First Editions Little Devil Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Donna May’)

First Editions Little Devil Ninebark

  • Natural Dwarf Shrub Brings So Much Color
  • Outstanding, Fine-Textured Purple Foliage
  • Clusters of Tiny Pink and White Summer Flowers
  • Exfoliating Bark Adds Winter Interest
  • Great in Cut Flower Arrangements
  • Stays Small and Compact
  • Beautifully Upright Branches
  • Very Easy Care
  • Pest and Disease Resistant
  • Widely Adapted and Long-Lived
  • Cold Hardy
  • Native Cultivar of North America

The ideal landscape shrub gives year-round interest, stays tidy and compact and stands out with plenty of ornamental features. Meet First Editions® Little Devil™ Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Donna May’ PP 22,634).

Its glossy, red-purple foliage brings attention in any setting. Little Devil’s leaves are held on red stems adding to the decorative appeal.

In early summer, tiny pink buds appear and open to tender clusters of white flowers. Butterflies love these nectar-rich blossoms. They’ll look amazing in cut flower arrangements, as well.

In fall, the flowers develop into ornamental, cherry red seed capsules. Watch closely, and you’ll see local songbirds come and take them as dinner.

Once the beautiful leaves fall, you’ll get a chance to study the variegated striations of the exfoliating bark up close. Little Devil gives you much-needed winter interest with its interesting, peeling bark.

This dwarf variety stays smaller than other Ninebark. Gain the brilliant color and refined foliage of the beloved native Ninebark in a modern footprint.

Little Devil showcases a trim, tidy, compact shape and an upright, rounded form. With deliciously dark foliage all season, it delivers color and charm to your space.

Grow it in a large container as a wonderful garden feature!

Nothing could be easier to maintain. Little Devil can adapt to a variety of soils, and is disease, pest and mildew resistant.

It’s a long-lived, American native cultivar shrub that supports local butterflies and songbirds. Frankly, it’s hard to find a friendlier shrub for the home gardener.

Little Devil is also an excellent substitute for the beloved burgundy shades of Barberry. In some parts of the country, Barberry does “too well”. Use Little Devil instead!

The refined foliage of Little Devil Ninebark sets it apart in any landscape. Now add in its small stature, remarkable color and easy care.

How to Use Little Devil Ninebark in the Landscape

There are few shrubs that are easier to grow, hardier or more decorative than Ninebark. Little Devil gives you enhanced ornamental features, while requiring less space.

This compact shrub is smaller than other Ninebarks, so you’ll find plenty of places to use it. It even thrives in large containers for many years.

Little Devil is a diminutive Ninebark variety that makes a fabulous choice for either commercial and residential landscapes. It is very useful in foundation plantings to decorate the exterior of your home. Try a single plant in a large container to draw the eye to your front door. Or, plant two on either side flanking your entryway.

You’ll love the look of Little Devil used in long, low hedges to define your garden design. Plant 2 1/2 feet apart on center to create a solid screen. Measure from the center of one to the center of the next.

Try a row behind your outdoor seating on the patio, or run them down the length of your driveway. Little Devil Ninebark makes a beautiful, colorful backdrop in perennial borders.

Use them to add color to taller, mature shrubs and trees. Plant an undulating serpentine row on the south side of evergreen trees to bring life, color, flowers, butterflies and birds.

Pop one in an outdoor container, and use it to decorate your balcony, porch or deck. Who says you have to own a home to be a gardener? This cute Little Devil makes it easy to enjoy color and beautiful blooms.

Tips for Care

Although this sweet Little Devil is very adaptable to a wide variety of climates and soil conditions, they do need to be planted in well-drained soils. The foliage color is deepest and best in full sun with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day.

Carefully water your new Ninebark during the first season as the roots get established. They will handle period of drought after that, but we recommend that you protect your investment with a medium amount of water on a regular basis.

You likely won’t have to prune Little Devil Ninebark, but here are a few tips just in case. You can shape them right after flowering is finished.

This shrub blooms on last year’s wood, so take care. If you wait too long, you’ll miss out on next year’s blooms. Before pruning, allow the spring flowers to bloom and fade fully.

Every three years or so, you can also renewal prune to encourage performance. Remove the thickest, oldest stems at ground level. You’ll be leaving the thinner, younger stems in place for best flowering.

Enjoy this special small shrub in your foundation plantings, as cunning low hedges and as a beautiful containerized specimen.

First Editions Little Devil Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Donna May’) Details

Common name First Editions Little Devil Ninebark
Botanical name Physocarpus opulifolius 'Donna May'
Hardiness zone 3-7
Growth rate Medium
Height 3 - 4 ft.
Width 3 - 4 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun
Moisture Medium
Soil condition Well-Drained
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Pruning time After Flowering
Flower color Pink, White