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Beginner Gardening Questions: Nandina

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Tenn
Dickson, TN

January 20, 2007
2:18 PM

Post #3103039

When or how should I trim a nandina to prevent damage ?
plantladylin
South Daytona, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 20, 2007
11:05 PM

Post #3104449

I'm not sure what you mean about trimming it to prevent damage. I have a couple of small Nandina in containers in my screen room ... I used to have lots of them in the yard, but they are invasive down here in Florida, so I got rid of the ones planted in the ground. I always pruned (trimmed) them in the Spring time, just to shape them and keep them at a decent size.

If your Nandina are large and you want to trim them up, I think you should wait until Spring when all chance of frost has passed. Otherwise, they will want to put out new growth and if you have severe cold it could damage or possibly kill them.

Hopefully someone else will jump in here with suggestions, because I am not an expert by any means and the statement I just made may not be the case in your area. I have heard that Nandina is a very hardy shrub, so maybe pruning at this time of year would not harm it.

Anyone else out there with ideas or information? ...

Lin

edited to say: WELCOME to Dave's! You will LOVE it here! There are so many generous, kind folks who are so helpful!

This message was edited Jan 20, 2007 7:06 PM
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

January 20, 2007
11:32 PM

Post #3104533

I agree about waiting until spring, if you prune them now you are likely to stimulate new growth which will be damaged if you get cold weather. Since they have flowers in spring or summer followed by berries, no matter when you prune I think you stand a chance to lose either the flowers or the berries for a year (I'm not sure if they bloom on new growth or old growth--if it's on new then pruning first thing in the spring is the best). Personally I never pruned mine--at least the varieties that I had tended to be plants that did fine when left on their own.
ceejaytown
The Woodlands, TX
(Zone 9a)

January 22, 2007
1:59 AM

Post #3108902

As nandinas grow, their stalks grow longer and become bare at the bottom. They can become kind of ugly at that point. I wait until spring, and then cut back about 1/3 of those older stalks down to about 15 inches from the ground. Usually they will send out leaves from that point, filling in that legginess. Each year I cut another third. That kind of keeps up with that leggy growth. I never trim them on the top. They are meant to be lacy looking, and that just plain makes them ugly, in my opinion.

I, too, did not understand what you meant by "to prevent damage". What damage?

Welcome to DG!

CJ
Jianhua
Shangshui, Henan
China
(Zone 7b)

January 23, 2007
11:58 AM

Post #3113233

Tenn,
The Nandina is a welcome garden plant in my region.
The plant looks graceful with purpish green foliage all year around,
and bright red berries through fall to winter.
People like to grow it in the yard corner or close to an artifical hillside,
or make it into kind of bonsai.
Talking about the prunning for BONSAI Nandina,
You can do a prunning once every three years.
And the best time for it is in spring.
You can cut off parts of the aged roots,
add some new nutriental soil into the pot
and at the same time, do some prunning:
Take off the slim, withered and pest-infected stalks,
thus forcing new sprouts to come out.
Generally, saving 3 - 5 stalks is okay.
Hope my suggestions will give you some help.
Good luck to your gardening.
Jianhua
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 23, 2007
12:00 PM

Post #3113240

Tenn ~ I suspect Nandina could suffer from frost damage in colder climates? I prune in spring also and similar to CJ, I select one third of the stalks and cut 2/3rds of the stalk off. One third of the stalks I cut 1/3rd of the stalk off and the other third remains uncut. If that doesn't make sense to you, please ask... anyway, this will make the nandina a fuller shrub.

...and a big WELCOME to DG, we are glad to have you! pod
plantladylin
South Daytona, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 23, 2007
1:21 PM

Post #3113492

Jianhua: Great post about Nandina in your country! I have one Nandina in a container in my screened room. I may have to take it out of the pot it's in, trim up the roots and try my hand at Bonsai ... I have always loved Bonsai plants, some people are so talented at it. Many years ago I tried my hand at a small plant, with the copper wire and bending and wiring the branches. I don't remember what became of that plant, but I guess I didn't have much Bonsai talent or the plant would still be around!

Lin
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 24, 2007
12:19 AM

Post #3115525

Has anyone here seen or do you have the Nandina with the gold/yellow berries? I've only seen photos but that is one pretty plant...
plantladylin
South Daytona, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 24, 2007
1:08 AM

Post #3115687

Never knew there was one with gold/yellow berries! I bet it is pretty ... would love to see a photo!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 24, 2007
2:14 AM

Post #3115932

Lin ~ I hate to link to ebay but this is the first one I found. http://cgi.ebay.com/2-Gorgeous-Golden-Nandina-Heavenly-Bamboo-Shrubs_W0QQitemZ190073815277QQihZ009QQcategoryZ3185QQcmdZViewItem
The photos of the one I saw were a darker green foliage and pretty with the golden berries.
Jianhua
Shangshui, Henan
China
(Zone 7b)

January 24, 2007
1:36 PM

Post #3116896

Nandina is native to China and Japan,
and in my region the 'southern heavenly bamboo',
as we Chinese say, are seen grown
here and there in the gardens and parks.
The glorious season of the plant is during the period
of fall and winter, when clusters of bright red berries
appear among the purplish green foliage.
it displays a mass show.
So I say, there is no need to trim the formed bush.
But for nandina bonsai, you have to repot your container
once every three years, just like I said above.
Trimming a nandina bonsai is relatively easy,
What you need to do, I think, is patience.
I hope to see your nandina grow well.
for the pictures, go to dave's garden,
look through my diary Dece/Nove issues.
Jianhua
plantladyhou
Katy, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 25, 2007
2:38 PM

