Blush Pink™ NandinaNandina domestica 'AKA' (PP# 19,916)
View more from Nandina
30 day - ARRIVE AND THRIVE™ guaranteeLearn more
Nandina domestica 'AKA' (PP# 19,916)
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Blush Pink™ Nandina lives up to its name, with beautiful pink new leaves topping a compact bush. They hold that color all summer, looking bright and bold, and then darken to a rich red for winter – the perfect seasonal color. This evergreen shrub grows just a couple of feet tall and wide, so it is perfect for edging, as a specimen in a small space, or for growing in any kind of planter or pot. Its glossy foliage has a bamboo-like appearance, so it looks great in an Asian garden or a modern minimalist one. Perfect in wooded areas or more formal garden spaces.
Happy in many light levels, the Blush Pink™ Nandina grows well in full sun or partial shade. Even full shade doesn’t bother it, so plant anywhere you need it – this plant always looks good and it needs nothing. It grows well in all kinds of soil, except very wet ones, and it thrives with regular moisture and richer soils, with added organic material and mulch. Pests and diseases don’t bother it at all, and it doesn’t flower so it can’t spread into surrounding natural areas.
When most people think ‘evergreens’ they think of plants like cedar or cypress, or perhaps laurel. The world of evergreen shrubs is much larger than that, and it includes many versatile smaller shrubs that bring a look of permanence and maturity to your garden. Among the most popular are the Nandina, or Sacred Bamboos, whose combination of dense growth and attractive glossy foliage makes them #1 choice for edging and foreground planting. While lush green all year is great, adding a touch of color makes it even better, and that is what the Blush Pink™ Nandina does for your garden. Its new growth does indeed emerge dressed in a beautiful shade of pink, and it stays that way, turning richer and red over winter, just when we want warmer colors around. For a steady supply of pink and red in your garden, look no further than this blushing beauty.
The Blush Pink Nandina is a bushy evergreen shrub with numerous upright stems rising from the base. It has a dense, compact habit, and grows around 2½ feet tall, and up to 3 feet wide. Each stem is covered in large leaves from the ground up, and these are about 15 inches long and wide – but they don’t look that way. Each leaf is divided, and then divided again, into many small leaflets, in clusters of three, each one oval and pointed, about 3 inches long and 2 inches wide. The look is suggestive of bamboo, which is why this plant has that alternative name. The tough, slightly leathery leaflets are glossy and smooth, giving the plant a vibrant and attractive look.
Each stem grows new leaves from the top in spring, and these are beautiful tones of light pink, with a smoky touch. This color doesn’t soon turn green, as is common in many inferior varieties. Instead it holds its beautiful pink tones all summer, making a great contrast with the older green leaves. As winter comes those pink leaves darken to a glowing red, which lasts all winter – this plant is never without color. Only when the new growth has emerged in the following spring do the older leaves turn green. This plant does not normally flower.
The uses for the Blush Pink Nandina in any garden are endless. It is very adaptable to varying light levels, so wherever you want to use it, it will grow. Use it as a colorful specimen plant in a small garden bed. Plant it in a group beneath larger plants. As a neat edging plant along a path or driveway it has no equal. With its exotic, bamboo-like look it is perfect in courtyards and Asian-themed gardens, and it is a fabulous container plant too, filling clean, square, modern boxes just as effectively as it fills a glazed and decorated oriental pot. A pair framing your doorway, in the ground or in pots, is effective all year round, and with such an easy-care plant, it always looks great with minimal input from you.
In warmer zones, this plant is completely evergreen and hardy. Once the temperatures in winter drop below 10 degrees (that is, in zone 7) there can be some leaf drop of older leaves. In zone 6 this may be more extensive, but plants soon green up in spring, and survive well.
The Blush Pink Nandina is very adaptable to light levels, growing well in full sun, partial shade and in light full shade, such as on the north side of a building or fence, or beneath high deciduous trees. It holds its structure well in shade, not becoming significantly more open and loose, as many other shrubs can. It grows well in almost all soils, but prefers some moisture, and soils enriched with organic material for optimal growth. Plants in full sun should be watered regularly, but once established this plant will tolerate periods of dryness easily. Avoid wet areas with poor drainage.
This plant really needs no maintenance – a super-easy bush that always looks good. Some mulch in spring will conserve moisture and provide nutrients. In some states, especially in the south east, wild Nandina has spread into surrounding natural areas, but the Blush Pink Nandina doesn’t flower, so no seeds are produced so it cannot spread at all.
The sacred bamboo, Nandina domestica, grows wild in China, Japan, and India, and it is often planted around temples. Wild plants can be 8 feet tall. In the 1980s a dwarf plant called ‘Firepower’ was discovered at a nursery in New Zealand, and because it doesn’t flower it became very popular in states such as Florida. This plant is widely propagated from tissue culture and in 2004, at Magnolia Garden Nurseries in Texas, April and Kay Herring and Adriana Garza were working with trays of ‘Firepower’ when they spotted one plant that had pink new leaves, not the lime green of that variety. This plant became known as ‘AKA’, and it was patented by the nursery in 2009. It is made available with the trademark name of Blush Pink™.
We love Nandina for its great foliage, attractive colors and easy growing. So do our customers, who are always on the lookout for the best. These plants will soon be gone, so order now and color up your garden without adding any work at all – how great is that?