Hardiness: USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade
Danger: Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Bloom Color: White/Near White
Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer
Foliage: Grown for foliage Evergreen Burgundy Bronze-Green Smooth-Textured
Other details: May be a noxious weed or invasive Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater Provides winter interest
Soil pH requirements: 5.6 to 6.0 (acidic) 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: From woody stem cuttings From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
Seed Collecting: Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored
On Apr 15, 2013, willvan from Brunswick, ME wrote:
Just returning from a recent visit to Bethesda, Maryland (Washington, DC area) I saw a lot of this used as landscape plantings, and even collected a few berries.
I'm sure I saw several varieties and specimens in many areas, some looking like they had escaped there. This one reminds me of the problems we have here in Maine with burning-bush (Euonymus) and Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii)
Like the worst invasives I have at home, the risk here is multiplied many times when the plant spreads by fruit with seeds eaten by birds. We can always say we can control it, either through digging or chemicals, but we cannot control the birds!
Stick with a native alternatives--there are so many choices in the growing range of this guy.
On Dec 24, 2012, leafnobudbehind from Chapel Hill, NC wrote:
A landscapers dream but a conservationists nightmare, N. domestica needs next to no human help to thrive and multiply. This habit of rapid growth and propagation, however, causes this plant to be a very aggressive invasive. The woody roots and runners are near impossible to pull out so make sure you really want this for a long time before you plant it. The bizarre texture of the stems and leaves give away the exotic origin of the plant, and unless very diligently pruned and managed this plant looks very tacky and, as one user said, "ho-hum", because of it's amorphous tree-like growth habit. In a typical day, I'll see it planted in at least 3 separate instances - the calling card of lazy landscapers who want a quick and easy shrub to plant that will survive almost anything. Some cultivars can be less invasive and have better color, but you're better off just using a hardy native like a viburnum. When these escape into the wild (not IF - birds love the berries and that's an effective dispersal technique), they'll grow into dense stands and crowd out native vegetation.
Final thoughts: this plant had it's benefits, but now it is overplanted and just looks cheap and tacky in otherwise beautiful landscapes. Do our native plants a favor and use natives instead of Nandina domestica!
On Apr 16, 2012, thymekiller from Aransas Pass, TX wrote:
My experience with Nandina began near Corpus Christi, TX, where it was a very popular plant. I was surprised at first to find them growing happily as well here in Springfield, MO (zone 6b). They are planted along the foundation in spots at the assisted living community where work, and both the staff and resident enjoy them for their year-round beauty. Yes, they are invasive if you let them be, but as part of my job is landscape maintenance there, I have the opportunity to keep them under control, as well as share them with my co-workers. They grow equally well in sun and shade - they are planted on both the north and south sides of the building. Occasionally they DO require pruning, and I just cut out the tallest canes until I have the height I'm looking for. I just planted a woody root cutting in the shade of my back yard today, and I'm looking forward to enjoying it for years to come.
On Mar 5, 2012, JMSWilson from East Tennessee 6b/7a, TN wrote:
No spreading by root or seed (only one plant seeded in 25 years!) in the fields, forests, and mountains of East Tennessee. I went out just now and checked the beautiful red berries on my plants. Most of the seed doesn't look viable. Must be the weather here in zone 6b/7a.
Nandina looks good both in formal settings with boxwoods, and in informal settings with tall winter grasses and yucca. I use the evergreen Berkmans arborvitae (very slowly growing to 10ft. in 20 years) and Nandina (to 6ft.) to "tie together" the formal and informal areas around my house. Trim a Nandina stem by 1/3 and another by 2/3rds to make a fuller bush-especially nice behind a yucca (almost overhanging it a little). Don't trim the Nandina behind the Berkmans arborvitae or next to the boxwoods, however...the leggy bamboo-like stems give great contrast. Use New Guinea impatiens at their feet in summer for a fuller, different look.
