Growing Physocarpus

Latin Name Pronunciation: fie-so-car'pus  

Physocarpus is a multiple-stemmed shrub hardy in zones 3–8 S&W. Plants grow to 4–6′ with a width of 6–10′. White flowers in May–June. Foliage is rounded and dense; with a rather ragged appearance in winter. Plants have a medium to fast rate of growth, 12–24″ or more per year under good growing conditions. Bark on older stems will peel, revealing the rich brown inner bark. Reddish-colored small fruit in September are attractive.

CULTURE: Full sun. Not fussy about soil; average, well-drained soil will give best results, but they can also tolerate dryness. Space 5–6′ apart. Fertilize once in early spring with a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10. Tolerates both acid and alkaline soil.

PRUNING: Cut to ground in late winter.

PROBLEMS: No notable insect or disease problems.

SUGGESTED USE: In shrub border, in native plant collections, as a screen.