Ninebarks are large, deciduous shrubs that are native to North America and a gardening staple due to their hardiness. Ninebarks get their name from the characteristically vertical exfoliating bark which has fostered a garden legend that the shrub has “nine lives”. This exfoliating bark peels away one layer at a time, revealing a new slightly different coloration in the layer beneath. This effect is very unique making it an interesting ornamental feature, even in the winter.
One of our favorite varieties of the ninebark is the Diablo. They grow to be 6′-8′ tall and their contrasting mahogany-purple leaves with the pinkish-white flowers creates a beautiful backdrop to your garden. The almost black cascading foliage, with the airy clusters of blooms gives the illusion that the flowers are floating mid-air. All ninebarks are fast growers and need to be pruned to maintain their shape. Some gardeners like to let them grow “wild”, while others prefer to prune them back. They also become a beautiful hedge, making it a very versatile shrub. One of the ninebarks greatest features is its flexibility. Although it will flower better in the full sun, it tolerates the partial shade really well. Likewise, while it prefers well-drained soil, it tolerates wet conditions as well. It is hardy shrub that is suited to any gardener, regardless of how green your thumb is.
At Oakridge we carry a number of different varieties of ninebarks to choose from:
Coppertina, Summer Wine, Dart’s Gold, Diablo and our newest addition, the Amber Jubiliee.