The Q&A Archives: Is Heavenly Bamboo Invasive?

Question: I was told by the nursery that Heavenly Bamboo is not invasive like regular bamboo. Does this mean it is not actually bamboo and that it just looks like it? I am planning on planting it in a small, 2' x 4' bed surrounded by cement. Will the roots invade the entire space?

Answer: Heavenly Bamboo is not actually a bamboo, but the stems look like bamboo, hence the common name. Nandina, or Heavenly Bamboo, does send runners out from the roots and tends to colonize, but it is not considered invasive the way ordinary bamboo can be. If you're concerned about it overtaking the planter bed, you can plant it in a large pot and sink the pot into the ground. This will contain the roots and stop them from sending out runners. Use a large (10-15 gallon) container and your plant can stay in place for 5 or more years. At that time, unearth the container, unpot the plant, divide it, and replant.

Best wishes with your garden!

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