Prune potentilla shrubs by removing old stems, cutting back dead wood, shaping the shrub, pruning damaged limbs and trimming crossed branches. Shear the shrub heavily to rejuvenate it. You need a pair of pruning shears.
- Remove old stems
Remove three of the oldest branches, cutting the chosen limbs down to the ground. Start in the spring of the shrub's third growing season and repeat every following year.
- Cut back dead wood
Check for dead limbs by scratching the branches. If the wood underneath the branches is not green, cut them down to the ground.
- Shape the shrub
Shape the shrub by pruning one-third of the branches every year. Create a natural shape with the remaining branches.
- Prune damaged limbs
Prune the damaged limbs. Cut them off well below the damaged point into at least 6 inches of healthy wood.
- Trim crossed branches
At the end of the growing season after the plant blooms, cut back any branches that are crossed or rubbing together. Trim the limbs down to the nearest bud or branch.
- Shear the plant heavily
In order to control a large and unruly potentilla shrub and rejuvenate it, shear it heavily by cutting the limbs down to the ground.