Physocarpus opulifolius, commonly known as Ninebark, is a shrub that can work for almost any landscape. Varieties come in different colors and sizes. All provide year-round interest. Below are 9 reasons to love Ninebark.
1. It’s a Growing Place Choice Plant!
We choose plants to be Growing Place Choice plants because they perform well year after year and stay attractive with less maintenance (when planted in the right place). The reliability and ease of these plants help your landscape and gardens thrive.
All varieties of Physocarpus opulifolius, or Ninebark we carry are on our Growing Place Choice list. Click to learn more about each: Gingerwine Ninebark, Little Devil Ninebark, Amber Jubilee Ninebark, Summerwine Black Ninebark, and Diablo Ninebark.
2. Spring Foliage
Ninebark leaves are alternate, with soft edges of 3 to 5 points. Leaf color can be yellow, orange, lime green, burgundy, or deep purple. Eric Gundersen, Tree & Shrub Manager, says “Leaf colors get brighter when planted in full sun.”
3. Summer Blooms
Blooms range from pink to white in late spring to early summer. The button-like clusters of flowers are followed by bright red seed pods. Use cut branches of blooms as filler in flower arrangements. Prune as needed after flowering. “They like good air circulation,” says Eric.
4. Fall Color
On many varieties, new leaf growth changes color as seasons progress. Summer Wine and Diablo varieties stay burgundy into fall. Amber Jubilee unfolds in shades of yellow and orange to lime green before turning purple in fall. Michael Massat, Manager-TGP Aurora says “The leaf tones provide good contrast against a green lawn or landscaping.” Plant a specimen as the background in a perennial garden or line a walkway with Ninebarks.
5. Winter Interest
Ninebarks are named because of their exfoliating bark. The peeling layers reveal the reddish-brown inner bark, creating interest in winter once the leaves drop. Ninebarks look best when allowed to retain their natural size and shape. Choose one for the size that fits the area where you want to plant.
6. Full Sun to Part Shade
Plant all Ninebark in full sun to part shade in average, well-drained soil. Full sun is considered to be six or more hours of sunshine, anytime during the day. Foliage color will be brighter in full sun. Part shade is lightly filtered sun, or 3-5 hours of morning sun and/or late afternoon sun.
7. Drought Tolerant
Ninebarks add color and texture to your landscape even if under drought conditions. They keep their cascading habit, not wilting without rain once established. They handle occasional poor drainage or flooding as well.
8. Disease Resistant
While no variety of plant is completely immune to disease, Ninebarks can overcome the effects of pathogens to some degree. Removing interior branches for air circulation and spacing appropriately when planting help deter disease such as powdery mildew.
9. Pollinator Plant
Spring to summer blooms full of nectar and pollen attract butterflies and bees. Birds munch on the insects in the dense, arching branches. Get a closer view of wildlife by planting Ninebarks in your landscape.