A Fine Summer Wine Ninebark


Tim Wood, my favorite plant breeder, has given us a Summer Wine finer than any of its kind. I tested this plant last year and fell in love. It has to be the finest ninebark I’ve ever met. She blazed right past the severe drought and long periods of high heat here in North Carolina in my Zone 7 garden. I can highly recommend this 5 to 6 ft shrub. Hardy to zone 3!

summerwine2All pictures are from Proven Winners Plants used with permission.

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Summer Wine®
Physocarpus opulifolious


Hardiness: USDA Zone 3

The following information is copied from Color Choice Plants

Bloom Time: Mid-summer

Bloom Color: Pinkish-white

Foliage color: Deeply cut, dark crimson-red leaves

Size: 5-6 feet tall, 4-5 feet wide, excellent branching

Exposure: Full sun for best color

Soil: Adaptable to difficult situations. Withstands acidic and alkaline soils.

Pruning: Summer Wine forms its flower buds in later summer and then flowers in early June. The best time to prune is it after it blooms, from mid-June to mid-August.  Cease pruning in mid-august to allow time for the flower buds to form prior to winter.

As a young plant it is best to prune or pinch your plant in order to build a full bodied, well branched plant.  If the plant is leggy when you purchased it, shear the plant back hard by 1/3  to 1/2 its original size. Once it puts on an inch or two of growth, pinch the branch tips to remove just the growing tip. This tip controls branching.  Once it is removed the buds below it will turn into stems. Once these new branches grow an inch or two, pinch the tip out again. You can repeat this throughout the first growing season as you are tending your garden.  Although you will sacrifice one year of bloom, this technique results in a well branched, full bodied plant that will have more flowers in subsequent years. The second season in the ground, repeat the pinching practice (or lightly shear) up until mid-August.  Cease pruning and pinching to allow the flower buds to set.

During the third and subsequence seasons, prune or pinch after flowering and up to bud set in mid-August. Do not be afraid to prune or shear your plant harder if you wish to maintain a shorter size.

Watering: Medium moisture. Can tolerant dry conditions once established.

Wildlife: songbirds

Type: Deciduous

Fertilizing: Fertilize in early spring by applying a slow release fertilizer specialized for trees & shrubs. Follow the label for recommended rate of application.

Uses: Groupings or masses, perennial or shrub borders, containers, screens.

Other: Native to North America. Bark on older plants exfoliates into papery strips. Fruit is very beautiful in the fall.

An exciting new improvement to Ninebark, SUMMER WINE® combines the fine texture and compact branching of Physocarpus ‘Nana’ with the dark foliage of Physocarpus ‘Diabolo’.

Smaller and more highly branched than other ninebark varieties SUMMER WINE® ninebark is an easy way to introduce dark purple foliage into the home garden.  It is fast growing and has few, if any, pest problems.  Pruning and other maintenance is rarely needed.  Use it as a bold accent or part of a mixed border.  SUMMER WINE may even be cut for use in arrangements.

This is a trouble-free addition to either the home or commercial landscape.

Breeder: Tim Wood, USA

32 Comments Add yours

  1. Tim says:

    I live in South Central Kansas (zone 6b.) I planted a Ninebark ‘Summer Wine’ in a place where it gets morning sun and afternoon shade, and it is doing great. It has more than tripled in size from the one gallon pot I purchased it in. It’s leaves were a little on the greener side during our sustained 100+ degree temps this summer, but it was still pretty dark. Now that the temps have lowered to the upper 80’s to mid 90’s the color of the leaves has turned darker. I am looking forward to the fall when it is supposed to turn a brilliant red color.


  2. Lita says:

    Love this plant…want to plant where they only gets morning and late day sun. Will they survive?


    1. Late day sun might be an issue.


      1. Lisa Pounds says:

        just purchased a Coppertina Ninebark and want to plant along our back fence. We also have a gas line that runs along that section of our back yard so am concerned about the depth of the root system and whether that will be an issue?


        1. Lisa, I’m sorry. I don’t have a clue. It will need lots of water. Make sure you plan on that.


  3. Mary Abrahamson says:

    I love your sight and will have to come back when I have more time. I have a beautiful Ninebark that I planted as a screen to shade the West sun by our deck. I looked at your sight today to see if I can prune it and guess I will. It is really spreading out this year and is now 3 years old as we planted it in 2008. Beautiful tall bush and doing it’s job well. Plan to get another one but think I might try to sprout the cuttings and see what happens.


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