Nandina domestica-Heavenly Bamboo

Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) at the mansion on 12-16-09, #44-9. (The date stamp is incorrect.)

Heavenly Bamboo

Nandina domestica

nan-DEE-nuh doh-MESS-tik-a

Nandina domestica Thunb. is the correct and accepted scientific name for this AWESOME shrub. It was named and described by Carl Peter Thunberg in Nova Genera Plantarum in 1784.

 

Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) flowers on 4-28-10, #53-1.

I first met this AWESOME shrub when Dr. Skinner and I moved to the mansion she had bought in Leland, Mississippi in December 2008. She said they were Heavenly Bamboo so I looked them up online. It said Heavenly Bamboo were Nandina… I started my first blog titled The Mystical Mansion and Garden in 2009 and I thought for sure there were other Nandina species. Presently, Nandina domestica is the only accepted species in the genus.

 

New growth on the Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) on 7-2-12, #106-21.

I always pruned the Nandina by trimming the new growth which was easy because it was a different color. I am not saying that is the proper way to prune them, it is just the way I did it. I liked the way the mature plants looked and I didn’t want to change that. When I sold the mansion, the new owners cut the Nandina half off… GEEZ!!!

 

Red berries on the Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) by the driveway at the mansion on 11-22-12, #130-18.

The dark green leaves with bright red berries is truly an amazing site. The two-seeded berries are loved by several birds including the Titmouse. They make great winter decoration in bouquets and flower arrangements.

 

Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) in the corner by the library and east sunroom at the mansion on 11-22-12, #130-19.

Information online states Nandina grow better in sun with afternoon shade. In the corner of the east sunroom, the only sun was when it was almost directly overhead. The rest of the time it was shaded my a HUGE Magnolia and the mansion.

<<<<2013 NOW IN MISSOURI>>>>

Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) on the southeast corner of the house in Missouri on 6-11-13, #155-15.

After I sold the mansion to a group who remodeled it and turned it into The Thompson House Bed and Breakfast, dad asked me to move back to the family farm in mid-Missouri. He was getting older and he and mom had been pretty ill and he wanted me to help with the farm. I explained to him I had a lot of plants. He just said, “Yeah” but he was very hard of hearing. He had no clue what he was saying or maybe even what I meant. I had to give up several hundred potted plants but I brought most of the succulents, Colocasia esculenta and Alocasia, and several other plants. I brought several perennials and a small Nandina domestica. There was no way I wasn’t going to bring at least one and I wish I had brought more.

 

Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) first flowers in Missouri on 9-17-13, #188-45.

I was very glad to see the Nandina I brought with me produce flowers. They flower best in groups, so I wasn’t sure what would happen.

<<<<2014>>>>

New growth on the Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) on 6-12-14, #229-26.

The Nandina did very well and had this nice growth spurt in 2014. The Heavenly Bamboo spreads by rhizomes and is declared as an invasive species in some states. While there were large groups of it in several locations at the mansion in Mississippi, I wouldn’t say that it exactly invasive there. Well, I suppose if you really like something it would never be invasive. The more the merrier…

<<<<2015>>>>

Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) on 4-10-15, #236-15.

YIKES! The Nandina lost most of its upper leaves over the winter but luckily it started growing new ones once the temps started warming up. We are definitely on the borderline as far as hardiness zones are concerned.

USEFUL INFORMATION:
Family: Berberidaceae
Origin: China, India, Japan
Zones: USDA Zones 6a-9b (-10 to 40° F)
Size: Up to 8’ at least
Light: Sun to part shade. Supposedly it grows best in the sun with afternoon shade.
Soil: Average. well-drained soil. Prefers rich, organic, moist soil.
Water: Average water needs. Drought tolerant once established.
Flowers: White flowers

 

Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) looking much better on 5-1-15, #247-12.

It was looking very good by May with plenty of new growth… It has a lot of chickweed for a companion…

 

Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) starting to flower on 5-16-15, #254-13.

Once again, it is starting to bud.

 

Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) on 6-27-15, #270-36.

The Buddleja ‘White Profusion’ got WAY to large and tried its best to cover the Nandina as the summer progressed. I may have to move something…

<<<<2017>>>>

Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) on 4-23-17, #321-2-17.

For some reason, I didn’t have any photos in the album of the Nandina for 2016. I think it was because the Buddleja didn’t go completely dormant over the winter so I didn’t cut it back then it grew really HUGE. It all but covered the Nandina… From now on I will cut the Buddleja back even if it doesn’t die back. The above photo shows how it started growing sideways because of it.

 

Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) on 6-24-17, #349-61.

2017 was a much better year, though. The Buddleja died back over the winter which gave the Nandina a chance to grow and straighten up.

 

Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) with flowers on 7-19-17, #357-54.

It is always good to see the Nandina flowers. I wish it would spread a little faster so there will be more.

 

Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) on 1-12-18, #397-13.

The winter of 2016-2017 has been weird. Colder temps than usual many times so I hope the Nandina survives. Hopefully, it hasn’t died clear back to the ground because it was looking so good. Nandina domestica is cold hardy down to USDA zone 6a (-10° F) and it did get that cold more than once. Time will tell as spring is right around the corner.

I read this humorous article on the Southern Living website by Steve Bender titled “Just Try To Kill Nandina“. Personally, I removed a good sized portion of Nandina at the mansion to make way for my potting area and a new flower bed. It took several days but there were never any problems with it coming back. They also have this article which lists several cultivars

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.

FOR FURTHER READING:
WIKIPEDIA
MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN
DAVE’S GARDEN
GARDENIA
CLEMSON UNIVERSITY
NC STATE UNIVERSITY
PLANT CARE TODAY
PFAF (PLANTS FOR A FUTURE)
MISSOURI DEPT. OF CONSERVATION

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