Ninebark ‘Diablo’ is a winner

Back in March, I wrote about the spring pruning of one of my Ninebark ‘Diablo’. You can read about it here.

This deciduous shrub sits smack dab in the middle of the foundation bed in front of my home, so homeboy has quite the impact. Yes, conventional garden wisdom says an evergreen would be the right call here, but I play on the fringes so convention be damned. I dig the red leaf color in contrast to all the other green in this bed and enjoy the untamed look where formality is typically the norm.

As most of you know, Physocarpus (Ninebark) can get quite large if not kept in check (10′ x 10′). At a minimum, I had to selectively prune it this Spring if I wanted to keep it in its current location. The test was under way.

Important note – this shrub has lived in at least three other locales and in each, the deer chowed down on it like mad. This new spot seems to be outside the deer purview.

So here is ‘Diablo’ as of this past summer, post spring pruning.



Pretty sexy, eh?

I would say it maxed out at about 6′ x 5′ which is just about perfect for this spot. If I can continue to keep it at this size and assuming the deer continue to not be able to find it, we may have a winner here.

I should also add, this location gets about half sun and half shade but has managed to keep its fantastic foliage color.



And while it didn’t bloom profusely, there were enough to keep things interesting.




And those flowers are the gifts that keep giving as they turned into awesomely ornamental seed heads.



And while Physocarpus loses all of its leaves by November, that bark provides a decent show all winter long, especially when draped in snow.




More to come in Spring ’15.

2 thoughts on “Ninebark ‘Diablo’ is a winner

  1. Nancy

    Have you tried repellex?
    I work in a public garden as a volunteer/designer and we planted a ninebark Summer Wine to contrast with the thread leaves of Amsonia. The deer are keeping the shrub short. We are going to try to add some tablets of Repellex to the soil this coming spring to reduce browsing. It’s fun to have another site to garden. Peggy, another garden club member, and I built a dry streamed there. Lady power. We moved a ton of stone that day.

    1. jmarkowski Post author

      Nancy – I have not tried Repellex but now you have piqued my interest. And love the idea of ‘Summer Wine’ and Amsonia. I am going to steal that idea!

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