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propagating perennials: Potentilla Fruticosa “Katherine Dykes or K. Dykes”-Shrubby Cinquefoil
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Friday, April 4, 2008

Potentilla Fruticosa “Katherine Dykes or K. Dykes”-Shrubby Cinquefoil

Potentilla “K. Dykes” can be propagated by layering and is my favorite flowering deciduous shrub, because of its growth habit, whose bare branches in winter aren’t typical of most deciduous and bright yellow blooms all summer, however after purchasing some on E-Bay they finally gave the fight up because the North Carolina summer heat was just too much for them to survive. There are white, pink and orange varieties as well. What I liked about K. Dykes was its cascading branches and grew no taller than three feed but spread as much as five. I used them extensively when I did design/build in Colorado. What I am trying to say is don’t fight Mother Nature and purchase plant material that isn’t recommended for your zone, because Mother Nature will most always win out, she is not biased. I visited my sister while on a business trip and noticed the big boxes and garden centers were selling crapemyrtles which I thought was strange because when I lived in VA, north of the Blue Ridge Parkway there weren’t crapemyrtles, but when I moved south of the Parkway you couldn’t get away from them. I gave into my sister’s wishes and purchased a beautiful multi-stemmed pink crapemyrtle for their garden bed, but it didn’t survive the winter. Why garden centers introduce plants that aren’t hardy for their zone is about greed or they are totally ignorant of hardiness zones. When I write about perennials or woody plants don’t assume that the plants I write about are hardy in your area, I am in Zone 7. Check into it first. Type in the plant name then after type in the words “plant zone” and up will pop the zones they are considered hardy in. Or go to Michigan Bulb and select your zone. I use to purchase cow manure from Wal Mart, but then they changed manufacturers and noticed there was a lot of sand mixed in, the new bag said “composted cow manure,”I have tons of silt from a stream behind my home, so I went to HD & Lowe’s and found that Lowe’s had the right mix at the cheapest price. Shop around. Update: The Periwinkle shown in the picture to the left are planted in two gallon containers( 5) and have been for two years and to show novices just how invasive it can become I went out and trimmed back the plants and got enough cuttings to pot up an additional five healthy one gallon containers.


J said...

Thanks for the very informative post!

I have a long, steep slope behind my house, and I was thinking about potentilla for some of it. I'm happy to have your recommendation, and bonus that it has some winter interest.

I'm zone 5 (used to be zone 4, but the times are a-changin'). This is a really informative blog. Thank you so much!

bullthistle said...

I like yellow best, but Abbottswood is a good white. Some varieties are upright, which I don't care for. Good luck!

J said...

Ah! So some potentillas are upright. Glad for that bit of information, too. I've been looking at Abbottswood, so I'm glad to know you know of it.

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