Saturday, February 8, 2014

Feature Shrub: Nandina domestica


Looking for all season interest in your landscape?  Nandina domestica is a semi-evergreen broadleaved shrub which is known for its bamboo-looking foliage and bright red fruit display.  Creamy-white flowers in spring are followed by pink fruit that matures to bright red berries which last throughout the winter months. Nandina grows to a height of 6-8 feet and width 2-4 feet and is ideal for foundation plantings, woodland gardens, informal and natural settings.   Nandina is deciduous only in very cold climates where temperatures fall below -10 degrees.  It is semi-evergreen in zones 6-9 and evergreen in zones 8-10. Nandina domestica thrives in full sun to partial shade and prefers to be grown in a moist well-drained soil.   
Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo)
Nandina is a low maintenance shrub only requiring occasional pruning once a year to control height and maintain fullness.  Several dwarf cultivars of Nandina have also been produced.  Two of the nicer varieties are Nandina 'Gulf Stream' which grows to a height of 4 feet tall and 'Firepower' which reaches a maximum height of 2 feet tall.  'Gulf Stream' exhibits mostly green foliage in summer and bronze-red foliage in fall.  'Firepower' is known for its green foliage with red tips in summer followed by bright red-maroon foliage in fall.  The dwarf forms do not produce flowers and fruit but are known for their superior changing foliage.  
Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo)

Nandina domestica is drought tolerant once established, is not susceptible to any particular diseases and is long-lived.  The seeds are enjoyed by a variety of birds and it is also known to be "deer resistant".  Nandina domestica is an all around interesting addition that fits nicely into a number of landscape settings.  If you are looking to add continued interest to your landscape give this plant a try and it will supply you with years of enjoyment.
   

As Always...Happy Gardening!


Author: Lee@ A Guide to Northeastern Gardening.  All rights reserved 2014.




22 comments:

  1. it must be a pretty pop of red in the garden, especially with the snow. i have holly in 2 of my gardens with only a few berries right now. i wonder if the birds have gotten in to them ;)

    have a happy weekend!!

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    1. The berries on the nandina and holly are an added plus especially in the winter...food for the birds. Thank you for visiting!

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  2. This looks pretty but would likely not grow in my Zone 3 climate.

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    1. Hi Ruth. It acts more as a deciduous shrub in temperatures below -10 F but has nice summer foliage. In your zone it would have no winter foliage but it is hardy to -10 F (-23 C). I'm not sure how cold it gets there.

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  3. We have 2 of these (the smaller varieties), and they are such a wonderful pop of color in the wintertime. :-)

    Happy Sunday to you, Lee!

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    1. They are nice plants aren't they? I like how they supply food for the birds as well. Thanks for visiting and for your comment Lisa!

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  4. I've recently added Gulf Stream to my garden. Currently still residing in the pot is was bought in until I can decide where to put it. It hasn't been cold enough here yet to make any difference to how it looks.
    Thanks for the profile - certainly more information on here than is on the label.

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    1. Glad to be of help Angie. That is what blogging is all about! Thanks for the feedback!

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  5. I'm always looking for color to add to the winter garden, but because we're in zone 5a-5b I was wondering if it would still hold its berries through winter even though it would lose its leaves. And I think it would be wonderful for the birds, too. Also, do you know if it needs to cross pollinate to produce berries? Thanks for the information.

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    1. Hi Susan. Thanks for visiting! Nandina does cross pollinate so it is best to have a cluster of them together. Do remember that some varieties (the dwarfs) do not flower and get berries so make sure you get the taller original cultivar (Nandina domestica). It will lose its leaves in zone 5 but the berries and their stalks should probably remain on the plant. We suffered some harsh winters here in zone 7 before my plants got really established and they lost most of their foliage but the berries remained. Holly, Vibernum and Winterberry also produce nice winter berries. You will see my Nellie Stevens Holly berries (zone 6) in the next post and there is an existing post on Berry-Producing Shrubs with many possibilities for your zone so you may want to check it out. :)

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  6. I love this and thought it was pretty much indestructible, but have killed one already. Guess it's time to try again.

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    1. I'm not sure which zone you are in Ricki but you may have gotten a weak plant that just didn't get established. Give it another try! They are hardy to zone 3 as a deciduous shrub.

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  7. Oh, lovely – I so like a bush with all year interest, now if I could only find a space for it in my garden… :-)
    Thanks for the info, have a good week!

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    1. Thank you for visiting Helene. I am sure you will find space in your lovely gardens. Nandina is a great shrub for every season so it would bring you lots of enjoyment! Have a good week!

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  8. Gorgeous red berries! Perfect for birds and for photographers :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Astrid. It does have a dual purpose. I do get a lot of enjoyment from the bright red berries in the wintertime, especially with all this snow. P.S. I loved your last post!

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  9. How lovely!


    ALOHA from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral

    =^..^= <3

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting Cloudia. I enjoyed viewing your lovely quotes and photographs! :)

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  10. I love your plant descriptions, Lee, they are so informative. When buying new plants I am trying to stick to natives, as I don't have enough in my garden. Heavenly bamboo, with its beautiful berries, is tempting, though. P. x

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    1. I am so glad you enjoyed this post Pam. I try to supply as much information as I can so readers can know the requirements of the plant. The false (Heavenly Bamboo) is not native but would fit nicely into an informal or natural setting. Be well. :)

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  11. I am not familiar with this shrub and love those red berries. We're in zone 5 here and I have a feeling that based on your description it may not be hardy here (you say it is semi-evergreen for zone 6-9, but is it hardy)?

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    1. Hi Jennifer. In Ontario (Zone 5) you are borderline. Nandina is semi-evergreen and hardy in zones 6-9. I have had mine for years in zone 7 and it does well. It will act as a deciduous shrub in zone 5 but would have the berries; however, it may die back all the way if your temperatures get below -10 degrees. Hope this helps to answer your question. :)

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Thank you for visiting. I love reading your comments and knowing you have been here, and will try to reciprocate on your blog. If you have any questions I will try my very best to answer them. As always...HAPPY GARDENING!

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