The Q&A Archives: Leggy Heavenly Bamboo

Question: I have heavenly bamboo plants that appear very leggy. There are numerous trunks or main stems coming up from the base. There aren't any leaves on the lower parts of the plant, and the trunks fall over unless they are staked. The plants are two or three years old and about 5-6 feet high. They don't appear to be bushy like the pictures on the Monrovia web site.

Answer: Nandina, or Heavenly Bamboo, will benefit from regular pruning which helps renew the plants. It's natural for the older canes to become bare at the bottom. Without pruning, the plants can begin to look top-heavy. Prune some of the oldest canes down to the ground this winter and new growth will appear in the spring. The following winter, prune down the remaining older canes and the next spring you'll have a completely renovated Nandina. To keep your plant dense and full, prune a few canes down to the ground every winter to encourage brand new growth. Enjoy your plants!

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