Ninebark (Physocarpus spp. and cvs., Zones 3–9)
Because it adds brilliant foliage color to the garden for months, ninebark has become a popular substitute for the invasive burning bush (Euonymus alatus, Zones 4–8). However, many varieties of ninebark will get super large.
When to prune: Shear for shape in late spring or early summer; renovate for size management in late winter.
How to prune: If you just need to shape your ninebark a bit, you can give it a light shearing during the active growing season, after it flowers. This can be done with bypass pruners or with power shears. Just be aware that this can reduce the amount of potential showy fruit you will see in summer and fall.
If you need to do more of a major pruning for size management and want to preserve its natural growing habit (cascading branches that show off abundant flowers and fruit), you will…
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