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If you are looking for an evergreen, low-maintenance shrub with beautiful fall color, lovely new growth, elegant flowers, and spectacular red berries, then Heavenly Bamboo, Nandina domestica, will surely fit the bill.
This workhorse brings a graceful texture to any garden space. Use it to create a focal point, screening, or to add evergreen color to the perennial bed.
Not actually a bamboo, Heavenly Bamboo thrives in sun or shade, moist or dry soil, and is one of the more trouble-free shrubs in cultivation. Nandinas also make good container plants for the patio or entryway.
There are many different cultivars of Nandina and they vary greatly in ultimate size - some are short, some are tall. Here's a list, divided by mature size, of some of our favorite cultivars:
Low-growing Nandinas, 3' or under
Dwarf Nandinas offer few flowers or berries, and are instead, mostly grown for their brightly colored leaves and ease of care.
'Fire Power' - Large cupped leaves turn fire-engine red in winter, then back to green and with orange tips the rest of the year. Leaves rustle pleasantly in the breeze. Grows 2-3' x 2-3'.
'Flirt' - a new variety, Flirt has pretty red and salmon new leaves. Grows 18" x 18".
'Harbour Dwarf' - spreads slowly like a groundcover - green leaves with copper new growth. Grows 18" x 2-3'.
'Moon Bay' - bright red new leaves and red winter color - grows 3' x 3'
Mid-height Nandinas, 3-6'
'Gulf Stream' - leaves in warm tones of green, gold, copper and red are more pronounced in winter. Makes a dense multi-stemmed shrub that is not see-through. Grows 4' x 4'.
'Plum Passion' - purple and red new leaves turn cool green as they age, a different color range than most Nandinas. These qualities make it very popular, but it can be hard for us to find. Upright and airy structure. Grows 4-5'.
'Tuscan Flame' - bright red new leaves and dense upright shape. Grows 3-4' x 2-3'.
Tall Nandinas, over 6'
'Moyer's Red' - pinkish flowers and red berries accent green leaves that turn maroon during winter. Upright airy habit. Grows 6-10' x 4-5'.
Nandina domestica - this is the original species. White flowers in open cone-shape clusters, red berries in winter, green leaves w/ touches of red & orange in winter. Grows 6-10'.
Best selection is in spring and fall
Facts: Nandina domestica
Genus: Nandina – nan-DEE-na - from nanten, the Japanese name
Common name: Heavenly Bamboo (not actually a bamboo, but has a bamboo-like appearance)
Origin: China. Introduced in 1804.
Characteristics: Over 25 cultivars; reportedly over 60 cultivars are available in Japan.
White flowers with yellow anthers borne on long panicles give way to bright red berries which ripen in the fall, often persisting through winter. Dwarf varieties tend to have few flowers. Graceful, evergreen foliage sports multiple colors through the seasons.
Size: Varies by cultivar, ranging anywhere from 18 inches to 6+ feet in height.
Culture: Hardy to Zone 6. Very adaptable plant. Prefers sun & moist fertile soil, but grows well in shade, tolerates drought, and is one of the most durable broadleaf evergreens. Disease and insect resistant.
Find the Perfect Shrubs for your garden
Read up on some of our favorite shrubs and remember, this is only a smattering of the variety of shrubs we carry all year long! Note: Viewing a Native Plant will take you into our Native Plant section.