Proper Pruning of a Potentilla Shrub
Steps to Prune a Potentilla
I have been growing different perenials for many years and the easiest of all plants to grow is the Potentilla Shrub. They are actually like dry conditions so grow well during the summer. If it doesn't rain for a while, the plant will do just fine.
Pruning a potentilla shrub is just about as easy as watering one. The main thing is to clean out the shrub. Get the dead branches out and then prune it back enough to allow new growth room to spread out. The general rule of thumb is not to remove more than 1/3 of the plant. I prefer to keep it to no more than 1/2 of the plant to be removed.
Try to remove the branches near the base of the shrub. The potentilla can also be dug up and sub divided like a hosta. Feel free to dig up the plant trying to keep the root ball in tact. You can then split the entire plant. This will allow you to replant the shrub back in the original location and it will quickly grow back. You will still have the other part of the shrub to plant in another location.
When trimming the shrub, do not trim out near the buds. This will certainly not kill the shrub but it just won't grow quite as fast. The best time to do all this trimming is sometime during the mid-spring season. During the course of the summer, it is advisable to pinch off the buds that are not growing into flowers. All that non-flowing buds do is rob the plant of growing energy.
So, in summary, when you follow these steps to prune a potentilla, you will pretty much guarantee more growth for your plants.