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FutureStarrWhen to Transplant Ninebark Bush
Do your pruning early in the ninebark’s growing season before it’s put out too much new growth. Depending on where you live, this window will fall between late winter and early summer. You’ll know it’s time to start thinking about pruning your ninebark when it begins to produce flowers. The next few days after blossoming are the absolute best time to prune a ninebark bush. You may need to do a second maintenance pruning in early summer in addition to the main pruning you’ll do as the growing season begins. Regardless, don’t prune your ninebark shrub after the middle of summer—in midsummer, ninebark begins to go dormant, and pruning during dormancy could damage the plant.
As a rule of thumb, spring is the best time to transplant most types of bushes, shrubs, and trees. During the spring, there’s more moisture in the soil, plants are growing at their fastest rate, and the weather is cooler. Sometimes, during other times of the year, homeowners and gardeners come upon a situation where their bush or shrub must be moved. When faced with a “must move, or else” situation, by all means, try to transplant it. After all, what is the alternative!?These shrubs need little winter care but, should be occasionally checked for rabbit or other damage. If rabbit damage is found you can protect the plant with a fence formed with hardware cloth (looks like chicken wire but, with small square holes). The branches of the plant should be tied in towards the center, then a circle of hardware cloth can be placed around the outside. The base of the hardware cloth should be buried in the soil or mulch. This protection should be installed in late November and removed in mid April.
Ninebark is an adaptable shrub that grows well under many conditions. It flowers and fruits best in full sun. Varieties with different colored leaves make this a good choice for part shade locations, too. It has few pest problems, but individual limbs may dieback over time and need to be removed at the base of the plant. The whole shrub may need rejuvenation pruning periodically to encourage new, younger branches with better leaves and flowers.I have had two ninebark bushes for about 8 years. They were planted alongside two viburnum bushes which outgrew them and shaded them. I transplanted the ninebarks to a sunnier location, morning sun but afternoon shade. They have never done well in either location. Right now they are almost completely devoid of leaves. I saw ninebarks in Washington DC this spring and in Maine a year ago in August and they were dense with leaves and just beautiful. Do they need to be moved again, or watered often, or fed, or do they just not do well in my area? (Source: ask2.extension.org)