecticide: Fitoverm, Fufanon and others.
Nepalese cinquefoil is a very unpretentious perennial flowering plant that will be a welcome guest on almost any site. It gets along well with any flowers, and it may well act as a soloist, decorating a flower bed or border.