Physocarpus, Ninebark, Purple Ninebark 'Monlo'

Physocarpus opulifolius

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
Registered or introduced: 1998
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:



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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors 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

South Jordan, Utah

Appomattox, Virginia

Lexington, Virginia

Linden, Virginia

Ames Lake, Washington

Langley, Washington

Redmond, Washington

Seattle, Washington(2 reports)

Sequim, Washington

Union Hill-Novelty Hill, Washington

Vancouver, Washington

Charleston, West Virginia

Dodgeville, Wisconsin

Franklin, Wisconsin

Menasha, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 15, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

I planted one for the church grounds back in 2010. It is fast growing and reliable like the green mother species that is native to eastern North America. Diablo's red-purple, 3-lobed leaves get about 5" long x 4" wide and are maple-like. The leaves are not deeply lobed like 'Summer Wine' that has smaller leaves, and it does not have some droopiness to the outer branches as the latter cultivar. The foliage is brighter red in spring and fall with cooler temperatures, like other red-foliaged woody plants, and can be more reddish-green during the heat of summer. It is commonly sold at most conventional nurseries in the Midwest and East of the US.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


On Jun 25, 2007, Meig from Timnath, CO (Zone 5b) 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.


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..


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

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


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.


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


On Dec 9, 2005, bigcityal from Appleton, 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.


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.


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.


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

This a wonderful carefree shrub - one of my favorites


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.


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.