Physocarpus Opulifolius All Black is a dark-red / purple foliaged deciduous shrub with small pink flowers in summer. It suits mixed borders and low maintenance gardens.
Physocarpus Opulifolius is native to North America where it grows in demanding conditions such as cliffs, dry open rocky environments, fens, and swamps. It’s more often called Ninebark for its peeling stems. Several cultivars of Ninebark exist. The variety ‘All Black’ is bred for its especially dark foliage which emerges deep red and matures to deep purple with red tinges. This variety has great autumn colour, when the foliage turns orangey red and falls with the more severe frosts.
In summer, Ninebark All Black is festooned with clusters of small white-pink flowers which are adored by bees and butterflies. The flowers mature into small red berries that ripen to black in late autumn.
Height and Spread of Physocarpus Opulifolius All Black Ninebark All Black is a compact shrub that will reach a maximum height of 1.5 metres and the same in spread over 5-10 years.
How Hardy Is Physocarpus Opulifolius All Black Shrubs don’t come tougher than Ninebark. Once established it can withstand sub-zero degrees, drought, and is rarely bothered by pests or disease.
How To Use Physocarpus Opulifolius All Black Versatile Ninebark All Black is an excellent addition to a foliage garden as its red-purple foliage stands out and creates contrast. It suits cottage gardens with its pretty white flowers and urban spaces with its modern dark leaves.
Low maintenance wildlife friendly spaces benefit from Ninebark as the flowers provide nectar and the fruits feed birds.
How To Care For Physocarpus Opulifolius All Black Little attention is needed once Ninebark All Black is established. It will grow in full sun to partial shade in most types of soil except constantly waterlogged spots.
You can leave it to grow wild in its naturally rounded shape, or you can prune it in winter to remove dead or crossed branches. Thin out Ninebark by removing older canes and cut back branches by a third but be aware that Ninebark flowers on the previous season’s growth.
Mulch in spring and water until established. This is a fuss-free pretty shrub that will grow almost anywhere.