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How to Prune a Coppertina Shrub

By Melody Lee ; Updated September 21, 2017

One of the most colorful varieties of Ninebark is the Coppertina shrub (Physocarpus opulifolius "Mindia"). New growth offers a coppery-orange display and matures to rich red in the summer. Small white flowers in the spring are followed by red berries in the fall. Coppertina shrubs grow 6 to 8 feet tall and wide. The multi-stem shrubs contain arching branches and peeling, cinnamon-colored bark. Prune Coppertina shrubs in the late winter or early spring before new growth appears.

Cut limbs up to ½ inch in diameter with hand pruners. Cut larger limbs with lopping shears. Make cuts at a 30-degree angle at a joint or bud.

Remove dead, injured or diseased limbs at ground level with hand pruners or lopping shears. Disease symptoms include dead or dying leaves, split wood, cankers, or slimy areas of bark.

Cut off any crossed or bent limbs with hand pruners or lopping shears to open up the interior of the plant.

Prune suckers, and old and weak growth at ground level with hand pruners or lopping shears. This will thin out unproductive growth that is crowding the plant and encourage healthy new growth.

Clip any limbs that spoil the shape of the plant with hand pruners or lopping shears. The natural form of Coppertina shrubs is upright to arching, with no floppy, drooping limbs.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Hand pruners
  • Lopping shears

Tips

  • Older Coppertina shrubs that have lost their vigor can be rejuvenated by cutting all the limbs to within 12 inches of the ground.
  • Clean debris from around shrubs. Destroy diseased and dead trimmings to prevent the spread of disease. Shred and compost healthy, green trimmings.

Warnings

  • Pruning Coppertina shrubs in the spring may result in fewer flowers and berries.
  • Do not shear Coppertina shrubs with pruning shears or any other pruning tool, as that will ruin the plant's natural arching shape.

About the Author

 

Melody Lee holds a degree in landscape design, is a Florida Master Gardener, and has more than 30 years of gardening experience. She currently works as a writer and copy editor. Her previous jobs include reporter, photographer and editor for a weekly newspaper.