Nandina also look great right next to the house (in shady, drier areas) where nothing else seems to want to grow. I've got a tall one hiding the electrical meter by the gutter on the southeast side of the house. In summer the leaves are green, but in winter shades of green with red...with bright red berries that last all winter! Pretty and tough-what wonderful plants! I could use some more-anyone in Cosby, Newport or Knoxville TN giving any away? I've transplanted 4ft. Nandinas before, and can do it again! (Hint, Hint! :D)
On Feb 9, 2012, mmosley from Pine Bluff, AR wrote:
Grows well here in southeast Arkansas. Beautiful red leaf coloring during fall & winter that transforms to a fresh green color during summer with occasional flowers. Isn't really invasive here. It stays in its own area & has for over 10 years & counting. Just be sure to give it a space of around 5'x5' if planning to put it in the ground. Handles wind, drought, unusually cold weather, heavy rain--& it makes a nice privacy screen up to around 6 feet tall--probably taller if i'd stop pruning it from time to time.
On Dec 26, 2011, warnock31510 from gibson, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:
I've had a lot of experience with this plant from early childhood, into commercial landscape maintenance & now as lazy, retired gardener. It always grew on older homesites in GA, is still used by landscapers & is often featured in gardening magazines. Why? Its evergreen, has 2 seasons of color, is disease & insect resistant, is drought tolerant and survives most neglect. What more could you ask of a plant? Proper pruneing is a great help. Once a year in late winter prune 1/3 of the trunks back to 6", 1/3 to the height you want the plant to be and the other 1/3 about half way between the two previous cuts. This will give you a plant with full leaf from top to bottom. Left unpruned it begins to resemble a small tree with bare trunks at the botton defeating its great screening potential. In the winter the red berrys make great additions to holiday decorations as well as adding color to an otherwise bleak winter landscape. Any seedings that come up are very easy to remove as any weed. Please don't put nandina in the same category with fruitcake!
On Oct 4, 2011, virginiarose from Portsmouth, VA (Zone 8a) wrote:
This is the most beautiful shrub I own and they first came to my attention at a house we rented about 10 years ago. Two were at the front near gutter drain and there were seedlings and I easily pulled them up. Here at my own house I have not had that problem because I have mulch around them and I know nothing about the roots being a problem because I have dug up a few and I did not think anything of it, just another bush. If you live south of Virginia you might want to reconsider, but as for me I love this shrub and recently planted two more. Great winter color and neo orange berries.
On Aug 23, 2011, BryanGatesRealtor from Jacksonville,FL United States wrote:
I have seen this plant do everything that was mentioned. When I first moved into my home it was growing uncontrollably and had runners and new growth shooting up on the opposite side of my house from where the original plants were. It was very difficult to remove and get under control. I did take two specimens and plant them next to the gate leading to my backyard but I left them grow tall. The previous owner had tried to keep them as a hedge. The growth slowed down and when they approached 5 feet they almost completely stopped spreading. (I transplanted them about 9 years ago and they are almost 7 feet tall now. The maximum height is about 8 feet from what I've seen.) It seems that cutting them short makes them spread, whereas letting them grom tall and occasionally cutting off any runners keeps it under control.
On Apr 14, 2011, Tresgen from Seagraves, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
I have a picture or two of my mother standing in front of their house, which she had sent to my father when he was stationed in the Pacific Theater during WWII. Behind her are some Nandinas. It's all these years later, I've inherited the house, and the Nandinas are still providing lovely foliage and beautiful berries. They're especially lovely in the rare snow we get here in Texas. I've never found them to be invasive; but can vouch for their extraordinary hardiness. I think of them as my "heirloom Nandinas". :)
On Mar 19, 2011, pasogardener from Paso Robles, CA wrote:
I too am surprised at all the negatives. This is my absolute all time favorite plant. I've used in three different homes with great results. The variations of color over each season are wonderful. Red berries in winter/spring. Flowers in spring/summer. Good fall color. I generally cut back once plant reaches desired height, but I prune by removing entire stalks. In that way, my plants remain full from bottom to top. I don't think they resemble regular bamboo at all, which is very invasive and messy. I have never found Nandina to be invasive, but maybe our central California coast is different. For me, they require minimal care and provide fantastic results.
