Why plant Audubon® Native Ninebark?
Eastern Ninebark is a nifty native Accent with much to offer wildlife and nature-lovers alike. Most striking are the white, half-snowball flower clusters that adorn the arching branches in late spring. These pollination platforms attract native bees such as mining bees, as well as beneficial wasps, flies, and butterflies. Birds may graze on the seeds that form later on, and they also forage for caterpillars within the leafy canopy. The spring azure butterfly lays its eggs on Ninebark, as do several moth species, like the Ninebark pigmy, the white spring moth, and the unicorn caterpillar. A wonderful, welcoming shrub!
Ninebark is popular right now, thanks to a plethora of purple-leaved forms that have flooded the market in recent years. Many of these selections are fantastic plants, but their intense purple color can be a little jarring in naturalistic landscapes. In these situations, it’s nice to get back to the original. Our green-leaved Eastern Ninebark is a subtler beauty that’s found in the wild throughout much of the eastern U.S. A lover of cool climates, it’s most common in the Midwest and New England. Ninebark gets its name from its flaky, multihued stems. As they expand, they peel and appear to reveal several (nine) layers of bark.
How to use Audubon® Native Ninebark in the landscape?
A fast-growing fountain of a shrub, Eastern Ninebark quickly creates fine nesting habitat for songbirds. The twiggy branches and leafy cover appeal to thicket-dwelling birds, such as song sparrows, cardinals, indigo buntings, catbirds, mockingbirds, and brown thrashers.
Hardiness Zone: 2-8
How To Plant Audubon® Native Ninebark
Easygoing and accommodating, Eastern Ninebark is simple to grow even for novice gardeners. It thrives in full or part sun and isn’t fussy about soil. The ground can be moist or dry (once established), sandy or clayey, acidic or alkaline. Cold winters are no problem, either—Ninebark can tolerate temperatures to 50 below zero! Prune regularly to give the plant a neater habit. If you let it go too long and don’t like the wild look, you can rejuvenate it by cutting it to the ground. Native plant expert William Cullina calls this the “chainsaw crew cut,” and he recommends doing it once every ten years for Ninebark.
How To Fertilize
Incorporate Elements Starter Plant food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer, start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant food granular form on an annual basis each late fall. Continue this for the first three years to get your plant well established.