Attractive foliage is a key part of every good garden, and there are many evergreen plants to choose from, but the Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina domestica) brings a unique look to any garden, quite different from other evergreens. When you first see it you may say, “Is this a bamboo? If it is, why does it have those beautiful red berries?” It is easy to think this is a true bamboo, but no, Heavenly Bamboo is a relative of the thorny barberry bush that may already grow in your garden, although it looks quite different.
The finely-divided leaves certainly give it the appearance of an unusual bamboo, which makes it ideal for bringing that Asian feel to a small space, since true bamboo plants are almost all too large to risk planting in a small garden. In many ways it is a superior plant to bamboos, because they do not have the spectacular red fall coloring of this plant, or the attractive sprays of white flowers. They also don’t have the clusters of red berries in fall, which are a special feature of the Heavenly Bamboo.
Growing Heavenly Bamboo Plants
This beautiful plant is certainly not restricted to Asian-themed gardens, although it is a great asset in them. Heavenly Bamboo will fit into any style of garden with ease – it is such a versatile and attractive plant. It will also grow in a wide range of light conditions, from full sun to deep shade. The ideal is morning sun and afternoon shade, but this is a tough, tolerant plant that happily grows with no direct sunlight at all. Equally, it will happily sit out in the full sun all day long.
Heavenly Bamboo comes from Japan, China and India. It has upright canes that sprout from the base, forming a dense clump of canes of different heights. The flowers are tiny and white, but carried in large, airy clusters. These develop into clusters of red berries. The leaves come out all along the stems, but in older stems they are more concentrated in the upper parts. Each leaf is large, but it is divided into many small leaflets, so that the overall effect is airy and light. In fall, the leaves turn beautiful shades or rich red, especially if they receive some sun, so this plant has something to offer at all seasons.
Uses in Your Garden
Plant your Heavenly Bamboo as single plants in corners or among other shrubs. Plant it in a row as a beautiful informal hedge or screen. Use them in pairs to frame a doorway or entrance. You don’t even need a garden to grow this lovely plant – it even makes a perfect specimen for a large pot or planter box, and it is much more elegant that constantly changing annual flowers each season.
Choose a spot with some morning sun as the ideal place to plant your Heavenly Bamboo, as the fall colors will be best with some sun, but these plants will also thrive in light shade and grow well in deeper shade too. It will establish best in soil with plenty of organic material added, and while young it should be watered regularly. However once established it has good drought tolerance and will grow well with almost no care. Pests or diseases never seem to attack Heavenly Bamboo, so this really is the perfect plant for a beautiful low-maintenance garden.
Heavenly Bamboo is hardy from zones 6 to 10, but depending on the area you live, its appearance may vary. It is evergreen in zones 8 to 10 and its red fall leaves last all winter, keeping your garden beautiful. In spring the new growth will change your plant back to green for the summer. In cooler areas, Heavenly Bamboo may lose some or all of its leaves when the temperature falls below 10oF but the upright canes remain attractive. If you live in zone 6, you may find that some canes die in the winter, but the plant will sprout back from the base. Plants in colder regions will grow smaller, perhaps reaching only 3 or 4 feet tall, but still form bushy, dense clumps.
Adding Heavenly Bamboo to Your Garden
Wherever and however you choose to plant Heavenly Bamboo in your garden, this easy-care plant will become a favorite during every season. Such a versatile and attractive bush deserves a place in every garden, and you have the perfect spot in yours too. We have a good supply of plants, but this popular plant never stays around long, so order now and enjoy this trouble-free, beautiful plant in your own garden! All of our plants are grown by rooting carefully selected pieces from strong, healthy plants. Avoid cheaper seedlings plants, which may be uneven in growth and vigor, making your hedge or mass planting look very irregular and patchy.