On Nov 21, 2010, merman1122 from Phoenix, AZ wrote:
Almost impossible to get rid of. Here in the Arizona low desert it proliferates even in full shade. Grows without watering it for months. Roots burrow into and under foundations causing damage. Only positive is it does turn a nice shade of red in the fall. I also have regular bamboo growing and this is nothing like bamboo which is easy to get rid of by not watering. Don't be fooled by the name. Choose something else.
On Oct 11, 2010, kkoehler from Charlotte, NC wrote:
We have four of these flanking the front porch of our rental home. Seems like every four weeks I'm having to trim it despite the itching and rash I get from doing so. I've concluded I am allergic to this plant. If you have sensitive skin, it may be advisable not to have this plant in your yard. I agree with many of the negatives here about Heavenly Bamboo from my experiences since moving into this home. This stuff grows tall like most bamboo. If I don't trim ours every so many weeks, it gets 6 feet tall.
On Sep 15, 2010, tvksi from Paris, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:
Happy in Paris with Nandina. I think there are 5 tall ones on the south, length of house with taylored solid evergreen ground cover. They are tall, bare multi-trunked spreading out at the top and look quite atractive. We/I trim them up every few years and hardly ever water them. They are so independant I forget they are there for months at a time. None of my neighbors have any and they have been here since the house was built about 35 years ago.
They sucker a lot and I imagine they all have heck-of-a root system, I'll be leaving them there and just enjoy them. Since i am now aware of their agressivness, Iwill try to remember to remove blossoms before they go to seed.
On Aug 1, 2010, NurseExternER from Tallahassee, FL wrote:
This plant is miserable! It is a highly invasive plant. I have decided to dig mine up because in a 2-year period the plant has doubled in size from when we moved in. In order to get rid of the bush is is necessary to dig up every bit of the root system. And leave no trace of the roots, plant, leaves or berries behind. They will grow! First I chopped down the shrub with hedge clippers and a machete. Then I dug an 18 inch trench around the outer part of the plant until I was no longer digging roots up. Then I had to break up the center portion with a pick axe into manageable chunks. The root system was like a ball of hard, dry wood. It would have been best if I could have found a backhoe! I have been working on this project by myself for about a month. I still have about a quarter of the plant's roots mass to get rid of, then I can start getting the smaller roots left over. I live in the N. Florida/S. Georgia area. This plant is horrible. It's also a very tacky looking plant. Actually, in my quest to conquer this thing I've discovered that the plant is a bunch of individual weed-like plants with intertwined roots. Don't plant this in your yard, it will take over, guaranteed! It's choking everything else out, not to mention that it IS poisonous. My dog has gotten a hold of a few twigs from it and it has made him very sick and puked.
On May 1, 2010, Jackie5_0 from Summerville, SC wrote:
PURE EVIL!!!!! Super invasive!!!
The previous owners of my house planted this along the fence toward one side of my backyard, then they abandoned the house for 5 years. By the time I bought the house it had spread ALL OVER. It had made its way to the other side of the backyard, and into my neighbors yards. It actually started moving my heat pump and broke up a brick and mortar garden (all of this was on the far side opposite where it was originally planted)
It is a nightmare to get rid of!! I have probably spent more the 50 hours pulling it all out. The thick, deep root nests were worse then what I had seen with bamboo. An axe would bounce rite off them barley doing any damage.
I still have bits of it popping up, and even worse some of it must have gotten loose while I was pulling it out and now it's been popping up in my front yard. No weed/brush/vine killer has effected it. I had even tried root rot which did nothing.
A lot of sites and garden centers dont say anything to indicate how invasive this plant is, they really need to give people a warning.
