Dasiphora fruticosa is a deciduous shrub with vibrant yellow flowers that is abundant in the Northern Hemisphere and can grow in high altitudes. This shrub is a popular plant for landscaping as it can withstand a wide range of climatic conditions. These plants can survive in adverse climates and can sustain themselves in drought in the summer and freezing cold in the winter. Dasiphora fruticosa is in fact, synonymously known as Potentilla fruticosa. It is also commonly known as shrubby cinquefoil, shrubby potentilla, yellow rose, golden hardhack, bush cinquefoil or widdy.
The shrub Potentilla fruticosa is a member of the Rosaceae (Rose) family. There are over 500 species of Potentilla amongst which most are shrubs and perennials. Dasiphora fruticosa, more commonly known as Shrubby Cinquefoil, owes its name to the five-leaved structure found in most varieties. In fact, ‘cinquefoil’ means “five leaves”.
The blooms are a vibrant yellow, shaped like a butter-cup. The trunk is thick and a deep chestnut-brown. The shrub with innately textured, pinnate blue-green leaves contains an overwhelming number of blossoms, making the plant apt for the purpose of landscaping. Another reason why this plant is a popular garden flower is because of its long bloom time. The flowers bloom from spring through fall. Flowers are mostly single, though at times they may be double as well. These shrubs grow up to a height of 2-4 ft (1.22 m) and can grow up to 3- 5 ft (1.52 m) in width. The fruits, which are inedible, resemble strawberries. The plant is, therefore, also called “barren strawberry”. It grows in soil that can retain moisture, in swamps, or in rocky areas. Another good thing about Dasiphora fruticosa is that they are unlikely to be eaten up deer.
There are two primary sub-species of Dasiphora fruticosa. They are:
· Dasiphora fruticosa subsp. Fruticosa which has been described mostly from Yorkshire, England, Ireland, Europe and north and central Asia.
· Dasiphora fruticosa subsp. floribunda (Pursh) Kartesz which has been described from Canada, New York, parts of North America, Southern Europe and some parts of Asia.
How long does it take to grow Dasiphora fruticosa?
The flower time for Potentilla is from May through the beginning of September. The peak time for the blossoms is, however, May to June. Dasiphora fruticosa are deciduous shrubs and begin to lose their leaves from November, only to regain them in April or May. These are hardy plants that can survive for over 15 years.
These plants thrive in full sun for the flowers to fully bloom to their best. They can also survive in part shades and are not very selective regarding the soil.
A very beautiful way to throw in some colors in your garden during the gloom of the winters is to plant a few shrubs of Dasiphora fruticosa. These plants are best suited for cooler climates and blossom extremely well in cool temperature with a moderate supply of the full wintry sunlight. The best place to plant Dasiphora fruticosa would be a sunny place which exposes the plant to a good amount of sunlight.
Potentilla, as the plant is most often referred to, are Hardy shrubs and can grow in soils with varying pH levels. The most suited pH level range is between 5 to 7. They can grow in different types of soil as well. Though they prefer moderately fertile soil, they grow sufficiently well in clay, alkaline, rocky, dry, or poor soil. The soil must, however, be moisture-retentive. They bloom to their fullest in soil that can drain well.
Dasiphora fruticosa are plants that do not need much tending to. Once it has started to grow, it requires very little or almost no fertilizers for its growth. During spring, when the bloom is due, you can put a layer of compost in the base. You can also use an all-purpose fertilizer. To retain the soil moisture or suppress weeds growing around the base, the plant can be mulched with organic manure like leaves or wood chunks.
How to Plant and Grow Dasiphora fructicosa
The hardy shrubby cinquefoil, as it is also called, is very suitable for cold climates, adding dash of colors to the landscapes. They can withstand extreme conditions and is an excellent choice for winter. They can be placed in beds or used as borders. When planted in combination with other shrubs and trees, they give the garden a very elegant makeover.
They can be planted as hedges bordering pathways or can border a whole property line. As they flower profusely through long seasons, they are very ideal for this purpose. They can be used to landscape rock gardens and can blossom in sloppy areas. These shrubs are also ideal for urban landscaping, forming an elegant hedge along a sidewalk.
