The Q&A Archives: Depth of Nandina Roots

Question: I am trying to transplant my Nandina but it is so firmly entrenched I can't shift it. How far do the roots spread and how deep do they go?

Answer: Nandina's have a fibrous root system that's fairly well packed. The spread and depth depends upon the size of your plant and how long it's been in it's present location. It also depends upon your soil. A safe guess would be 12"-18" deep and 1 1/2 times the height of the top for a mature specimen. To help in the process of digging and transplanting, thoroughly soak the soil the night before you plan to dig. Moist soil is much easier to work with. I've had experience with moving and dividing Astilbe's and had to resort to an axe to break through the root system. Hope you don't have to get quite that involved!

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