Truly, one of the most beautiful shrubs for fall--took my breath away when I found it in a garden center in southern Kentucky and lugged 3 large specimen home. I kept 2 for central Illinois and gave my sister and friend one for central Indiana---theirs is just now starting to throw out sprouts from old wood, and one of mine is as well. I will keep my eyes on the other and pray for growth.
INVASIVE exotic. Unfortunately, this has been a very popular plant in the nurseries in central Texas because this plant grows well here and is evergreen. The problem is that it grows too well and, aside from being over-used, is extremely invasive. PLEASE DO NOT use this plant. IT IS SPREADING throughout the woods in our area. Please choose a noninvasive exotic or--better yet--a native plant instead.
On Jun 11, 2009, lehua_mc from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:
Wow, for all our Oregonian concern about invasive plants, the Nandina is not a hot topic at garden parties. It's more of a must have for our dark shady under canopy areas. While there are some very large mature plants in some gardens (yards), they function as a shrub should, with an average whack back when the mood strikes. For its evergreen, open, lacy and changing nature, I still think there are regions where it can be enjoyed!
On Nov 17, 2008, Malevettech from Columbus, OH wrote:
I have done alot of research on this plant. I know about its invasive habits. I have had it for 4 years in my garden. It is not evergreen in this zone (5B), and may die back to the ground. Mine is about four feet tall now and staying in a nice tight clump. It is a very nice plant for late fall color. It may keep its leaves untill january depending on the weather. I have only had it die back all the way once. I was not able to find a source in my area, but on a vacation to WV I found it a at home depot. I have been very happy with it and woud like more, but will not be in WV again for a long time.
This plant grows very welll here in the hot desert in the shade / morning sun. I have even seen it in full sun conditions, but does it not look as good. I have them planted on the north side of some palm trees, so it gets shade and also helps to partly hide the palm trunks. Great winter color and requires little water. In NO WAY is it invasive in the desert soil.
On Oct 6, 2007, Mombird from Dana Point, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:
I am so surprised at the number of negatives on this plant. It almost sounds like we're talking about 2 entirely different plants. Here in So. Ca, I have grown this plant in 3 different homes for nearly 30 years and I love it! Especially some of the newer cultivars like gulf stream and Sienna sunrise, which are full and lush all the way to the ground, with beautiful shades of orange and red. I have never SEEN a runner, nor
a plant over 4 1/2 feet tall. Perhaps it's our lack of extreme humidity and heat, I don't know.
On Aug 10, 2007, Opoetree from Oak View, CA wrote:
We have had this plant growing in our front yard for twenty years. It has withstood drought and hard frost conditions. The foliage is amazingly lovely and the plant requires little care...I almost feel that it has been neglected -- but, you could not tell from the way it grows on dependably year after year.
On Jul 7, 2007, victorgardener from Lower Hudson Valley , NY (Zone 6b) wrote:
Notice all the comments on aggressiveness come from the warmer areas. Not at all aggressive here and makes a wonderful 4 season shrub. The ugly legs are the one downer, but as Deb said, it can be addressed with proper pruning to different heights. Love this plant.
On Jun 2, 2007, chantilly from Hamilton, TX wrote:
Although I have to agree that this plant can and in some ways does look quite pretty (at times), it's a major thorn in my side right now. We just bought our house in January, and nandina is the shrub of choice in the flower beds on both sides. Trouble is, it's so huge and overgrown in both areas that I don't know what to do with it. I'd like to plant other things in at least some of those flower beds, but so far I've had no luck getting rid of what I've got. I read all the suggestions for getting rid of the runners and such, but does anyone have any input on getting rid of the mature plants? The root system is akin to a small tree, and I simply don't know how to get enough of it up to kill the darned things.
On Nov 23, 2006, DebinSC from Summerville, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:
I've always had these in my yard. Yes, they tend to multiply, but can be controlled without alot of effort, at least that has been my experience. If they are too tall or leggy, you can hard prune in very early spring (Jan. is good). Seems to work best in 1/3s, i.e. a 3rd of the shoots tallest, a 3rd medium, a 3rd short.
