Sever each individual branch in question down to the crown of the plant, leaving only live, healthy wood. How much of the plant should I prune? Pruning Ninebark. To prune thicker branches or stems, use a pruning handsaw. Ninebark blooms on “old wood,” meaning that this year’s flowers bloom on wood that grew last year. The ‘Little Devil ... Read more about pruning ninebark in the pruning section below. Question From: Charter Township of Clinton, Michigan, United States . Prune Ninebark Shrubs. Ninebark Shrub Care. Dwarf Ninebark Little Devil™ (Physocarpus opulifolius) Join the Club to Manage Your Garden Plant Details; Basic Care Instructions; Detailed Care Instructions; Features. is a deciduous, woody ornamental hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 to 8 and noted for its cinnamon-colored exfoliating bark, a feature prominent in winter. Remove any damaged, dead, diseased, cracked or abrading branches throughout the shrub with secateurs or loppers. Loppers are adequate for branches up to 1 1/2 inches thick. After the first year, I cut out only small dead branches but have left it alone ever since. Some folks cut them back but I decided to leave it alone until it settled in. Be sure to use in full sun as a specimen, in groupings, in an informal hedge or even in containers. If you prefer, renewal pruning to a foot above the ground can be included in ninebark shrub care during dormancy every few years. Ninebark should be pruned at least once a year, early in the growing season. The best time to prune a ninebark shrub is in the first few days after it flowers, which happens between late winter and early summer, depending on your location. It is still blooming & not sure if I should prune it before winter sets in or wait till Spring? It does grow in mostly high shade and is exposed to nasty northwest winds in the winter. Late winter or early spring is the time to prune this shrub. Rich burgundy-tinged foliage creates a beautiful backdrop for clusters of dainty pink blooms that are produced over a long season in summer. The Little Devil Ninebark combines a truly dwarf habit in a very well branched, dense plant with rich chocolate-purple foliage color. Established ninebark shrubs are drought tolerant and can thrive with only occasional watering and limited fertilization in spring with a balanced fertilizer as part of ninebark shrub care.. Pruning for shape and thinning inner branches will likely be all that is necessary to keep growing ninebark shrubs healthy and attractive. When And How To Prune Little Devil Nine Bark. Prune your "Diablo" ninebark shrub in the early to mid-spring after the last hard frost has passed but before new shoots are visible. I have a smaller ninebark - 'Little Devil' - which has been in the ground 2 1/2 years. 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