Post #3120716

Down here Nandina - all varieties from super dwarf to tall - are very easy to grow. Plant them and they grow...and grow and grow to the point that if you don't prune, the roots produce underground yet another plant. We generally prune out the older growth at ground level and cultivate deep to prevent the roots from establishing another plant (unless you want to dig that extra plant to put somewhere else or give to someone else). To me the prettiest feature is the leaves which have different colors at the same time. The flowers and berries are inconsequential to me, at least. Remember that Nandinas are a BAMBOO which is known for its invasiveness. Even the clumping type Bamboo. I am presuming, of course that Nandinas act the same no matter where they are grown so let me reiterate that what I have said is for my general area. Enjoy them. They don't require much care and provide a different texture to the garden.

Ann

ps - Welcome to DG!


This message was edited Jan 25, 2007 9:41 AM
ceejaytown
The Woodlands, TX
(Zone 9a)

January 26, 2007
7:00 PM

Post #3125376

Uh - Its common name is heavenly bamboo, and maybe that's where the idea originated, but it isn't a bamboo. It is in the barberry family.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

January 26, 2007
7:36 PM

Post #3125521

Yes, it's related to barberry and not to bamboo, but it's still invasive in some places. I think most of the complaints I've seen about it being invasive have come from the south/southeast parts of the country.
Jianhua
Shangshui, Henan
China
(Zone 7b)

January 26, 2007
11:42 PM

Post #3126359

True is it that the Nandina is aggressive
where the climate is extremelely hot,
but not in my region (Z6b).
Gardeners grow cactus for enjoying its prickles,
clivia for enjoying its graceful foliage,
and nandina (mainly) for enjoying its berries.
My friend Mr Wang Yong, whose yarden
is dominated with the Nandina.
Recently I dropped in his
Finding clusters of N.berries
still flashing their bright red hue
under the sun
in the cold winter.
Lovely!
Jianhua

This message was edited Jan 26, 2007 8:44 PM
ceejaytown
The Woodlands, TX
(Zone 9a)

January 27, 2007
12:11 AM

Post #3126457

You're a poet!!!!! Beautiful...
1gardengram
Fayetteville, NC
(Zone 8a)

January 28, 2007
5:00 AM

Post #3130273

I took a pruning class from the Master Gardener that runs the city gardens and he said that you ONLY trim nandina the way it is stated above: from the bottom, one third each year as necessary. We have several in our yard and the one next to the driveway only gets trimmed as it begins to attack our cars and then only in the spring. It's a big bush and very pretty and in full hot blazing sun. The ones on the other side of the house are in complete shade and are just as pretty. I never see the birds eating the berries.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 28, 2007
12:48 PM

Post #3130611

I never see birds eating the berries either but they disappear and plants pop up under power lines so I wondered...
1gardengram
Fayetteville, NC
(Zone 8a)

January 28, 2007
5:39 PM

Post #3131625

Hmmmm...never thought of that.
DebinSC
Georgetown, SC
(Zone 8a)

January 29, 2007
12:24 AM

Post #3132889

I'd just like to add that pruning of Nandina should be done in early spring. Here in S.C. I was taught years ago to do this in late January. I've always done it that way and had good results. Although the birds do seem to spread the berries, the little volunteers are easily controlled - at least in my garden. (Z8)

Jianhua: thanks for the lovely descriptions!

Deb
fireant13

(Zone 9a)

January 31, 2007
12:00 AM

Post #3139990

This is interesting information. Even though I am in Florida, I love Nandina. Mine got out of control, not invasive, just too large for the spot. I removed them, but kept one on the side of the house by the air conditioner. It has more room here. It's an easy, pretty plant.
renatelynne
Boerne new zone 30, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 31, 2007
7:18 PM

Post #3142693

If you want a Nandina that isn't invasive there is a dwarf variety that stays dwarf and doesn't make more little ones.
Allison_FL
Dunedin, FL
(Zone 10b)

January 31, 2007
7:26 PM

Post #3142722

This is a very interesting thread ! I'be never grown a now learning and seeing them in a Plant File search !
http://davesgarden.com/pf/adv_search.php?searcher[common]=Nandina&searcher[family]=&searcher[genus]=&searcher[species]=&searcher[cultivar]=&searcher[hybridizer]=&search_prefs[sort_by]=rating&images_prefs=both&Search=Search
Now hearing about Nandina's and seeing them in Plant Files I'd really like to try one ! ' And yes there are dwarf variety in PF !
Allison_FL
Dunedin, FL
(Zone 10b)

January 31, 2007
7:31 PM

Post #3142730

Look at these three cuties ! Dwarf Nandinas for sale from seller in PF !
http://www.bigdipperfarm.com/cgi-bin/searchstuff.pl?Botanical=Nandina
ceejaytown
The Woodlands, TX
(Zone 9a)

January 31, 2007
7:43 PM

Post #3142778

They're pretty common, and usually available at your local nurseries or box stores.

I love them at this time of the year - loaded with bright red berries. The nanas - the small rounded ones - don't have berries.

This message was edited Jan 31, 2007 2:45 PM
fireant13

(Zone 9a)

February 1, 2007
1:17 AM

Post #3143854

The sellar's plants are beautiful, but it is better to get the plants locally.

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