On Jul 13, 2006, greenbud from Houston, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
I love the foliage. It almost has a Japanese garden look to it. From now on I will cut off the berries, which I haven't been very impressed with the appearance of anyway. The foliage offers year round interest - beautiful colors. Low maintenance, takes pruning very well, root suckers pull up easily (most of the time). I have several as foundation plants mixed with daylilies, dwarf crepe myrtle, azaleas, dianthus, petunias, white-veined dutchman's pipevine, Ligustrum (one trimmed up as a topiary and one limbed up as a small tree) caladiums, dwarf burford holly, a cleyera shrub and a gardenia shrub. I love it.
On May 24, 2006, CarolesJungle from Naples, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:
This plant always looks beautiful in my yard. It can be trimmed to fit some weird little spot where you cannot find just the right plant to grow. It sends out a few runners but easy to cut off if you do not want the the new plants.
On Mar 30, 2006, gooley from Hawthorne, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:
It looks like a bamboo, sort of. It isn't. It's pretty. It's planted almost everywhere I have been here in Florida. The Gainesville Regional Airport, 15 miles from me, has (last I checked...I hope they've gotten rid of it) it as a major feature of its landscaping. I've seen it in big decorative pots in Stuart, which has a nearly frost-free climate and a mess of other invasive plants already (Australian-pine, melaleuca, Brazilian pepper...). It's become a CLICHE' plant, and the birds defecate out its seeds where they like (the red berries seem to be popular bird food), so it's become an invasive pest as well. Heck, you're better off planting a REAL bamboo: not all varieties spread invasively by roots (whereas this plant can), and real bamboos very rarely set seed (and usually die after they do). Just say no to N. domestica.
On Jan 28, 2006, rebecca30 from Cary, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:
I am considering purchasing Heavenly Bamboo (nandina comestica) from the local Home Depot in my area. I wanted to know what may be good companion plants with it? Azaleas? Junipers? Any suggestions? Thanks.
On Jan 13, 2006, Pashta from Moncks Corner, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:
I have not experienced the wide spreading habits of this plant, but I do know it grows very quickly in the sun, and becomes unkempt very quickly. Im sure when its well trimmed it can look nice, but mostly I just think its unwieldy and ugy. Im going to prune the snot out of mine this spring and see what happens. There are several around the house, all of which are small disaster areas. I dont want to kill it, becase I hate killing any plants in general, but I really dont like it, and its taking up prime real estate in the yard. Hopefully pruning it hard will let it grow out a little better, or at least attain a better shape.
On Nov 22, 2005, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:
Yes, it is beautiful, but please don't plant it in central or southern Florida. It tries to take over the world. I should have added that you don't need to plant the seeds. The birds will take care of that for you. Also, they sucker from the roots and spread all over the place.
One of the older ornamental shrubs, Nandina is frequently seen in the deep south. The elegant, delicately formed stems and foliage belie the plant's hardiness; beyond a reasonable amount of light and water and the occasional pruning for shape it requires very little care at all. You should, however, think of this as permanent planting. Although it can be eliminated, you will find that it takes a concerted effort over the course of several years.
There has been considerable comment about the invasive nature of the plant. My mother had nadina in her yard from the 1950s until her death in the 1980s; I have had it in my own yard for well over ten years. Circumstances differ, of course, but I have never found it in the least invasive. It can, however, grow to be a very large plant; unless you enjoy frequent prunings I would not recommend placing it under windows, etc., for given enough sun and water it can very quickly grow quite tall and block the window entirely--as it tended to do outside my mother's kitchen.
On May 3, 2005, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:
Nandina can be very beautiful with their rainbow shades of foliage, scarlet berries and lacy leaves. I've not had the experience of it being invasive, yet. They were planted by the builders of house when we moved in three years ago. I haven't noticed any seedlings, volunteers or suckers. I also hadn't noticed any birds or animals consuming the berries.
