Nandina domestica – the sacred bamboo

4 Written by Lisa on 14th Nov 2011 in Design Tips

I love Nandina, an evergreen shrub with bushy bamboo-like foliage that turns purple in spring and winter.  It works really hard for its place in the garden because it has something different to offer in each of the seasons. 

In the summer it produces large panicles of white flowers which are slightly scented, followed by orange-red berries that last for months.  This picture was taken this morning – the last of the white flowers…

Nandina prefer to be planted in a sheltered sunny spot but are not particularly fussy about the soil as long as it doesn’t get waterlogged.  They are great shrubs for small gardens because they are so well behaved.  With a maximum height and spread of 1.5m they’re unlikely to outgrow their space in the garden.  They need little or no pruning so are fabulous for  low-maintenance planting schemes although can be tidied up if required in mid-late spring.  I have 3 planted around my south-facing sitting area and they just look fabulous all year round, one of the best performing plants in my garden. 

These are the berries when they first appear…

Then they turn a gorgeous red, lasting well into winter…

One of the reasons I love them is that they just don’t really look like evergreen shrubs which often have robust shiny leaves.  The foliage looks soft and feathery bringing texture and contrast to the mixed border. 

Nandina domestica ‘Firepower’ is a dwarf variety which grows to a maximum height and spread of 5ocm – great for banks and slopes or low maintenance planting schemes.  They also look fabulous in pots if you want something to plant that will give all year interest.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

4 Responses to “Nandina domestica – the sacred bamboo”

  1. Good choice! This is one of my favourites too – looks great in terracotta pots. I read somewhere that it is traditionally planted by the door of Japanese homes so that the head of the household can confide his/her troubles to it. I asked some Japanese friends about this and none of them had heard of it so it may be a myth – but I like the idea!

  2. Lisa Cox says:

    Just gorgeous isn’t it! Agree it looks good in pots, especially “Firepower” – I know someone who opens their garden under the NGS and she has one in a pot by the front door. Whenever they’re open, my parents have to make sure they have plenty in their nursery as they’re just around the corner. Great fact too!

  3. Casey says:

    This is an amazing shrub. The fruit is just something special during the fall. Amazing shots of the shrub.

  4. Lisa Cox says:

    Thanks Casey – one of my favourites!

Leave a Reply

Lisa Cox Welcome

I specialise in helping families to turn their gardens into an extension of their home and into a space that can be used and enjoyed all year round.

read more >

Sign up to the Newsletter
Thank you for signing up.
Let me create the Right Garden For you click here >
Find me elsewhere

Websites by Flourish, Guildford, Surrey