Nandina is a genus of just 1 species. Rather than being a bamboo, Nandina domestica is an evergreen shrub with alternate, pinnate leaves held on upright shoots that emanate from a central ‘trunk’ from mountain valleys in India, China and Japan. Nandina is grown for its elegant structure and leaf colour though in some climates it is regarded as an invasive weed. In its native habitat it can reach heights of around 2 metres and spreads itself by suckering.
There are a number of varieties of Nandina domestica suitable for bonsai cultivation including N.domestica ‘Firepower’ which has yellow and red leaves as opposed to the plain green leaves of the species.
BONSAI CULTIVATION NOTES
POSITION: Full sun. Minimum growing temperature 7°C, frost hardy to -2°C. Nandina can be cultivated indoors on a sunny windowsill.
FEEDING: Every two weeks throughout the growing season, feed monthly when inside during the winter.
REPOTTING: Every other year in Spring in basic soil mix.
PRUNING: Nandina will readily grow back when trunk-chopped; taking approximately 6 weeks to leaf out again. Try to avoid cutting back shoots to the same point continually to avoid creating an unsightly bulge on the trunk.
PROPAGATION: Cuttings in summer, division of suckers.
PESTS AND DISEASES: Trouble free though can be affected by viruses, which can distort foliage growth.
STYLING:Twin-trunk, clump, single trunks.