These seem to be very popular in landscaping but are best planted where they can be easily controlled--NOT left alone in the woods to wreak havoc if they are invasive plants. Aliens often replace native plants that just can't compete.
On Mar 10, 2005, jestelleoan from Tyler, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
I live in The Piny Woods of East Texas and I have had this plant for 20 Years. It does not send out roots but the birds love it so it is spread out into my woods. But I would not call it invasive. It pulls up very easily and you can replant it if you want more. It is beautiful in sun and shade, it is evergreen and the berrys are wonderful at Christmas. Please plant it where it can grow to its full height and you will be very happy with it. They grow best in the woods where they are left alone. Joan
On Mar 8, 2005, doss from Stanford, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
While treehugger has an important point - if this is threatening natural habitat in your area, it shouldn't be planted - I have had a batch of it that has been in my garden since I moved here 30 years ago that has never sent runners and I have never found a single seedling. It stays put here. If it gets too large it can be trimmed easily and grows back without looking "scalped". Thinning it is also easy and if you want a screen, leaving it thick works too. I have it in full sun and full shade. While less vigorous in full shade, it is a good screen plant there also. I have planted Iris, daffodils, clematis, Dahlias, Azaleas and annuals along with it with no problem. Curious that people have so many different experiences.
On Dec 24, 2004, susan_simpson from Vincennes, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:
I bought several of these "clearance-type" a year ago. Thought they were dying, looked really bad the first year, but this year they are beautiful, green as well as red leaves, the shape of the plant is rounded and "full". So far I am very happy with them and hope they survive the 10" snow we just had that has completely covered them (outside my backporch door). That snow is really unfamiliar in the area, I might add.....the Wabash River in southern Indiana.
On Dec 23, 2004, TREEHUGR from Now in Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
Class I invasive. FLEPPC dot ORG Listed as a problem for all southeastern states and Texas. invasive DOT org
It surely is beautiful, though--too bad.
1/12/05 update. According the the data sheet on this, the berries are dispersed by birds and other critters. What does this matter, you ask? The plant may not grow aggressively in your yard or perhaps you have a way to control it by cutting the underground runners. However, there is no one to cut the underground runners in the wild 5 miles away where a bird dropped seed that germinated many months later. In other words, the plants are doing damage and the damage is not happening in your yard. Please take the warnings seriously, and try to come to terms with the fact that it's best to say goodbye to these.
The following cultivars reportedly do not produce the berries in ***the nursery environment***; nana, harbour dwarf and firepower. If you ask me, why take the chance? This stuff is forming dense groves in the Florida Caverns State Park's habitats and is crowding out the endangered red columbine and oak-leaf hydrangea which is rare to find in the wild.
Please resist the temptation, there's only about a hundred million other plants you can use.
On Aug 14, 2004, pokerboy from Canberra Australia (Zone 8b) wrote:
A great foliage plant. It's foliage goes redder in winter. It's a very drought tolerant plant. Very attractive. Thrives in Full sun. I cut back the canes more than 3 years old on my 8 plants and then the reshoot, stronger, healthier looking plants. It's a very tough plant. pokerboy.
It is not agressive in Mobile, AL. I have trouble keeping it growing in some places, especially low light. It seems to do well even when it gets dry as long as it gets a lot of sun. It gets hot here & is very humid. It makes a good low growing hedge because it does not grow tall in this area. I trim it about every 2 years and it grows back fuller but I do not have any problem with it growing tall. The thing does not excite me that much but I got a bunch with the house and it looks just fine.
On Mar 13, 2004, hotlanta from Lilburn, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:
I like nandina very much. The berries in the fall and winter (and well into spring), and the leaves, add much needed interest to the bland gardens. They do self-propagate very easily, but with diligence, one can keep nandina under control. I transplant it to areas that need "something" and it fills in perfectly. Nandina is very drought tolerant. In fact, I never think about having to provide water to them during the usual hot and dry Atlanta summers.
