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Cold Weather Nandina

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Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 6:00am

Dr. Gary Bachman: If I had to pick my favorite evergreen for cold temperature color, it has to be Nandina, today on Southern Gardening.

Announcer: Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Dr. Gary Bachman: This plant was called by our grandparents Heavenly Bamboo and is known botanically as Nandina domestica. There is a good reason a lot of folks plant Nandina, because it looks so good. And let's face it, Nandina has few pests and actually thrives on neglect, only adds to its appeal. The foliage is tropical and exotic looking. The leaves are compound and bisected three ways. They are a bright, glossy green in the summer but really shine in the winter with a fiery array of reds and burgundies. Nandina domestica flowers in the spring with big white panicles. In the fall and winter, the berries are the main event. The clusters of red berries start upright and as the berries mature, they hang down from their hefty clusters.

The plant has arching canes that arise from a central growing crown and the canes are bamboo-like. Nandina domestica can grow to a mature size of up to eight feet if not pruned. The size is easily controlled with pruning the tallest canes. Do this after the berries have set, to limit removing too many and spoiling the winter show. Plant in raised beds and well-drained soil, and mulch with a good quality layer of organic material. Nandina can be divided using a sharp shovel or spade in the winter. Be sure to replant immediately or place in containers for planting at a later date and water well.

I'm Horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.

Announcer: Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

 

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