Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Purple Ninebark
Physocarpus opulifolius 'Monlo'

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Physocarpus (fy-so-KAR-pus) (Info)
Species: opulifolius (op-yoo-lih-FOH-lee-us) (Info)
Cultivar: Monlo
Additional cultivar information: (PP11211, aka Monlo, Diabolo)
Hybridized by Kordes/Schadendorf; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1998

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

11 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)
USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Pale Pink
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 48 photos.
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17 positives
5 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral K9Shiloh On Jun 4, 2013, K9Shiloh from Wellington, OH wrote:

I had this PURPLE NINEBARK for years (planted in heavy clay soil) and liked it very much but it should be named PURPLE DEER CANDY because the deer absolutely ADORE it.
To my surprise, this year the deer left it alone and it burst into bloom!! I didn't even know it was supposed to have flowers!!
The blooms are very interesting looking.

Positive Pameladragon On Apr 30, 2012, Pameladragon from Appomattox, VA wrote:

I received this plant as a few rooted stems from a friend, no name, just "hey, try it, it's interesting." So I planted it in a northern exposure, partial shade, in our crummy Virginia Piedmont heavy clay. It grew slowly for the first few years then last year achieved some size and bloomed for the first time. I was surprised, had not expected flowers. This year it is much larger and covered with buds. The leaf color is really nice and contrasts nicely with the different greens. Pretty sure I have Diablo but am not sure.

Positive CatskillDeb On Jan 2, 2012, CatskillDeb from Oneonta, NY (Zone 4a) wrote:

I love ninebark, and have Coppertina, Diablo (my favorite) and Dart's Gold. They ALL have been prone to powdery mildew over time for me. My strategy has been to cut the offending bush to the ground (yes, all of it). It's so vigorous that it comes back within the same season, with lovely new growth and better form (for a while). In a year or two when it mildews badly again, I chop it again. I also have a note on propagation. This shrub is very easy to root. I have had clippings (from aforementioned chopping) root in a pile of clippings and sod. Some of my shrubs are from this accidental rooting.

Positive Bazuhi On Jun 9, 2011, Bazuhi from Downers Grove, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I saw this shrub in 2010 and just kept going back to it at the local Home Depot so I ended up purchasing one for myself. I ended up planting it in my new summer perennial garden to add some back drop color. I really love the color and so far this year it has grown about 6 inches plus from its original size. More updates to follow for 2011

Neutral keferraro On May 13, 2011, keferraro from Crown Point, IN wrote:

My ninebark 'diablo' is in its forth year in a sunny location with clay soil. While it thrives, I do have to prune out a lot of dead branches in the spring and it certainly does not seem like it will get much over 4 ft by 4 ft. If I am proved wrong that will be fine but I doubt it. I prune it lightly to keep it loose but balanced. This year I dug up several seedlings and I was actually on Dave's Garden to see if they would tolerate shade as I need things to frame out my woodland garden. I may plant them and see what happens.

Positive floraphiliac On Mar 20, 2011, floraphiliac from Ludington, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:

I love ninebarks. I bought a small "Diablo" about three years ago, planted it in a sunny spot in some rather sandy soil and have basically ignored it since then. It's now over five feet tall by three feet wide.

Positive jjh422d On Oct 23, 2010, jjh422d from South Windsor, CT (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have had a 'Diablo Ninebark' growing in my zone 5 backyard for several years, and I am a big fan of this shrub. It has nice form and looks especially nice in the spring when the abundant white flower clusters show up against the dark red foliage. I would really recommend this shrub as long as you have room for the mature size. It can be planted anywhere that an old-fashioned lilac might fit in to your landscape.

Positive dakotaroser On Sep 10, 2010, dakotaroser from Kingston, NH wrote:

I've been growing three of these bushes for a few years now and I like Coppertina the best but I do like the Diablo and Summerwine( I believe) have great color. I have them planted next to taller Callery Pear and a Sassafras tree and
several Lilac and hostas and perienals, they all seem to do ok, I'm not looking for a speciman bush as some leave color
and great bark.

Positive gardening_pam On Jul 4, 2010, gardening_pam from Keswick
Canada wrote:

I cannot say enough good things about this shrub. I have it in a full sun location and the first year I planted it was really hot and dry. The following season it was slow. I cut it back severely (to about 8 inches) and within 2 months it was close to 2.5 feet. The following year, it put on another 2.5 feet. I keep it trimmed to about 4.5 feet, but it's been in my garden as long as I've been here. There are a lot of things that I have killed off from that first season (it was my first gardening and I had no idea what I was doing) but this ninebark looks beautiful all year and would easily fill in a hedge or a height location easily.

Positive niaw1 On Nov 18, 2009, niaw1 from Montoursville, PA wrote:

This has been our second season with 4 ninebarks and they have grown well beyond our expectations. I'm finding they make a great summer "hedge" and I'm already planning on planting more to screen an area of our house from car headlights.

Neutral swmbo64 On May 11, 2009, swmbo64 from Franklin, WI wrote:

Planted 2 last August in well drained, average soil in semi-shaded area. Both are doing well but have not grown much in height or width since last season. Foliage is striking and bark has a birch-like appearance. Would like a substantial increase in height and width this season as am using these as a screen between ours and neighbors properties.

Negative NoLawns On Feb 23, 2008, NoLawns from Warrenville, IL wrote:

Most of these I know of have suffered from either powdery mildew, or a type of fungus. Once these plant get it the new growth is deformed white and crumply. I would suggest the cultivar copertina, as this one did not show the problem.