I've had the plant for two years now (bought as a 1 foot twig!)and planted it by our pond in Luton, UK. It has grown to height of 6 feet has flowered, and associates well with other taller plants at the side of the pond (e.g. Pheasant Berry). A cracking plant that appears to be fully hardy in our garden.
On Jul 31, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:
Every home I have ever lived in in the Coastal South has had some type of nandina in the yard, and I have never, ever, noticed that it was invasive. It may be that our plants were mostly in the shade, or in the back of borders, where they were never much fertilized, or that they never had any water other than rainwater. Or that the soil was quite sandy. But whatever the conditions, year in and year out, this was always an attractive, airy looking, evergreen shrub with beautiful fall and early winter red berries my mother cut for Christmas decorations.
The ones from my childhood grew quite tall and made attractive screens from too close neighbors in New Orleans, but through the years I've noticed many new, smaller, "dwarf" varieties with more intense colors. And I always thought the plant lived up to its common name of "Heavenly Bamboo." I've also noticed that nandina is planted a lot in rental houses with small yards, as a no-care, evergreen, indestructable, general purpose landscape shrub, and I am very surprised to find this plant getting such a bad reputation now.
So perhaps it still has a place in a difficult situation, say a small strip between a concrete driveway and a fence, or in a somewhat shady location, where it is difficult to grow most plants, and it would provide a green, softening efffect. Or in the very back of borders, under shade trees, without a lot of fertilizer or water. I just can't imagine a Coastal South landscape without a place, somewhere, for this beautiful plant.
On Jul 30, 2003, knightspassion from Raleigh, NC wrote:
Heavenly bamboo is not aggressive in my North Carolina Piedmont garden. My nandina is in quite heavy shade in a woodland garden area and looks very nice with my other evergreen shrubs and trees e.g. euonymous and maples. It thrives even under drought conditions under maples that suck up all the water. I would not use this plant in a bed or in the sun since it could create a problem under good growing conditions. It seeds itself somewhat readily, and birds spread seed as well, but not anything that can't be kept up with in the shade if you don't want new plants. In our area, we use the foliage and red berries to decorate with at Christmas. The plant is easy to keep looking nice by pruning the tallest cane(s) yearly.
On Jul 30, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
This variety spreads through underground runners and seeds. There is a variety that is noninvasive, but I do not know the variety's name at this time. I wished I had known this fact before planting this variety.
I heavily mulch around the plants and pull any new sprouts from seeds before they have time to root deeply. Any unwanted sprouts from runners must be pulled up hard enough to locate the point at which the runner has originated at the base of the "mother" plant. Then, it can be chopped off (I use a long nose shovel or a heavy duty pruning shear). Every year, I cut off the berry clumps before they mature and fall to discourage seed sprouting. Stray seed sprouts can be killed with Roundup. Stray runner sprouts can be killed with Roundup if the runner has been severed from the "mother" plant. Any manner of removal of new sprouts is difficult when they are intermingled with other plantings. These are beautiful plants, but this variety takes a lot of work to keep them from taking over the beds.
The berries can be mildy toxic to cats and other grazing animals.
On Apr 21, 2003, Bug_Girl from San Francisco, CA wrote:
I did not find it to be invasive, but that was because it died right away. When I bought it at our old house, in San Francisco, I did not know it was invasive or I would not have done it. The berries are very beautiful.
On Jul 30, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:
This plant has gorgeous red berries in autumn and all through winter, which adds lots of color in an otherwise drab environment. It can also be used as a hedge once the plants reach a fairly decent size.
On Aug 31, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:
A relative of the Barberries, the common name of Nandina domestica is in reference to its delicate, bamboo-like foliage. It starts out maroon, turning green as it matures. Inconspicuous flowers in early summer turn to red berries that remain on the plant through the fall and winter months.
