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Michele A

Ninebark problems

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I have had two people tell me their ninebarks have mostly dead branches on them.  Was the winter hard on this shrub????

Mine died after I had it only 3 years.  Yet, when I look on line most articles said this is a really easy shrub that thrives in most conditions. 

 

Any one know of reasons that Diablo ninebarks fail to thrive?

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My 4 year old Diablo came through with flying colors. It's getting ready to bloom. It's in a spot that is exposed to NW winds so it's definitely not sheltered. I think a lot of the damage to shrubs this year was caused by leftover stress from the drought two years ago in the Detroit area. I felt my plants were finally getting back to normal by the end of last summer after I gave them a lot of extra attention. Had I not done that, they may not have been able to shake off the effects of the extreme winter we had. If you were in a drought area, your Ninebark was not completely established when that drought hit. Provided your site is suitable for Ninebark, I'd give it another go. Be careful about watering it enough. I have a neighbor who can't understand why the spruce trees she plants die every year. She has in-ground lawn sprinklers and thinks they should be supplying sufficient water for newly planted trees.

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I have had a Ninebark Diablos for at least 10 years and probably longer. I do prune out the older  branches. I encountered some dead older branches last year. I just pruned them out. The shrub always blooms and looks great. I have it in a west facing bed. I also have a Copperglow Ninebark that was dug up and transplanted in our south bed which hardly gets watered. I did water it regularly in May and June and then sporadically after that.  It bounced back and is  doing just fine there.  I plan on  buying the relatively new  Amber Jubillee smaller shrub this spring for one of our back gardens.  I also have a native Ninebark I bought from WIldtype Nursery 2 years ago. It shot up pretty tall last summer and bloomed.  I pruned off the 2 horizontal  branches that were close to the ground to keep a more vertical shape. NInebark shrubs I have found are great easy care drought tolerant shrubs.

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Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) is native all over eastern North America, Florida to northern Ontario. It's pretty much able to handle all kinds of winter.

It can't handle a lot of shade or compacted soil, though. Grown in that kind of situation it seems it doesn't take much to push it over the edge. And I've seen it eaten to nothing -- stems girdled by voles.

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Ninebark problems: I am a volunteer at MSU  Tollgate in Novi. Their Ninebark Diablo that has been in the Castle Demo garden in the big parking lot, is basically dead. I was shocked to see it last season, obviously in distress. There are a lot of suckers coming from the  base. I did recommend to Roy that it should be just dug up and disposed of. Maybe as others have commented, the drought we had had and a problem with the water sprinkler set up, may be the culprit. Question now in this NW facing garden of shrubs and grasses, what to replace it with? The water system has been extended and

upgraded, so if another Ninebark variety is planted it may be fine.

 

In my own yard, a large transplanted Ninebark Diable to a neighbor's yard didn't fair well. I think the culprit there is not enough watering and maybe not enough roots taken when transplanted.

 

I transplanted a Copper Glow Ninebark to a south facing garden 2 years ago, and with more watering 

the first season, has settled in nicely.

 

I bought a Amber Jubilee last spring due to all the hype about the tricolor leaves of orange/yellow/ red. When I bought it, it had those leaf colors. I was soon disappointed as the summer wore on. So much for a nice color contrast to the green Arborvitae behind it, that ninebark faded into the garden.

Another fellow gardener bought an Amber Jubille last season too and is also disappointed in it. On one website, it says the 'new' growth only in spring has those colors, later it is a 'dull green'. My neighbor bought a 'Lady in  Red' compact Ninebark and it did retain the reddish leaf color.

 

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