McKays White Potentilla (Potentilla fruticosa ‘McKay’s White’)

McKays White Potentilla

This compact, carefree flowering shrub is a garden designer’s secret! Highly ornamental McKay’s White Potentilla (Potentilla fruticosa ‘McKay’s White’) features beautiful, deep-green ferny foliage. The delicate leaves are the perfect contrast to the pristine, creamy white blooms that cover it from top to bottom, all growing season-long!

The showy flowers start blooming in late spring. Each saucer-shaped white blossom has a bright yellow center and the flower power continues right up until the first frost! You’ll really notice them, as they display themselves on the ends of the branches.

The foliage looks dense, lush, and full at a distance. But up close? The delicate texture adds a sweetness to the look that is matched by the open-faced, five-petaled blooms. These multi-stemmed shrubs grow into a rounded, compact shape. Garden designers love them because they are low-maintenance enough to handle the tough conditions of commercial plantings. Just imagine how well it will do for you!

It can live up to 30 years in the right conditions and is adaptable to almost any situation. It’s quite hardy, requiring little or no care from you, and also disease and pest resistant. As Potentilla ages, you’ll notice the bark on the branches may peel, creating an additional decorative accent for your landscape. With its long-lasting blooms, it also is a magnet for butterflies.

It’s hard to imagine a more advantageous small shrub than McKay’s White Potentilla. Its unique foliage, lovely, long-lasting flowers, and hardy nature combine to make it an outstanding choice for almost any landscape. Cold-hardy throughout USDA growing zones 2 – 7, these sun-loving arctic shrubs are so very easy to grow!

Planting and Application:

Butterflies will love the cheerful, dainty single blooms as much as you will. This native shrub is a wonderful addition to a Butterfly Garden. Potentilla are wonderful little plants to include in your perennial garden or cottage garden. They are always offering color in summer and fall.

These wonderful small shrubs are simply excellent as easy-breezy flowering foundation shrubs. Plant them 2 feet on center to create an excellent low hedge. You’ll measure from the center of one to the center of the next. They are the perfect facer plant for larger shrubs that tend to be leggy. Just plant them on the sunny side of the taller plants and watch as the Potentilla fills in all the way to the ground.

You all have those hot and sunny spots in your yard. That is a great spot for McKay’s White Potentilla. Their small size and sun tolerance offers plenty of options in tough, drier sites. Plant them along walkways, driveways, and sidewalks where the sun can be merciless. Plant in that hot, xeric hell strip along the roadside or sidewalk, along walkways and sunny paths.

You may have seen McKay’s White Potentilla used on commercial sites. Commercial property owners love this plant because they grow and bloom their little heads off, with little care. There aren’t many ground-hugging flowering shrubs that put up with road salt, pet traffic, and pollution.

They can be mass planted in open sunny areas by staggering on a 3-foot spacing in a zig-zagging planting plan. Keep new mass plantings mulched and weeded until the plants grow together. They’ll prevent erosion on slopes and creek beds, too.

McKay’s White Potentilla makes great informal low hedges to define garden areas. It’s best to leave them as untrimmed natural hedges as they bloom best on last year’s growth. Recommended on many Firescaping/Fire-wise lists, the Potentilla becomes a valuable plant in areas where firescapes are required for safety.

  • Sweet Creamy White Flowers Cover this Small Shrub All Summer
  • Loved by Butterflies!
  • Fine-Textured, Dark Green Foliage
  • Peeling, Exfoliating Bark Adds Winter Interest
  • Useful Compact Size
  • Facer Plants, Edging, Low Hedges, En Masse, Foundations & Accents

Tips for Care:

Don’t let McKay’s White delicate look fool you because this Potentilla is one tough, maintenance-free plant with few if any problems. Plant this shrub in full sun for the best flowering.

McKay’s White Potentilla won’t like standing water, so please select a site that dries out quickly after a rainfall. However, it will thrive in most soil types, as long as they are well-drained. For continued bloom, give these sun lovers a moderate amount of water on a regular basis, plus a layer of mulch over the soil surface. Water them carefully to establish. Once established, they are quite self-sufficient in most areas.

In late winter or early spring, before you start to see new growth, you’ll want to prune your shrub to keep it neat and tidy. Every 3-5 years, perform a rejuvenation pruning to keep up the flower power. Simply prune out the thickest, oldest, and longest stems out right to the ground. You’ll leave the younger, thinner stems in place for the best bloom.

How easy is that?

  • Easy Care In Full Sun
  • Highly Adaptable to Any Well-Drained Site – Tolerates Poor Soils
  • Moderate to Low Moisture Needs Once Established
  • Prune Late Winter To Shape
  • Truly Carefree, Cold Hardy & Widely Adapted
  • Deer Seem to Leave this Plant Alone

You’ll love them dearly! You’ll love this undemanding, but high-impact rounded little shrub.

McKays White Potentilla (Potentilla fruticosa ‘McKay’s White’) Details

Common name McKays White Potentilla
Botanical name Potentilla fruticosa 'McKay's White'
Plant type Deciduous
Hardiness zone 2-7
Growth rate Medium
Height 2 - 3 ft.
Width 2 - 3 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun
Moisture Medium to Low Once Established
Soil condition Widely Adaptable
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Pruning time Late Winter
Flower color White