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Physocarpus opulifolius (Common Ninebark)

Common Ninebark, Atlantic Ninebark

Physocarpus Opulifolius, Common Ninebark, Atlantic Ninebark

Physocarpus opulifolius (Common Ninebark) is a fast-growing, upright, spreading, deciduous shrub with an exquisite fountain shape and incredibly decorative exfoliating bark. Profuse creamy-white flowers, delicately pink-tinged, appear in dense, rounded clusters in late spring before they give way to drooping clusters of red fruit in fall. Rich in nectar, the blossoms attract plenty of beneficial insects. The flowers contrast beautifully with the interesting maple-like foliage of green lobed leaves, which turns yellow in the fall. Hidden by the foliage during the growing season, the bark is revealed in all its splendor later in the season, peeling in multiple strips to display layers of reddish to light brown inner bark, providing winter interest. Known for its strong hardiness, insect and disease resistance, and drought tolerance, Common Ninebark is a splendid screening and hedge plant.

  • Grows up to 5-8 ft. tall (150-240 cm) and 4-6 ft. wide (120-180 cm).
  • This plant is easily grown in full sun to part shade in average, slightly acidic, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils. Best bloom display occurs in full sun but appreciates some afternoon shade in hot summer areas. Tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, including dry soil and clay soil. Common Ninebark does not enjoy hot and humid summer climates. Drought tolerant.
  • Perfect as a specimen plant or planted in groups. Great for mixed shrub borders, hedges, and screens or for banks and slopes (erosion control).
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for fireblight and leaf spots.
  • May be cut back to the ground in winter to rejuvenate.
  • Propagate by fall-sown seed or semi-hardwood cuttings.
  • Prune as required immediately after bloom
  • Native to central and eastern North America.

Requirements

Hardiness 2 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 10
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, A1, A2, A3
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Rosaceae
Genus Physocarpus
Common names Ninebark, Common Ninebark
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Late)
Fall
Height 5' - 8'
(150cm - 240cm)
Spread 4' - 6'
(120cm - 180cm)
Spacing 48" - 72"
(120cm - 180cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low, Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, New York, Maine, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Maryland, Massachusetts, Delaware, Vermont, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Northeast, Southwest, Rocky Mountains, Southeast, Midwest, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Missouri, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia, Arkansas, West Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Oklahoma, Colorado
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil, Clay Soil, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Banks And Slopes, Beds And Borders, Hedges And Screens
Garden Styles Traditional Garden, Informal and Cottage
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Physocarpus capitatus (Pacific Ninebark)
Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diabolo’ (Common Ninebark)

Recommended Companion Plants

Betula nigra (River Birch)
Chionanthus virginicus (Fringe Tree)
Calycanthus floridus (Carolina Allspice)
Illicium floridanum (Florida Anise)
Amsonia tabernaemontana (Blue Star)
Iris sibirica (Siberian Iris)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 2 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 10
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, A1, A2, A3
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Rosaceae
Genus Physocarpus
Common names Ninebark, Common Ninebark
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Late)
Fall
Height 5' - 8'
(150cm - 240cm)
Spread 4' - 6'
(120cm - 180cm)
Spacing 48" - 72"
(120cm - 180cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low, Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, New York, Maine, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Maryland, Massachusetts, Delaware, Vermont, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Northeast, Southwest, Rocky Mountains, Southeast, Midwest, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Missouri, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia, Arkansas, West Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Oklahoma, Colorado
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil, Clay Soil, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Banks And Slopes, Beds And Borders, Hedges And Screens
Garden Styles Traditional Garden, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Not sure which Physocarpus (Ninebark) to pick?
Compare Now

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