Few shrubs are easier to grow than ninebark. This North American native tolerates an array of weather conditions and is largely left alone by animal pests. Newer selections bear foliage in bold shades of purple and gold. It may suffer from powdery mildew, especially during extended periods of wet weather but is otherwise virtually carefree. The common name comes from the bark, which continually molts in thin strips, exposing a new layer of bark, as if it had “nine lives”.