Nandina is a Southern favorite that can be grown in Zones 6–10 or overwintered indoors in colder climates. Although the species grows 5–6 feet tall, some cultivars are as short as 18 inches, meaning nandina can find a home not only in space-challenged gardens but also in container plantings.
Depending on cultivar, foliage opens up pinkish red or lime green in spring, maturing to green in summer and then taking on reddish hues in fall and winter. Because it has multiseason interest from foliage, flowers and berries, nandina makes a fine specimen plant. It also works well when massed into a hedge or screen.
‘Compacta’ (4 feet) and ‘Nana’ (2 feet) are shorter cultivars suited to small gardens or mixed flowerbeds. ‘Alba’ features white berries. ‘Firepower’ boasts bright red foliage in winter.
Plant Type: Shrub
Height: 2–6 ft
Width: 2–6 ft
Light Expsosure: Full Sun, Partial Sun
Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Early Summer, Mid Summer
Foliage Color: Green, Chartreuse, Pink/Red
Special Features: Attracts Birds, Attracts Butterflies, Drought Tolerant, Winter Interest
Uses: Container Plant, Screen/Privacy, Hedge, Specimen
Plant nandina in fertile, moist, well-drained soil in full sun or part shade. Some protection from wind is helpful. Keep the plant well watered the first few years until it has become established. After that, it’s more tolerant of dry soils. To spur new juvenile growth, cut back two or three of the oldest stems each year in late winter or early spring.