A Carefree Native Shrub

Why every garden could use the bright flowers and low-maintenance routine of an ornamental Ninebark bush

A great addition to any garden is the flowering native shrub Common Ninebark. It is a very hardy, flexible and low-maintenance plant that grows to a height and width of approximately 2 metres. It makes a great ornamental bush or hedgerow in a garden or along a driveway.

Once established, Ninebark is virtually carefree and only requires pruning to shape after bloom if desired. It will do well in most soil types and prefers well-drained sites but can tolerate some drought or waterlogged conditions. It thrives in part sun/shade but prefers more sun for better flowering. It is also hardy to zone 3 (Northern Ontario and Quebec) making it strong enough to endure winter in many parts of Canada.

Common Ninebark flowers from May to June and has bright pinkish-white clusters of blossoms that contrast nicely against the dark green foliage. Its flowers also help to attract many beneficial pollinating species into the garden such as bees and butterflies. In the fall it produces clusters of bright red berries and the leaves turn an attractive yellow before they drop off. This exposes its interesting peeling tan bark for the winter, which helps to give this plant multi-season appeal.

In addition to the Common Ninebark variety, you can choose from many hybrid varieties in different shapes and sizes. With its yellow foliage throughout the season, ‘Dart’s Golden’ is a great variety to brighten up a garden. For those who prefer a darker look, the ‘Diablo’ variety offers deep purple-red leaves with the same pinkish-white blossom clusters.

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