Nepal cinquefoil – info, planting, care and tips

Nepal cinquefoil (Potentilla nepalensis)
Nepal cinquefoil (Potentilla nepalensis) - by Hectonichus

Its adaptability and low care requirements make the Nepal cinquefoil a versatile perennial treasure.

Profile of Nepal cinquefoil:

Scientific name: Potentilla nepalensis

Plant family: rose family (Rosaceae)

Other names: –

Sowing time: spring

Planting time: spring to autumn

Flowering period: June to September

Location: sunny to partially shady

Soil quality: sandy to loamy, nutrient rich, humus rich

These information are for temperate climate!

Use in: flowerbeds, single planting, group planting, borders, flower garden, natural garden, rock garden

Winter hardiness: hardy, USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 5 (-26 °C / -15 °F)

Bee and insect friendly: Yes

Plant characteristics and classification of Nepal cinquefoil

Plant order, origin and occurrence of Nepal cinquefoil

The Nepal cinquefoil (Potentilla nepalensis), which belongs to the rose family (Rosaceae), is native to East Asia and the Himalayas. Its distribution area stretches from Pakistan to Nepal, where it mainly settles on mountain meadows and pastures from altitudes of 2,000 to 2,700 meters (6,500 to 8,800 ft). Because of its intense flower color, it is a popular parent species for the diverse cultivations of the garden cinquefoil.

Characteristics of Nepal cinquefoil


The Nepal cinquefoil grows as a deciduous, loosely bushy perennial and reaches 40 to 60 centimeters (16 and 24 in) in height. Its shoots are overhanging and arching and rise again at the tips. If it can support itself on neighboring plants, it grows upright.


As characteristic for the genus of cinquefoils, Potentilla nepalensis also has finger-like basal leaves. With it they show a deep green coloration and consist of relatively broad, strawberry-like pinnate leaves.


From June to September the Nepal cinquefoil adorns itself with bowl-shaped flowers of cherry red to deep pink color with a darker center. They are terminal, have five petals and grow to about 2.5 cm (1 in) in diameter.


The fruits of the plants are nutlets.

Nepal cinquefoil – cultivation and care


Nepal cinquefoil loves sunny locations, but also gets along well with partially shady places.


Nepal cinquefoil is not picky about soil conditions, as it grows in almost any loose garden soil. Good permeability is an advantage.


Potted plants can be planted practically any time. It is advisable to leave a distance of 35 centimeters (14 in) between the individual plants, and plant eight specimens per square meter (10 sq ft). You should avoid vigorously growing neighboring plants.

Care / Watering / Fertilization

The Nepal cinquefoil is one of the easy-to-care-for perennials that thrive willingly without any particular effort. If it is very dry for a longer period, one should water a little bit. In spring, you can add some compost and/or horn shavings as a fertilizer.


The best way to propagate Nepal cinquefoil vegetatively is to divide it in spring or autumn or by cutting in spring. Seeds of the pure species and also of the variety ‘Miss Willmott’ are available. You can also gather seeds from plants in your garden and use these. Sowing is best done in spring.

Diseases and pests

The robust plant has no susceptibility whatsoever, it is even spared from snail damage.


The plant is hardy down to -26 °C / -15 °F.

Use in the garden

The Nepal cinquefoil can be used in many ways in the garden: In the bed as well as on the edge of a wood or on sunny open spaces, it knows how to inspire with its colorful flowers. Instead of being used alone, it is better to combine it with accompanying shrubs and ornamental grasses, with which it likes to interweave its growing shoots.


Already in 1920 the variety Potentilla nepalensis ‘Miss Willmott’ was introduced in England. It was named after the English garden and plant lover Ellen Willmott. It is characterized by cherry-red flowers with a dark center and long flowering time. The variety ‘Fire dancing’ forms orange flowers with yellow edges.


  1. I hate to say this but it is difficult for me to tell when a flower bud has or has not bloomed yet! I never get more than half a dozen blooms at one time and wonder what I need to do. I fertilize in the spring and not much after that. It is on a slight slope with drip irrigation which I’ve been running an hour and a quarter every 3 days since it got really hot in Oregon’s Willamette valley. I’m not sure if I cut stems with unopened blooms or what!

    • I guess I need to tell you what plant I’m talking about! I was on the page describing the potentilla nepalensis- Nepal cinquefoil but perhaps this comment section doesn’t know that.

      • Maybe you should wait till all flowers has withered, and then cut the whole plant back? Hope hat works.

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