Beautiful golden foliage makes this compact ninebark especially appealing. The pretty ‘Dart’s Gold’ has brighter new leaves that are more enduring than those of the other popular yellow-leaved form, ‘Luteus.’ It also has a more uniform habit and suckers less.
Ninebark is a hardy deciduous shrub with long-lasting flowers and fruits and exfoliating bark. This native of the eastern United States slowly suckers and has a tough constitution. In the wild it exists along the fields and forest margins of uplands and lowlands.
The small maple-like lobed leaves of ‘Dart’s Gold’ are golden and turn shades of yellow and bronze in fall. In late spring or early summer it bears conspicuous clusters of small white flowers, which are attractive to many insect pollinators. The flowers are followed by small oval fruits that turn from green to red. After leaf fall its exfoliating brown bark takes center stage.
Ninebark is a durable shrub that accepts most acid to neutral soils, particularly those that are moist and fertile but well-drained. It flowers and develops its best habit in full sun but will tolerate partial sun. Over time ninebark will sucker and spread. Remove the old stems in early spring or prune it back to strong new shoots after flowering. Use this shrub to anchor a native garden or mixed border. It can also be planted in natural areas or roadsides.
Ninebark grows best in acidic, well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade, but is adaptable to many soil conditions.
Prepare the garden bed by using a garden fork or tiller to loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, then mix in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the pot the plant is in. Carefully remove the plant from its container and place it in the hole so the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Carefully fill in around the root ball and firm the soil gently. Water thoroughly.
Water regularly until established. After it’s established, ninebark is drought-tolerant. You can propagate from hardwood cuttings. Established shrubs require annual pruning to maintain their shape. Prune early each spring by removing some of the oldest branches by cutting them off at the base. Do not ingest this plant, as all parts of the ninebark are known to be poisonous.
Winchester Gardens generally stocks this item.