Gold Dart Ninebark

Physocarpus opulifolius 'Gold Dart'

Family: Ninebark

Type: Shrub

Other Common Name: Ninebark 'Gold Dart'

Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Gold Dart’ Ninebark is a vibrant and versatile shrub, known for its striking golden-yellow foliage. This deciduous shrub is a standout in any garden, offering year-round interest with its colorful leaves and textured bark. It typically grows to about 4-5 feet in height and spread, making it a manageable size for most gardens.

The ‘Gold Dart’ variety is particularly noted for its bright foliage, which adds a splash of color even in the dullest of landscapes. In late spring to early summer, it produces small, white or pinkish flowers, adding another layer of beauty. This shrub is hardy, adaptable to various conditions, and requires minimal maintenance.

Its peeling bark is another attractive feature, especially during the winter months when the leaves have fallen. This characteristic adds texture and interest, making ‘Gold Dart’ a great choice for adding winter appeal to the garden.

Needs & Preferences

Hardiness Zone: 3a-7b

Deer Resistant: Yes

Pet Friendly: Yes

Moisture Preference: Dry to moist

Sun Needs: Full sun to partial shade

Drought Tolerance (Xeriscape): Yes


Growth Rate: Medium

Average Height (feet): 4

Average Spread (feet): 5

Average Life Span (years): 15

Form: Upright spreading


Flower Color: White

Bloom Season: From late spring to early summer

Foliage Color: Yellow

Leaf Fall Color: Red

Foliage Shape: Oval

Bark Color: Gray

Bark Texture: Smooth

Landscaping Your Yard With Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Gold Dart’ Ninebark

Physocarpus ‘Gold Dart’ is perfect for creating a focal point in garden beds and borders. Its bright foliage contrasts beautifully with green and dark-leaved plants. Plant it in groups or as a standalone specimen to make a bold statement.

This shrub can be used effectively for hedging or screening, providing privacy and color simultaneously. It’s also ideal for planting along foundations or fences, where its compact size and vibrant color can enhance the overall aesthetics of the area.

‘Gold Dart’ Ninebark is a great choice for mixed shrub borders. It pairs well with perennials and other shrubs, adding depth and interest with its unique foliage and texture.


Suitable Garden Styles

Modern Garden

In modern garden designs, 'Gold Dart' adds a touch of brightness and texture. Its striking color and neat growth habit suit the clean lines and simplicity of contemporary styles.

Cottage Garden

For cottage gardens, this Ninebark variety brings a splash of color and informal charm. Its flowers and peeling bark complement the relaxed, natural feel of a cottage-style garden.

Wildlife Garden

In a wildlife garden, 'Gold Dart' can provide shelter for birds and insects. Its flowers attract pollinators, adding to the biodiversity of the garden.

Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Gold Dart’ Ninebark Landscaping Ideas

Use ‘Gold Dart’ Ninebark in sensory gardens. Its textured bark and bright foliage stimulate touch and sight, making it an engaging addition. Plant it near paths or seating areas where its features can be fully appreciated.

Seasonal Interest


In spring, 'Gold Dart' Ninebark's new leaves emerge in a vivid golden-yellow hue. Its flowering adds a delicate touch, enhancing its springtime appeal.


During summer, the foliage may deepen in color, providing a rich backdrop for the garden. The shrub maintains its robust form and color, adding continuous interest.


In the fall, the leaves of 'Gold Dart' may take on a more orange or red hue, adding autumnal warmth to the landscape. The plant's natural shape and color changes bring seasonal beauty.


In winter, after the leaves have fallen, the exfoliating bark becomes a prominent feature. This textured bark adds visual interest to the winter garden, standing out against snow or bare ground.

Planting Tips

Where to Plant

Physocarpus ‘Gold Dart’ thrives in full sun to partial shade. It’s ideal for borders, specimen planting, or as part of a mixed shrubbery border, where its golden foliage can truly shine.


Full sun to partial shade is optimal for 'Gold Dart'. Full sun encourages the most vibrant foliage colors, while partial shade is tolerated but may result in less intense coloring.


This Ninebark variety adapts to a wide range of soil types but prefers well-drained soil. It can tolerate both dry and moist soil conditions, making it versatile for different garden settings.


Space plants about 4-5 feet apart. This spacing allows for their mature spread, ensuring each shrub has ample room to grow to its full potential.

When to Plant

Plant ‘Gold Dart’ Ninebark in the spring or early fall. These cooler temperatures allow the plant to establish its root system before the extreme temperatures of summer or winter.

How to Plant

Plant at the same depth as the container it came in. Loosen the surrounding soil to encourage root expansion. Water thoroughly after planting to settle the soil.

Plant Care Tips


Regular watering is essential in the first growing season. Once established, ‘Gold Dart’ is drought-tolerant, but occasional watering during extended dry periods is beneficial.


Apply a balanced fertilizer in early spring to promote healthy growth. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to excessive leaf growth at the expense of the plant’s structure.


Prune in late winter or early spring to maintain the desired shape and size. This also encourages healthy new growth and flowering.

By Season


Spring Care

In spring, prune to shape the plant and remove any dead or damaged branches. Fertilize to encourage vibrant new growth.

Summer Care

During summer, minimal care is needed. Ensure adequate watering during prolonged dry spells to maintain health and appearance.

Fall Care

In fall, no specific care is needed. The plant will naturally prepare for dormancy as temperatures drop.

Winter Care

Winter care for 'Gold Dart' is minimal. Its peeling bark provides winter interest, and the plant is hardy enough to withstand cold temperatures.


How Fast Does 'Gold Dart' Ninebark Grow?

‘Gold Dart’ Ninebark has a moderate growth rate, typically reaching its full size in a few years.

Is 'Gold Dart' Ninebark Deer Resistant?

While no plant is completely deer-proof, ‘Gold Dart’ Ninebark is generally considered deer resistant. Its foliage and bark are not preferred by deer.

Can 'Gold Dart' Ninebark Be Grown in Containers?

Yes, it can be grown in large containers, but regular pruning is needed to maintain a manageable size. Ensure adequate drainage in the container.

Products That Feature This Plant

Pollinators Paradise

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