Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina) in December

Next year I plan to plant more heavenly bamboo. When most every other non-conifer has lost its leaves, nandina looks as fresh as it did two months ago. The red berries are beautiful and cuttings of nandina last for weeks in water.

The plants are pretty undemanding. They will grow in sun or part shade, do not require feeding, and have modest water requirements. They grow 3-5 feet tall and will spread with time. Nandina does have a tendency to become leggy, so good pruning in spring helps stimulate growth lower down on the plant.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

I planted my first Nandina this summer. I hope it takes as I have planted it under a maple tree. It will have lots of shade and will have to fight to get all the nutrients it needs.

bubba62 said...

An interesting thing about pruning Nandina is that you can create much bushier growth by finding old petioles (leaf stems) nearer the base of each main stem and snapping them off by hand, making sure to remove the entire part that wraps around the stem (this may be called the "hastula", but I can't remember exactly). You'll see dormant buds once these are removed which will then produce fresh growth in spring. This doesn't seem to happen naturally, as the leaf petioles are left behind even after the remainder of the leaf falls away. Also, if you wait long enough, there'll be no need to plant more Nandinas, at least of the kind that produces berries - they seed around with abandon. I spend many happy hours pulling nandina seedlings every summer. On our mantle yesterday I made an arrangement using lots of the pale yellow variety of N. domestica (leucocarpa?) with some straggler pink roses and sasanqua camellia blooms - not conventionally "Christmassy", but still beautiful, and it echoed perfectly the bicolor poinsettia I bought which is salmon with a creamy yellow edging to each leaf.

Karen said...

I like Nandina, but you are lucky to be able to grow it. In Geogria, it is an invasive exotic that has done a lot of damage to native ecosystems, so we are strongly advised to avoid it!

brucewhitephotos said...

I am trying to locate a source for plants that are hard to find in the local retail garden centers here in Essex county, like nandina, american cranberry ( a viburnum) etc...I love Nandina and other plants that are never carried in places like cedar grove garden center, etc. Does anyone have a good lead on places?

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