Heavenly bamboo is a gorgeous garden shrub that can add a lot of beauty to your garden. This plant grows wonderfully throughout the West Coast and beyond. It is a popular shrub you can grow in your garden without much trouble.

Basic Plant Information

Heavenly bamboo is a beautiful shrub that many people choose to grow in their homes. The plant’s scientific name is Nandina domestica and it is native to eastern Asia, from Himalayas to Japan. In Japan and China, this plant is called the sacred bamboo. It is often planted beside the entrance. Traditionally, if there is a trouble arising in the home, you should fully explain the matter to the door-side shrub and the problem will be solved. This belief is what inspired the plant’s name, Nandina domestica.

While this plant is not related to the bamboo, it does resemble it. It means that you can put it to the same architectural uses in your home and garden. Heavenly bamboo is known for its cane-like, notched branches that have a true elegance and grace.

However, this is not the only reason to grow Heavenly bamboo. This beautiful plant has elegant, dainty white flowers and delicate evergreen foliage. The bush is also famous for its brilliant berries. It is therefore not surprising that so many people choose to grow these bushes in their gardens.

In the shade, this plant has leaves that are 20 inches long. The leaves have numerous ½ inch long textured leaflets. Heavenly bamboo is an evergreen plant so the foliage retains its deep green color even in winter. This is why it’s such a popular plant for those who wish to add color to their winter gardens.

Heavenly bamboo is a popular plant you can find in many nurseries. In the coldest sections it is partly deciduous, even if sheltered areas.

How to Use Heavenly Bamboo

Heavenly bamboo also makes excellent background plant for foundations planting. It is also a great transition plant. You can plant Heavenly bamboo in front of leggy shrubs and low trees to hide them until they are recovered. Finally, Heavenly bamboo has beautiful foliage that makes and effective foil for flowering perennial or lower shrubs.

In a sunny location in the fall, Heavenly bamboo goes from purple-bronze to a bright crimson or dark red during the cold months. This can add a very striking effect to your garden during the winter. This is an excellent plant for enhancing any winter landscape.

If you grow more than one plant there is a possibility of cross-fertilization between your Heavenly bamboos. As a result, the loose clusters of creamy-white or light pink spring flowers can be followed by large scarlet berries. This makes for another colorful sight in your garden.

The berries look very attractive but keep in mind that you cannot use them to attract birds to your garden. The berries of Heavenly bamboo are actually among the few which are not popular among birds. This is not so much of a problem unless you wanted to use this plant to attract birds. Berries of a Heavenly bamboo plant are great for indoor decorations and in various arrangements.

Heavenly bamboo also makes an ideal plant for informal hedges. You can use them either as a line or boundary maker in your yard. Another way to use Heavenly bamboo is as background for beds and borders.

Since this bush can grow vigorously, it is important to prune it regularly to keep it in shape. This will keep the hedge at the desired height and will make the plants bushy to the ground.

However, keep in mind that it is not the best idea to plant Heavenly bamboo hedge at places when you want to get a tall background. If you allow your Heavenly bamboo to grow more than five feet it will become leggy, which is not the healthiest choice for your plants and it doesn’t look particularly attractive. This is why it’s best to keep your Heavenly bamboo under 5 feet in height.

Heavenly bamboo also looks great as a potted plant. It has a beautiful pattern on the stems and leaves, which will look attractive in your home. If you wish to grow a Heavenly bamboo indoors, it is best to use a dwarf variety known as pygmaea. Look for this variety in nurseries if you want to grow this plant inside of your home.

Photo credit: guzhengman Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) via photopin (license)

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