Nandina domestica – Georama Growers Plant of the Week

September 14, 2013 Case News

Common Name:      Heavenly Bamboo

Botanical Name:      Nandina domestica


NandinaI have to confess up front that the Heavenly Bamboo is one of my all time favorite plants, even though it is not a Bamboo at all! The naming of plants is a great mystery to most people, myself included, however in this particular case it is understandable. With its erect cane-like stems and compound leaves, Nandina domestica has an uncanny resemblance to Bamboo. (but it belongs to the Barberry family) Though not a real Bamboo, it is equally important in Japanese or Asian inspired landscapes. With its tall thin growth and graceful bright foliage and berries, it makes a perfect accent in foliage-heavy gardens. It is a perfect plant for narrow places, tight entries or beside gateways. Its white flowers in late spring and summer are followed by gorgeous red berries. Now to the good part – Heavenly Bamboo in my opinion is the very best fall colouring shrub! Stunning fall and winter colours of bright red, orange and even plum really make a dramatic statement when the days start getting shorter, and even better, Nandina is a broadleaved evergreen, so there will be no leaves to rake up in the fall. Like I said it’s perfect! Recently introduced new dwarf varieties like ‘Gulf Stream’ from Australia and the very compact ‘Firepower’ will fit into even the most compact of landscape areas. Heavenly Bamboo grows best in a lighter, but moist soil and looks at its best in full sun or open shade. All Nandinas are pretty tough plants and once established need very little care or maintenance.

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