Positive ifonly On Jul 15, 2007, ifonly from Brookfield, CT wrote:

In my ongoing quest for a big shrub to hide my turquoise shed (not planned - you see, it was meant to be the primer on the shed's way to dark green 10 years ago, somebody said they liked it, and so it's stayed that unintended color), Diablo came to the rescue. Its burgundy leaves - aren't they a pretty shape? - stand out well against the, ahem, shed. A New Dawn that was meant to be moved, and wasn't, has peaked out among Diablo's branches. New Dawn had only a few blooms and they were gorgeous among the burgundy leaves. I'm thinkin' Diablo and the rose are meant to be together. A little repositioning and better care of the rose and next year may just be spectacular.

Positive Meig On Jun 25, 2007, Meig from Far Northwest 'burbs, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

Beautiful shrub. I live in a new subdivision (2 years) and I planted it the fall I moved in. Two have tripled in size and the third was languishing. I pulled it and discovered the area it was in was waterlogged. It hung on despite the abuse and I expect it to thrive now.

Haven't had any experience yet with Jap Beetles since the area is so new, but I hope it isn't a magnet like other dark-leaved shrubs seem to be.

All in all, I am very happy with this shrub.

Neutral northgrass On May 30, 2007, northgrass from West Chazy, NY (Zone 4b) wrote:

A very desirable shrub, it has good form, is very hardy and does not seems to a have many pests and diseases.
Its foliage is a bronzy purple and remains so through the season. It is said to grow to 8'.

Update: After having this plant for a few years, I found that mildew is a major problem as time goes by, it is necessary to prune it severely. Also, older stems have a tendency to die off, it does not age gracefully, I am not nearly as enthusiastic about this shrub as I first was, there are better choice for dark foliage plant, cotinus coggyria for example..

Negative newpam1 On May 14, 2007, newpam1 from Framingham, MA wrote:

my purple ninebark seems to have whiteflies; anyone else ever have this problem? help!

Positive gonedutch On Jun 19, 2006, gonedutch from Fairport, NY wrote:

Both the purple and standard green species of Ninebark seem to have no predator insects or fungi. Throughout the growing season this carefree plant provides a welcome contrast with its colorfull foliage, flowers and seed pods (see image). In winter its arching branches provide architectural interest.

Positive faykoko On Jun 7, 2006, faykoko from Cross Lanes, WV (Zone 6b) wrote:

growing well for me in dry mostly shaded(morning sun) clay,its under a mature maple. not much else grows there

Neutral bigcityal On Dec 9, 2005, bigcityal from Menasha, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

I am coming back to update my comments to say that this plant has been seen to get borer in different sites around this area.
I have now also seen a seedling come up from off my plant.

Positive djv On Sep 21, 2005, djv from Saint Paul, MN wrote:

Absolutely beautiful shrub in all seasons. The size estimates are off, however. When I purchased mine it was labeled a dwarf diabolo ninebark and is over 10 feet tall. In talking with various nurseries in my area, 10-12 feet is a more accurate height for this shrub.

Positive flowercrazy39 On Aug 26, 2005, flowercrazy39 from Manchester, NH wrote:

I also love this plant! This is my third year with it and have one on each end of my yard to flank a fence. I trimmed a few of the "elephant" branches back after they bloomed and it looks great! Grows quickly and stays beautiful with no fuss.

Positive bc43 On May 3, 2005, bc43 from Jefferson, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:

This a wonderful carefree shrub - one of my favorites

Positive DryGulch On Jan 9, 2005, DryGulch from Wild Rose, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is a large shrub that should be more widely grown. It is wonderful all seasons of the year. The flower seedpods are beautiful dried (a red burgundy) and good in fall arrangements. The bark has a striated look as it ages. Leaf color is a deep burgundy. Grows quickly and does well in dry, sandy soil.

Positive Greythumbca On Jun 7, 2004, Greythumbca from kamloops
Canada wrote:

This is a beautiful shrub that doesn't seem to be too fussy. Ants are also attracted to it.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Martinez, California
Littleton, Colorado
Brookfield, Connecticut
South Windsor, Connecticut
Braselton, Georgia
Marietta, Georgia
Downers Grove, Illinois
Plainfield, Illinois
Spring Grove, Illinois
Winnetka, Illinois
Crown Point, Indiana
Logansport, Indiana
Dover Foxcroft, Maine
Easton, Maryland
West Friendship, Maryland
Framingham, Massachusetts
Sandwich, Massachusetts
Saugus, Massachusetts
Wayland, Massachusetts
Adrian, Michigan
Ludington, Michigan
Kasota, Minnesota
Longville, Minnesota
Saint Paul, Minnesota (2 reports)
Victoria, Minnesota
Saint Peters, Missouri
Minden, Nevada
Reno, Nevada
Kingston, New Hampshire
Manchester, New Hampshire
Pennsauken, New Jersey
Tuckerton, New Jersey
Bolton Landing, New York
Jefferson, New York
Oneonta, New York
Cincinnati, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Defiance, Ohio
Fort Jennings, Ohio
Wellington, Ohio
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Mill City, Oregon
West Linn, Oregon
Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania
Montoursville, Pennsylvania
Norristown, Pennsylvania
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
American Fork, Utah
Kaysville, Utah
Appomattox, Virginia
Lexington, Virginia
Linden, Virginia
Ames Lake, Washington
Langley, Washington
Seattle, Washington (2 reports)
Sequim, Washington
Vancouver, Washington
Charleston, West Virginia
Dodgeville, Wisconsin
Franklin, Wisconsin
Menasha, Wisconsin

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