Ginger Wine® NinebarkPhysocarpus opulifolius 'SMNPOBLR' (PP# 28,695)
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Physocarpus opulifolius 'SMNPOBLR' (PP# 28,695)
Outdoor Growing zone
The Ginger Wine® Ninebark is a cold-hardy deciduous shrub with attractive foliage that is fast growing and thrives even on poor soil. It grows 5 to 6 feet tall, with arching branches reaching out about the same distance. In spring the lobed leaves are a vibrant deep orange, with reddish overtones, and in summer they turn to a powerful deep red. This variety holds its color well right into fall. In late spring you will love the clusters of white flowers that stud the branches, glowing against the dark leaves. When the leaves have fallen the bright-red seed pods really stand out along the branches. Use this tough guy at the back of shrub beds, along a fence or property line, on slopes and banks, and anywhere you need trouble-free color all season.
Plant the Ginger Wine® Ninebark in full sun for the best colors. Any well-drained soil, including dry sands and gravels, tough clays, and urban or post-construction soils, will suit it just fine. Pests or diseases are not problems, and deer tend to leave it alone. It looks best left untrimmed, and older plants can be rejuvenated just by removing a few branches right at the base.
Ninebark are without doubt among the toughest and most reliable of garden shrubs. Especially useful in colder zones, they resist winter as few other plants can, and survive even in the most exposed locations. Pests and diseases are almost never a problem, and these truly are plant and forget shrubs. Big enough for a screen or background, they are more attractive if left to develop their natural arching form, so give them room. Top of our favorites is the Ginger Wine® Ninebark. This beauty is a little more compact, only reaching about 6 feet tall, and the spring foliage is a wonderful glowing orange. It matures to a very deep red, and the seed pods are bright red in fall. We all love red bushes for the contrast they bring, so put this one at the top of your list, especially if you live in a colder part of the country.
The Ginger Wine Ninebark is an upright, deciduous shrub that grows rapidly to reach 5 or 6 feet tall. It has an arching habit, with the branches rising vertically, and then arching outwards, so that you should expect it to take up a space about 6 feet across. The stems have reddish-brown peeling bark, and it is the many layers that shed from the branches that give this plant its name of nine barks. This attractive and rugged bark is an interesting feature in winter and early spring, and it is always good to have plants with multi-season interest. The leaves come out early in spring, and they are divided into three lobes, a little like a small maple leaf. They are about 3 inches long, and almost as wide, and they are carried not only along the stems of the new growth, but in clusters along older branches too, so this plant is always leafy, full and bushy. In spring the new leaves are a beautiful, glowing deep orange-red. As summer comes, they darken to a rich, dark, burgundy-red, which holds well throughout summer and into the fall, unlike many others, which turn greenish when hot weather comes.
Often not noticed much on green ninebarks, the clusters of white flowers produced in late spring are very showy against the dark foliage. They have a slight pink tint to them, adding to their interest. After they fade, they are replaced by fascinating inflated seed pods, which are green at first, but which turn a colorful bright red in fall. These add a lot of surprise interest when the leaves fall, and last well into the winter months.
Wherever you need a tough plant to fill a space, alone or in a group, then this shrub is your answer. If you are starting a new garden you need to see some quick effect, and within a couple of growing seasons this bush will be substantial, and really making a statement. Use it in any sunny place, behind other shrubs, in a corner, along a fence, or, honestly, just about anywhere you feel like. Plant 4 feet apart for solid groups and screens.
Renowned for toughness, the Ginger Wine Ninebark is totally hardy in zone 3, and through all the cooler zones. Only when it hits zone 8 will it begin to suffer.
Grow the Ginger Wine Ninebark in full sun for the best colors. It will take a little shade, but in too much shade it will be weaker, and tend to turn greenish. It grows well even in difficult soils, if the drainage is good. Don’t plant it in low-lying areas or wet soil, but plant it without worries on sand or gravel soils, urban soils, construction waste, heavy clay on slopes or banks, and of course in any ordinary garden soil at all. If you have anything even resembling soil, this plant will grow there.
Although a lot of people do trim them, and you can, just about any time of year, take our advise and just leave it to grow naturally. You will be amazed how much more attractive it looks, arching up. Leave enough room for its mature size when planting. After a few years you can, in early spring, cut out some of the oldest branches completely, leaving a more open plant. New shoots will come from the base, renewing and invigorating the bush. Pests and diseases don’t bother it, and deer only eat it when they are desperate.
Throughout the east, from New York state to Florida, you can find the ninebark, Physocarpus opulifolius, growing along riverbanks and in open areas on gravel or around the edges of woods. The wild, green-leaf form was widely grown in northern gardens for a very long time, but 20 years ago we started to see colored leaf forms appearing, and since then there have been many, with either yellow or red leaves. Check out our current selection for other options – planting groups of several different colors is a great, easy way to fill spaces in your garden.
In 2010 Timothy Wood, a plant breeder with Spring Meadow Nursery, Inc. Grand Haven, Michigan, collected seed from a popular ninebark variety called ‘Center Glow’. Among the seedlings he grew was one with fantastic leaf coloring, so he patented it as ‘SMNPOBLR’ and the nursery released it as Ginger Wine®.
We think that these colorful ninebarks are just great in any garden, especially if you are busy and don’t want plants that need maintenance. Once established this plant is so reliable and easy you won’t believe it. Order it now, because these beauties go so fast, and once they are gone, they are gone.