Shrub - Physocarpos 'diablo' (Ninebark)

ZebrinaZ4NYS(z4NYS)February 15, 2005

Does anyone have experience growing this shrub? Is it an attractive plant for both sides of a walkway and does it really take a good deal of shade? Know of any online nurseries that carry this shrub.

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shapiro(5a Ontario)

I have two Ninebark shrubs: the Diablo and Dart's Gold which has lime-green foliage (nice contrast). The thing about ninebark is that it grows like stink! It looks great all year long, the blooms are not very significant. The shrub can reach five to seven feet across. Mine are growing in full sun, and the sites I visited say that ninebark can grow in partial shade. But here is the catch: like most plants with "coloured" leaves, if you grow it in a too shady location, the leaves tend to go green. They loose their special colour. Because it grows so fast and big, I don't know if it would be a good idea next to a walkway... you would probably need to keep trimming it back so that people could get by. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2005 at 8:49PM
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cailinriley(z3 Calgary AB)

There's a more compact version of 'Diablo' on the market this year that would better suit being placed near a walkway. I don't know how available it will be. I loved my 'Diablo' so much that I planted two more at the end of last season. I may regret that, since I really want to have the new cultivar instead.

I've had 'Diablo' in the garden for a few years, and have never had a problem until last summer. It, and several other plants, were attacked by aphids near the end of the season. That was the first time I had any pests on the plant, so it could have just been a strange year. However, the plant was crawling with hornets, as a result. Not something you would want next to a walkway. I agree with Shapiro that ninebarks look their best in full sun to very light shade.

I've attached a link to one of the many sites that feature the new shrub, Physocarpus 'Summer Wine'.

Here is a link that might be useful: Physocarpus 'Summer Wine'

    Bookmark   February 16, 2005 at 12:34AM
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Does anyone have experience growing the smaller size Redtwig Dogwoods in z4 in 'open shade'. Are they attractive in summer and are they suitable for both sides of a walkway? Would appreciate info on any attractive shrubs about 5'tall for shade in z4. Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2005 at 8:20PM
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gordonf(z8a/Vancouver I)

I've had a Diabolo Ninebark for 2 or 3 years . The first 2 years it bloomed beautifully (I love the flowers contrasted with the dark leaves), but last summer it didn't bloom. However, it grew straight up to over 6 feet high last summer! It only gets mid-day sunlight and has shade for the rest of the day. The leaves are a lovely dark burgundy. Love it!!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2005 at 12:10AM
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To: gordonf Thanks for the info. I wonder why it didn't bloom this year? Sounds like it grows really fast and big - probably not the best plant for walkways. Regards, ZebrinaZ4NYS

    Bookmark   February 20, 2005 at 5:23PM
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janie_on(z6a Ontario)

putting in my two cents here -- I think that it blooms on old wood if you trim it, that could be the reason that it hasn't bloomed.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2005 at 6:36PM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

Get ready for a new cultivar, just now released to certain nurserymen for propagation. From the breeding at the Landscape Development Center in Minnesota. The name has been decided, as I have read it, but I can't seem to find the epithet now. Sorry. Contains genes from Diablo and a yellow form, I think 'Darts Gold'.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2005 at 4:29PM
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To leftwood: Wow! Thanks for the picture. It will be awhile before it makes in into catalogs. Always good to hear from a zone 4 gardener. Thanks again. Regards, Zebrina

    Bookmark   February 24, 2005 at 6:11PM
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leftwood, Dominion Seeds lists a new one called Coppertina in which I believe has the same breeding as you've mentioned. Think I've also seen it listed in Hole's catalogue. Looks GREAT to me and can't wait to grow this one! Terry

    Bookmark   February 25, 2005 at 12:54AM
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chris_ont(5a Ont)

I planted a diablo two years ago. I like the way it's filling in but it seems to be leaning toward the light. It gets full sun from noon until 6-7pm in the summer and its leaves are nice and dark, so I'm not sure why it's reaching for the light.
I can see that I'll have to make more room for it. Fast grower!


    Bookmark   February 25, 2005 at 11:55AM
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To Chris: Thanks for the info. Ninebark is supposed to tolerate a good deal of shade - odd that with the amount of sun it is getting it seems to be reaching for more. Doesn't bode well for my shady site. Thanks again. Regards, Zebrina

    Bookmark   February 25, 2005 at 7:32PM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

I would recognize the name of the new cultivar out of Minnnesota, and Coppertina is not it. I assume Coppertina is different enough from the other cultivars to warrant a new name and from the name it at least sounds cool. On the other hand, with the bizillion hosta cultivars out there, one wonders.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2005 at 4:05PM
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Coppertina is cross between Dart's Gold and Diabolo. It was developed in France at Minier Nursery. It is a bright copper red in the spring and turns to a good red in summer.
The seed heads are a bright cardinal red.

I think the plant from MN is called Center Glow. I have a few plants but have not had them long enought give a description. I'm told that the new growth has is lighter in color thus the name Center Glow. This plant was Developed by Harold Pellet who has done some excellent breeding for hardy plants. I have not seen flower or fruit yet.

Summer Wine is a new compact plant that is a cross between Nana and Diabolo. I has smaller, dark redish-black leaves, finer branching. It is more refined in habit and better suited for residential gardens. The flower are more pink than diablo and the seed heads are dark red.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2005 at 11:38AM
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nancyd(5/Rochester, NY)

Question - My ninebark was planted last year but has put on little growth. Gets sun from mid-day on. I keep reading what a fast grower this is, yet mine seems stunted. What could be the problem? I can't see any obvious problems with it - looks otherwise healthy.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2005 at 3:57PM
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I agree. Summer wine is an improvement over Diablo in its size. There is a new golden dwarf form as well, 'Nugget.' It's a knockout and stays compact, unlike Dart's Gold.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2005 at 9:27PM
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Pink_Petunia(3a Cnd)

If I was doing a shrub for a walkway, depending on the height you want, I'd go with the small spireas.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 3:18PM
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Cady(6b/Sunset34 MA)

Your plant might not have had a big root system, and may have been spending the last season filling out underground. Give it time and you'll probably see good growth later in the season.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 12:39PM
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nancyd(5/Rochester, NY)

Thanks, Cady. I have seen new growth the past few weeks, but I guess I was expecting too much, too soon. It's a healthy plant so your suggestion is probably what's going on. Normally I'm very patient, but this is a screening issue so I'm anxious. Thanks for responding.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 1:32PM
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I have a ninebark that has more green than purple leaves. When I bought it I thought it was just because the green was new growth. After about a year the whole plant is almost green with just a little purple. The nursery told me to trim all the green off so that the purple will take over. If I do this I'm afraid I won't have any plant left.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 8:15PM
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blackthum: just my opinion but if 'the whole plant is almost green', it sounds like the green has already taken over. I don't think there is much chance of it changing back to purple. Have you considered taking some cuttings from the purple and trying to root them? I think you would have better luck that way.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 10:47AM
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I am planning on planting near the house. There is drain tile 5 feet below the plant. Will the roots go that deep and cause us repair problems in the future??

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 12:24PM
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