Ninebark Physocarpus opulifolius 'Schuch'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
ninebark 'Schuch'


The Plant referred to by the name Physocarpus opulifolius 'Schuch' is also known as Ninebark. It boasts a visually striking presence in gardens and landscapes. This variety is particularly noted for its appealing foliage, flowers, and bark, contributing to its popularity among gardeners and landscapers. The leaves of the Ninebark are usually a vibrant shade, often with a hint of deep reddish or purplish hue that adds a lush, colorful aesthetic throughout the growing season. This captivating color palette makes it an excellent choice for bringing contrast and interest to a planting scheme. The shape of the leaves is generally rounded with a serrated edge, and they often have a slightly lobed appearance, reminiscent of the foliage found on some types of maples. The plant blooms in late spring to early summer, producing clusters of small, cup-shaped flowers that are delicate and appealing, typically in shades of white or light pink. These flowers are not only attractive to human admirers but also to a variety of pollinating insects, making the Ninebark an eco-friendly addition to any garden. As the growing season progresses, the flowers give way to small, dry fruits that can persist into the winter, providing visual interest even when the rest of the garden might be dormant. One of the defining features of the Ninebark, and the reason for its common name, is the peeling nature of its bark. The bark exfoliates to reveal layers of different colors beneath, creating a textured, multihued appearance that is particularly noticeable in the winter landscape when the plant has shed its leaves. In summary, Ninebark is a multi-season plant that stands out for its colorful foliage, charming flowers, wildlife-friendly attributes, and the unique, peeling bark that adds winter interest. It is a valuable addition to any garden looking to maintain year-round visual appeal.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Ninebark, Eastern Ninebark, Common Ninebark, Atlantic Ninebark.

    • Common names

      Physocarpus opulifolius 'Schuch'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Ninebark is generally not considered toxic to humans. There is no well-documented evidence of toxicity from ingesting any part of the plant leading to poisoning in humans.

    • To pets

      Ninebark is also not known to be toxic to pets. It should not cause poisoning or result in significant health issues for pets if they ingest parts of the plant. However, it's always prudent to prevent pets from ingesting large amounts of any non-food plants, as they could potentially cause gastrointestinal upset.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      5-8 feet (1.5-2.4 meters)

    • Spread

      4-6 feet (1.2-1.8 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Ninebark adds visual interest to landscapes with its attractive foliage, which can range in color from green to reddish-purple, depending on the cultivar.
    • Year-Round Interest: It provides seasonal interest with white or pink flowers in the spring and berries in the fall, alongside its peeling bark which adds winter texture.
    • Low Maintenance: Ninebark is known for being drought-tolerant once established, requiring minimal care and upkeep.
    • Versatility in Landscape Design: The plant can be used in a variety of ways, including as a specimen plant, in mass plantings, as a hedge, or in mixed borders.
    • Nature-Friendly: Ninebark attracts pollinators such as bees and butterflies with its flowers, and birds enjoy its berries.
    • Tolerates Different Conditions: It can grow in a range of soil types, including clay, and can tolerate some urban pollution.
    • Disease and Pest Resistance: Ninebark is generally resistant to many common diseases and pests, reducing the need for chemical treatments.
    • Erosion Control: The plant can be used on slopes or areas prone to erosion, as its root system helps to stabilize the soil.
    • Fast Growth: Ninebark has a relatively fast growth rate, allowing for quick establishment and filling in of landscape areas.
    • Winter Hardiness: It is cold hardy and can survive in tough winter climates without significant dieback.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Photography backdrops: Ninebark, with its textured bark and colorful foliage, can serve as an attractive, natural background for outdoor photography sessions.
    • Instrument crafting: Although not commonly used for this purpose, the wood of ninebark could potentially be fashioned into small musical instruments like flutes or decorative objects.
    • Natural fencing: When planted in a row, ninebark can create a dense and visually appealing hedge, offering a degree of privacy and wind protection.
    • Erosion control: The extensive root system of ninebark helps stabilize soil on slopes and banks, preventing erosion.
    • Dye production: The bark and leaves of ninebark might be used in traditional dyeing processes to create natural colorants for textiles.
    • Wildlife habitat: Ninebark shrubs offer shelter and nesting sites for various small birds and other wildlife.
    • Winter interest: The exfoliating bark and persistent seed heads of ninebark add texture and interest to winter landscapes.
    • Educational tool: Ninebark can serve as a subject for botany studies or nature-related educational programs, highlighting plant growth habits and adaptation.
    • Artistic inspiration: Artists may use ninebark as a motif in paintings, drawings, and other art forms, inspired by its distinct features.
    • Theme gardening: Ninebark can be included in gardens designed around specific themes, such as native plant gardens or wildlife-friendly landscapes.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Ninebark is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Ninebark is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Resilience: Commonly known as Ninebark, this plant can thrive in a variety of conditions, signifying the ability to endure and adapt.
    • Renewal: Ninebark has a naturally exfoliating bark that reveals new layers, symbolizing rebirth and new beginnings.
    • Versatility: With its adaptability to different landscapes, Ninebark represents versatility and flexibility in life.
    • Simplicity: Ninebark's simple yet elegant appearance reminds us of the beauty in simplicity and the importance of humility.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3-5 years
Spring-early summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Ninebark requires regular watering, particularly during dry spells. It should be watered deeply once a week, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. This deep watering method encourages the roots to grow deeper into the soil, which improves the shrub's drought tolerance. Depending on the size of the plant and weather conditions, use approximately 1-2 gallons of water per week for an established plant. During the first growing season or when planted in excessively hot temperatures, it may require watering twice a week to help establish a robust root system.

