Tuscan Flame NandinaNandina domestica ‘Tuscan Flame’ (PP# 21,940)
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Nandina domestica ‘Tuscan Flame’ (PP# 21,940)
Outdoor Growing zone
The Tuscan Flame Nandina is a compact evergreen bush with ferny foliage, growing between 3 and 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide. It has small glossy leaves that are bright scarlet red all year round, with older leaves lower down eventually turning yellow-green. It has small flowers in spring, followed by clusters of red berries, all carried low down inside the foliage. It is a perfect plant to give permanent color when edging beds, or for adding bright accents in beds of green plants. It is easy to grow in different light conditions and can also be grown as a container plant in hot zones.
Everything from full sun to light full shade suits the Tuscan Flame Nandina, but some morning sun is the ideal. It grows well in most soils, benefiting from some regular moisture, but able to tolerate dry periods too. Spring mulch will conserve moisture and feed your plants as well. You won’t have to worry about pests or diseases, or get out with trimmers – this plant is very easy to grow and virtually maintenance-free.
If you are not already a lover of these great foliage plants, the Tuscan Flame Nandina is certain to light a fire in your heart. Bold, warm color is always valuable in the garden, and makes your garden glow year-round, not just when flowers are around. The sacred bamboo, or Nandina, has transformed our gardens, especially the shady parts, since the newer, smaller varieties arrived, displacing the tall, green-leaf original. The compact Tuscan Flame Nandina will be a constant torch in your garden, with its year-round scarlet foliage lighting up your beds. It grows a compact 3 to 4 feet tall, and not quite as wide, and the evergreen leaves are more finely divided than usual, giving it an almost ferny look. Easy to grow, reliable and tough, it’s a plant that will transform your dull corners into glowing hot-spots, and always look great.
The Tuscan Flame Nandina is a compact evergreen shrub growing 3 to 4 feet tall and 2 or 3 feet wide. It sends up a small number of thick, upright stems from the ground, but these are densely covered in foliage, so they aren’t really visible. Although the leaves are actually large, that doesn’t show, because they are divided into many small leaflets, each between 1 and 2 inches long, creating a look somewhere between bamboo and ferns. This variety has more leaflets, and smaller ones, than other types of Nandina, giving it a softer, more ferny look. New leaves are bright scarlet red, and this color is held, with only a little darkening, not only through summer, but through winter too, until past the development of the next year’s leaves. So the plant is continuously red, while older, lower leaves become yellow-green in time. The effect is bright, colorful and exciting.
This variety flowers in spring too, with clusters of small whitish blooms, followed by berries that turn from green to red in late fall. However they are carried so low inside the foliage that they aren’t really noticeable.
Adaptable to many garden conditions, the Tuscan Flame Nandina is ideal for the front of shrub beds or for planting along paths and driveways. Use it in semi-shaded areas, by water, or as an isolated specimen in an Asian-themed garden. In the hottest zones it can be grown as a container plant, ideal for a porch, up a set of stairs, or on a shady terrace.
The Tuscan Flame Nandina is completely hardy and evergreen in zones 8, 9 and 10. In zones 6 and 7 it may lose a few of the older leaves during winter, and in cold parts of zone 6 it may suffer some winter damage to the stems, but soon re-sprouts from the base. There it will stay only a foot or two in height.
Don’t worry too much about where you place the Tuscan Flame Nandina, because it is very adaptable to different light levels. It grows well in full sun, with very intense coloring, but it does need a good water supply in positions like that. It grows most easily in semi-shade, with some morning sun and afternoon shade, in dappled shade beneath trees, or in the shade on the north side of a wall. It stays bushy in shade, but may soften in color if it is too dark.
Talk about easy! This plant is one of the easiest to grow – just plant it, water a little for the first season, and they forget it. It almost never has pest or disease problems, and it needs no trimming. A spring mulch with something organic, like rotted leaves or compost, will conserve moisture and provide sufficient nutrients.
The sacred bamboo, Nandina domestica, grows wild through China, Japan and India. Wild plants have green leaves and can grow to 8 feet tall, with noticeable thick stems. It is often planted around temples, and with the way its leaves look, we can understand its common name. It was first introduced into America around the middle of the 19th century. The variety called Tuscan Flame was discovered in 2000 by Robert Tancredi. He has a small nursery in Salem, Oregon, and he noticed a unique branch sprouting from one of a group of plants he was growing. It was the compact look and the bright red leaves that caught his eye. He tested it and realized it was something new and valuable to gardeners. He patented it in 2011, and distributed it with the help of PlantHaven International Inc. who work with small plant breeders to market their successes.
The Tuscan Flame Nandina is a great addition to our range of Nandina, and ideal when you want bright color and small to medium height. The ferny look is unique and beautiful. Although they are not especially visible, this variety does produce some seeds. In some areas, such as South Florida, it is considered invasive, so you might want to look at some of our different varieties that don’t produce any seeds. They are completely safe to grow everywhere. In most places it is fine to grow, so order your Tuscan Flame plants right away, while we still have a supply available.