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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!
May Benefit & Attract: cardinals & grosbeaks, wrens, sparrows, thrushes, orioles, finches, mockingbirds & thrashers, vireos, wood warblers
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
- Hardiness Zone: 2-8
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Recommended by Our Growers
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.
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.
How to Grow
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.
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