Planting Instructions for Nine Bark Coppertina


Physocarpus opulifolius or ninebark as we know it, is a medium to large shrub that gets its name from is excessively peeling bark. There are many cultivars of ninebark, Coppertina being one of them. This shrub is native to the Northeastern and North-central United States and Canada. Coppertina has showy flowers that grace the shrub in the spring and bronze/orange leaves throughout the growing season turning a purplish color in the fall. This is a thick shrub that will grow to about 5 or 6 feet high and is hardy to USDA planting zone 2.

Step 1

Choose a location that has full sun to partial afternoon shade. The area must be well draining with no water pooling after a hard rain.

Step 2

Dig a hole three times the diameter and just as deep as the container you purchased the shrub in. Remove all lawn grass, weeds and stones from the soil and amend it with one part compost to three parts original soil.

Step 3

Carefully remove the shrub from the container and spread the roots if they look tangled and filled the container. Place the shrub in the planting hole and fill the hole half way with the amended soil. Water just enough to settle the soil around the roots.

Step 4

Continue to fill the planting hole until the soil is level with the surrounding ground. Hand-tamp the soil down firmly and water to saturate the entire disturbed area.

Step 5

Water the shrub every other day for the first two weeks while the roots are getting established. Then cut back to twice a week for two months and once a week for the rest of the growing season. Shrubs, once established need only be watered when there has been no rain for two weeks or it has been especially hot and dry.

Step 6

Apply a slow released fertilizer after you notice new growth on the plant and each spring thereafter. Follow the manufacturer's directions as to how much to apply as per size and age of the tree.

Step 7

Spread a 3-inch layer of mulch under the spread of the shrub. The mulch will help to retain water in the soil and keep the weeds from growing around the plant. Keep the mulch at least 3 inches from the trunk of the shrub.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Slow released fertilizer
  • Mulch


  • University of Minnesota Extension: Yard and garden news
  • University of Wisconsin Extension: N.E.W. horticulture newletter
  • University of Connecticut: Physocarpus opulifolius
Keywords: ninebark "coppertina", planting shrubs, growing Eastern ninebark

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.