Nandinas have been beautiful plants that come in different sizes, colors, and shapes. Although not all its varieties need pruning, some of them can greatly benefit from pruning.
Its botanical name is “Nandina Domestica.” Although the name sounds familiar to the bamboo plant, both of them are not related at all. Nandinas only have leaves and stems that can be likened to that of Bamboo.
Its flowers are normally bronze-tilted in the winter, but in spring, it is whitish in color. It also develops a bright red color during the fall. Nandinas really grow quickly, and if you don’t prune them, they will look really unappealing. Pruning Nandinas properly results in healthy and more beautiful growth.
In this post, I’m going to show three basic steps to properly pruning Nandinas for healthier growth.
Planning the Pruning Season
1. Use looping shears and bypass pruning shears that are very sharp.
For shoots that are thinner than 1.9cm, the bypass pruning shears will be perfect. For thicker branches, the lopping shears will be most effective.
You can purchase both of these tools from a garden supply shop or hardware store, but ensure that they are sharp.
2. Prune in mid to late winter.
Although it is ok to prune nandinas any time you prefer to, winter will be healthier for pruning. During this time, the plant will be dormant, and you can also use the pruned stem for your decorations.
The plant also grows a beautiful combo of green leaves and red berries during this time.
If you are unable to successfully prune it during the winter, early spring will be your next best choice. It will give you enough time before the white flowers come out.
3. Pets and children should stay away during Pruning.
Nandina leaves are very harmful to the system when eaten. Pets and children may get attracted to it because of its bright green colors, so ensure you keep them away.
If you are also using your cuttings for indoor decorations, ensure to keep your pets and children away.
1. Prune the weakest or oldest branches first.
Tall branches on Nandinas are what we know as old branches. Locate the tallest and old branches, and cut them down with shears.
You will also find weak branches that grow close to the end of the plant; cut them back.
While pruning any of these branches, ensure that you don’t cut more than a third of it.
2. Your cuts should be made in a step-like formation.
To make your pruning more organized, ensure you do your cuttings in a step-like formation. This formation will give the plants a beautiful and appealing appearance. You can take a moment to visualize this formation before making your cuts.
3. Make your cuts above a leaf or branch node.
To prevent the plant from looking bare and also help it grow better shoots, make your cuts just above a leaf or branch node. Cutting far down the stem is unhealthy, and it will give the plant a bad look.
4. Cut off only one-third of the stem length.
When pruning the long stems from the plant, ensure you make your cuts at a one-third length. Stems with normal heights can be pruned to half lengths.
5. Use some of your cuttings for the bouquet (if needed).
The bright green leaves and red berries that Nandinas have been beautiful in the home. You can place your trimmings and cuts into a vase or flower pot if you desire. To make them last a few more days, fill the vase with cool water.
Fertilizing the Plant
1. Fertilize the Nandinas immediately after pruning.
It is recommended that you fertilize Nandina plants after pruning because it provides the needed nutrients for their growth.
Fertilizing will also prepare it for better growth during the next season. Alternatively, you can wait a few days before fertilizing it, but ensure it doesn’t exceed five days.
2. Draw a 30cm circle around the end of the plant.
Before applying your fertilizer, draw a circle (30cm) around the end of the plant with your finger or a stick.
After doing that, sprinkle the fertilizer around the drawn circle you have made. Do not be bothered if you do not directly spray it on the line; just ensure it is around the circle.
3. Water it up to a 20cm depth.
If you water the soil below a depth of 20cm, the fertilizer may get to the root and damage it. If you don’t know how far the water has gone, check how dry the soil is or how damp it is.
4. Get rid of pests around the Nandinas.
Pests are not normally attracted to Nandinas, but if you get to notice them around the plant, ensure you get rid of them as soon as you can.
More Helpful Tips
- Before and after using any of your tools (looping shears and pruning shears), ensure you properly clean them with sanitizers or bleach solution. This will ensure that your plants are safe from diseases.
- Although Nandinas grow quicker than expected, it is advisable not to cut them back heavily when pruning. A short pruning during early spring grows healthier and better shoots.
- Nandinas come in naturally attractive shapes, so it would be wrong for you to cut them into different shapes. They are mostly composed of multiple cane plants and compound leaves, so cutting them into squares or round balls is an easy way to ruin them.
More Things You Should Know about Nandinas
Nandina shrubs grow in different shapes and sizes. Some of the most popular ones are the pink-flowered Nandinas, dwarf Nandinas, and royal princess.
Pink-flowered Nandinas: This kind of Nandinas offers pinkish-white or purely pink flowers. Its shrubs come with a multi-season display of red foliage and bright pink.
They come with a molding appearance and are very compact and tidy. They also do not need pruning, and they require little effort for maintenance.
Dwarf Nandinas: This kind of Nandinas doesn’t take much room when planted. They are non-invasive, and they also come in very bright colors.
Royal Princess: These are the semi-dwarf varieties of Nandinas. They feature light-pink flowers, 8 feet in height, and they grow 2 to 5 feet wide.
Nandinas can be very attractive when used in the garden. To ensure they grow healthier and more evenly, ensure you use the tips that have been mentioned in this post.
Thank you so much for your time reading this article. If you some questions, kindly leave your comment below, and I’ll be happy to write back to you.