  • sunLight

    Ninebark thrives in full sun to partial shade. It performs best when it receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day but can tolerate some shade, especially during the hottest part of the day. An ideal spot would be one where it receives morning sun and filtered light in the afternoon, or a place with bright, dappled light throughout the day if full sun is not available.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Ninebark is hardy and adapts well to a range of temperatures. It can survive in temperatures as low as -30°F and as high as 100°F, making it suitable for many climates. However, the ideal growing conditions for ninebark are between 60°F and 70°F, which promote healthy growth and flowering.

  • scissorsPruning

    Ninebark should be pruned to maintain its shape, encourage airflow, and promote healthy growth. The best time for pruning is in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Prune out any dead, damaged, or crossed branches, and thin out the center of the plant to allow sunlight to penetrate and air to circulate. Depending on the plant's size and desired shape, it may also be beneficial to cut back some of the older stems to ground level every few years to rejuvenate the shrub.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Ninebark prefers a well-draining soil rich in organic matter, with a pH range of 5.5 to 7.0. A mix of garden soil, compost, and peat moss can provide the optimal growing conditions.

  • plantRepotting

    Ninebark does not typically require frequent repotting as it is usually planted directly in the landscape. If grown in containers, repot every 2 to 3 years to refresh soil.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Ninebark is adaptable to a wide range of humidity levels and does not require specific humidity conditions. It thrives in the humidity levels typical of its natural outdoor environment.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright light, cool temps, and ample space.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun to part shade; mulch and water regularly.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-7 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Commonly known as Ninebark, Physocarpus opulifolius 'Diabolo' begins its life cycle with seed germination, which typically occurs in spring under the right conditions of warmth and moisture. The seedlings then grow and establish a root system, developing into juvenile plants. Over the next few years, these young plants mature, reaching their full size and beginning to form the distinctive peeling bark from which Ninebark gets its name. Mature Ninebark will develop clusters of white or pinkish flowers in late spring or early summer, which are attractive to pollinators and give way to small red fruit that provides food for wildlife. After pollination, the plant produces seeds, completing the reproductive stage of its lifecycle. Ninebark is a deciduous shrub, so in the autumn, leaves turn color and fall off, and the plant enters a period of dormancy during the winter months before beginning the cycle anew in the spring.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-early summer

    • Propogation: The Ninebark shrub, scientifically known as Physocarpus opulifolius 'Schuch', can be propagated through softwood cuttings taken in the late spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing. To do this, one should select healthy, new growth that has not yet hardened and cut a 4 to 6 inch (10 to 15 cm) long piece from the tip of a branch. It's important that these cuttings have at least two to three sets of leaves. The lower leaves should be removed, and the cut end can be dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root development. The cutting should then be placed in a well-draining rooting medium like a mix of peat and perlite, ensuring that the leaf nodes where the leaves were removed are buried. The container should be kept in a warm location with indirect light and maintained moist until roots establish, which typically happens in a few weeks, after which the new Ninebark plants can be gradually acclimated to outdoor conditions and transplanted.