Ninebark grows 6 to 10 feet tall and wide, in zones 2-8. The white , cup-shaped flower heads are attractive to birds, bees and butterflies. Ninebark is drought tolerant, requires little maintenance and is suitable for xeriscaping.
Special features of ninebarks
Dart's golden ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius 'Dart's golden') - is a more compact shrub with light striking yellow spring foliage fading to a chartreuse yellow-green in summer. It has showy white flowering clusters in early summer and fantastic golden-orange fall color.
Diabolo ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius 'Monlo')[/url] is well known for its rich purple foliage. Its white flowers in late spring to early summer blooms make a distinctive visual contrast to the dark purple foliage (shown in photo).
Choosing a site to grow ninebarks
Ninebark grows best in acidic, well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade, but is adaptable to many soil conditions.
Prepare the garden bed by using a garden fork or tiller to loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, then mix in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the pot the plant is in. Carefully remove the plant from its container and place it in the hole so the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Carefully fill in around the root ball and firm the soil gently. Water thoroughly.
Water regularly until established. After it's established, ninebark is drought-tolerant. You can propagate from hardwood cuttings. Established shrubs require annual pruning to maintain their shape. Prune early each spring by removing some of the oldest branches by cutting them off at the base. Do not ingest this plant, as all parts of the ninebark are known to be poisonous.