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Nandina domestica, also called Sacred Bamboo, it is a very suitable plant also for our climate and it is good both single and cultivated in hedges, its are colorful and particularly pleasant and nurseries. There are also dwarf varieties that make mini bushes used for borders of flower beds or on road roundabouts.
Returning to Sacred Bamboo, it is because this plant comes from China and some areas of Asia and is considered to bring good luck, it looks a lot like Bamboo and like it is often around temples. Or they make bonsai, but only if very experienced: it is not as trivial as keeping a hedge. Before getting to know the Nandina domestica we must know that it can be invasive if we live in an area with a warm climate: this is why there are those who hate it and don't even want to see it. On the contrary, other green thumbs love hers bright reddish foliage, perfect for ornamental purposes.
Nandina domestica: the plant
Evergreen shrub native to Asia, the Nandina domestica it is very rustic and finds itself well in Europe, reaching heights of 150-180 cm when adult. Its roots are very robust, then it develops into thinner woody stems and various tufts of leaves that appear "pinnate". This means that they are composed of many thin, oval and long leaves from the stiff and leathery texture.
Usually each plant develops several stems, close together, which is why a round and very dense bush or hedge comes out. The leaves are dark green but turn to red in the cold seasons, the flowers appear in spring, white and small, gathered in panicles, in summer they turn into berries, bright red and small in size.
These "balls" remain to decorate the Nandina domestica until the following spring. There is not a single variety of this Sacred Bamboo, there are smaller versions and more hedgerow versions, but not only: they also differ in their bearing and, above all, in the shades of foliage that from dark green reach the reddish with great elegance.
Nandina domestica: cultivation
It is not difficult to cultivate the Nandina domestica because it does not fear the winter cold and has a rustic character. However, we can treat this plant well and put it in the best conditions for it to flower effortlessly. For example, it prefers sunny or semi-shady positions, a very shady one could disturb it in the flowering phase and turn off the vivid color of the foliage.
The best soil is fresh and rich but any soil can host it, in winter season it is better then to water it while in the rest of the year just check that the soil is not too dry even if it can withstand even prolonged periods of drought without problems.
Nandina domestica: pruning
Pruning is not a mandatory practice for anyone who is growing one Nandina domestica but in my opinion it is better not to leave it to itself 12 months a year, better to do a bit of order every now and then, even if only to remove the dead branches and now devoid of berries. For the rest, no major interventions are necessary since as a plant it is not often targeted by pests or diseases, it is healthy and can defend itself. The only critical moment may be that of severe drought in which the mites can attack the leaves, ruining them.
Nandina domestica: price
A beautiful plant of Nandina domestica online costs less than 10 euros and we can thus begin to put "the first stone", or plant, of a hedge that will be wonderful without too much effort. From this small bright red bush, gradually we will reach the green with its adult age and in spring small white flowers will appear in clusters, future berries.
Nandina domestica: seeds
If we feel we are more experimenters we can start from the seed to create one long hedge or an elegant border. The price is halved and for 5 euros we have one sachet of seeds to embellish our garden from scratch.
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