Monday, January 26, 2015

I Really Rarely Look at Nandina

After Outlaw Gardener wrote about his pretty red Nandina I decided to go out and look at mine. They are kind of akin to fence posts, they were before I came here and I just never think about them.

This is where we cut down the cedar tree preparing for the Mule barn.
Nandinas planted by MIL along what used to be the barn lot will remain to prevent rain washing gullies down a slope. I'll grub out the other scrubby things.

Mockingbirds will build nests in anything.

There was more color than I expected.

The best way to prune Nandina is to take out a few of the older canes, all the way to the ground every year so that there are canes of different heights as they grow back. Sometimes I just have He-Who back a big mower up and whack down the whole clump. 

Nandinas have a way of coming up in the middle of another shrub, planted by birds who I guess spit out the berries when they discover they are unpalatable. 

It is less than comforting to know that Nandinas, like Poke Weed, contain small amounts of cyanide compounds and are edible if one was going to die of starvation, only after boiling them twice and pouring off the water.  

I must admit that I once saw a long evergreen hedge of nothing but Nandina that was fairly attractive in winter with all those red berries.


  1. You have some very pretty red foliage there, and the berries are fantastic!

  2. I admit to a fondness for Nandina, although mine don't have the bright red foliage of Peter's variety not the bronze color of the one you show at the top of your post.

  3. So, you're saying that giving the gift of a nice poke weed and nandina berry pie might be a right neighborly way to do in a particularly bothersome person? I learn so much from your blog! You have some lovely Nandina specimens!


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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