Ninebark bush (Physocarpus opulifolius 'Coppertina')

Asked September 19, 2016, 5:17 PM EDT

I have had two ninebark bushes for about 8 years. They were planted alongside two viburnum bushes which outgrew them and shaded them. I transplanted the ninebarks to a sunnier location, morning sun but afternoon shade. They have never done well in either location. Right now they are almost completely devoid of leaves. I saw ninebarks in Washington DC this spring and in Maine a year ago in August and they were dense with leaves and just beautiful. Do they need to be moved again, or watered often, or fed, or do they just not do well in my area?

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

Physocarpus opulifolius 'Coppertina' as mentioned in several references adapts well to difficult situations and transplants easily, grows in full sun to part shade in dry situations, and can be renewed by cutting to the ground in late winter, etc.

We have had anecdotal information that this can be a difficult shrub to grow but do not have specifics. It can be subject to leaf spots and powdery mildew and just does not thrive in some landscapes. It is up to you if you want to nurture by keeping it watered during dry periods and make sure mulch is no thicker than several inches and keep away from the base of the stems. Or take the opportunity to plant another species of plant.