Though ideal for open space, they can also be grown in containers. One interesting thing about these plants is that they can be used for preventing soil erosion in hilly areas. They can be planted in mass or in combination with other ground-covering plants and can help the hillsides from eroding away. This makes them an excellent choice for landscaping of rock gardens. The thick chestnut branches with yellow blossoms protruding through rocky surfaces makes them an elegant landscaping choice.
How to Grow Dasiphora fruticosa from Cuttings
The best way to grow Dasiphora fruticosa is from cuttings. Cuttings are best done from the month of July to August. It is advisable to avoid cutting from flower-bearing stems. Instead, the best kind of stem to cut from is the one which is slightly woody at the bottom but top 15cms is soft and green. The top stems are favored for cuttings as they are exposed to sufficient sunlight.
A sharp knife can be used for this purpose. A cutting of 10 cm can be dipped in hormones and potted accordingly in containers filled with organic compost. The leaves at the top of the stem must not be cut off. The stem can be immersed in the pot, so that the leaves do not touch the compost. Direct sunlight for the newly cut stems must be avoided. The pot must be watered at the base from time to time.
When the stem grows, by the next spring, the plant can be transferred to a larger pot for the bloom. Dasiphora fruticosa can also be grown from seeds. However, most seeds that are for sale in the markets are cross between different varieties. So, the most preferred way for growing Dasiphora fruticosa is from cuttings.
Once established, the plant requires very little tending to. However, every plant needs watering. Dasiphora fruticosa blooms during spring. This is the time when the plant must be evenly watered, to make the roots strong and well-tethered. Other than that, watering twice a day, especially when the sun is scorching, would suffice. Dasiphora fruticosa can tolerate drought very well. However, some splash of water can do it good. It is advisable to not water overhead. Using soaker hose or drip irrigation to water these plants is an efficient way to water the plant for the most effective bloom.
Dasiphora fruticosa are low-maintenance plants and pruning once in a while to keep it stylish is all you will ever need. No extra treatment or special technique to prune them is required. They can even be pruned to the ground and will soon reappear as healthy as before. The best time to prune is in the third year of planting the shrub. This will help them maintain their structure. The older plants can be cut back by a third every few years. This helps them retain their structure, so that the blooms are profuse and prominent once again.
In extremely colder conditions, the plant may suffer dieback. In that case the dead wood can be removed before they start their bloom in early spring or during the later part of winter. Flowers are self-cleaning. They do not need to be dead-headed. In early summer, the softwood can be cut so to allow more room for growth. The blossoms may be scarce in the first year of planting but in the later years, the plant throngs with multitudes of yellow blossoms.
How to Care for Dasiphora fructicosa
It is very easy to grow this hardy shrub with the overwhelming bit of yellow flowers. It requires full sun or light shade for its growth. A good six hours of medium sunlight is sufficient to make this shrub bloom at its best. What it needs is an adequate amount of soil moisture to thrive. It does not require frequent watering and is less susceptible to diseases and pests. This is the reason why most cultivators, landscapers and plant lovers choose Dasiphora fruticosa to decorate their properties. A horde of sprightly, yellow blossoms is just what they need to give their gardens the stylish look they deserve.
Diseases and Pests
Dasiphora fruticosa are not very susceptible to diseases. They are robust plants that require little tending to. However, if exposed to very extreme conditions with very little sunlight or too much shade, then it may catch some fungal diseases. Also, fungal diseases may occur due to lack of air circulation or high humidity. The most common type of fungal disease that such plants are susceptible to are rust, mildews (Eg: Downy mildew and powdery mildew) and leaf spots. Pests might also affect the growth of these plants. The most common types of pests to infest such plants are Aphids from the Aphididae family, Froghoppers, Japanese Beetles, Leafhoppers, Lygus bugs, Spider mites, Thrips and Weevils. Overwatering may lead to the rotting of roots. These plants do not require too much water for their growth.