In the right setting, it's a lovely shrub. In a mixed border, or in the wrong setting, it's invasive and aggressive, spreading by underground runners and getting too tall too quickly. We've removed several LARGE shrubs that were planted in front of windows, and effectively blocked all light coming into the room; two years later, we're still finding new sprouts that keep popping up.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, (2 reports) Washington D.c., Atmore, Alabama Irvington, Alabama Mackenzie, Alabama Smiths, Alabama Dewey, Arizona Phoenix, Arizona Queen Creek, Arizona Surprise, Arizona Magnet Cove, Arkansas Pine Bluff, Arkansas , California Carlsbad, California Concord, California Crockett, California Dana Point, California Garden Grove, California Grass Valley, California Laguna West-lakeside, California Lake Nacimiento, California Martinez, California Oak View, California Perris, California San Diego, California Venice, California Woodland, California Bartow, Florida Black Diamond, Florida Boyette, Florida Dunnellon, Florida Eustis, Florida Gulfport, Florida Hampton, Florida Hawthorne, Florida Jacksonville, Florida (3 reports) Keystone Heights, Florida Niceville, Florida Old Town, Florida Oldsmar, Florida Pensacola, Florida South Daytona, Florida Tallahassee, Florida Umatilla, Florida Vineyards, Florida Clarkston, Georgia Colbert, Georgia Dallas, Georgia Edge Hill, Georgia Flemington, Georgia Hannahs Mill, Georgia Lakeview Estates, Georgia Lilburn, Georgia Pukalani, Hawaii Santa Claus, Indiana Vincennes, Indiana Bloomfield, Iowa Lawrence, Kansas Wichita, Kansas Claiborne, Louisiana Gardere, Louisiana Independence, Louisiana Pollock, Louisiana Baltimore, Maryland Brookeville, Maryland Mount Victoria, Maryland Towson, Maryland Valley Lee, Maryland Biloxi, Mississippi Lena, Mississippi Mathiston, Mississippi Ridgeland, Mississippi Waynesboro, Mississippi Purdy, Missouri Springfield, Missouri Henderson, Nevada Hawthorne, New Jersey Albuquerque, New Mexico Belen, New Mexico El Paso, New Mexico Roswell, New Mexico Brevard, North Carolina Chapel Hill, North Carolina Charlotte, North Carolina Concord, North Carolina Durham, North Carolina Elizabeth City, North Carolina Elrod, North Carolina Fayetteville, North Carolina Fuquay-varina, North Carolina Raleigh, North Carolina (2 reports) Sunset Beach, North Carolina Columbus, Ohio Fruit Hill, Ohio Huber Heights, Ohio Hulbert, Oklahoma Jenks, Oklahoma Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Cheshire, Oregon Harbeck-fruitdale, Oregon Mill City, Oregon Portland, Oregon Rivergrove, Oregon Troutdale, Oregon East Norriton, Pennsylvania Laflin, Pennsylvania Richland, Pennsylvania Schwenksville, Pennsylvania Spring Grove, Pennsylvania Wrightsville, Pennsylvania Blacksburg, South Carolina Bonneau, South Carolina Greenville, South Carolina Lincolnville, South Carolina (2 reports) Summerville, South Carolina Clarksville, Tennessee Cosby, Tennessee Crossville, Tennessee Forest Hills, Tennessee Murfreesboro, Tennessee Ridgely, Tennessee Austin, Texas Bayside, Texas Coppell, Texas Dallas, Texas Fort Worth, Texas Georgetown, Texas Houston, Texas (2 reports) Humble, Texas Hurst, Texas Jacksonville, Texas Midland, Texas Missouri City, Texas Noonday, Texas Odessa, Texas (2 reports) San Antonio, Texas (2 reports) Sanger, Texas Scenic Oaks, Texas Seagraves, Texas Victoria, Texas , Virginia Chesterfield, Virginia Leesburg, Virginia Manassas, Virginia Portsmouth, Virginia Kalama, Washington