The Q&A Archives: Can I prune a nandina and how much can I prune?

Question: I have over grown nandinas. When can I prune them and how much can I prune. Thanks for your help. Ludo

Answer: Nandina can be pruned in the spring, just as new growth begins. This plant tends to colonize an area by sending out lateral roots which will produce new shoots. This is the plant's way of renewing itself and you can take advantage of this type of growth habit by cutting away some of the oldest stems towards the center of the plant. Sometimes nandina is topped or sheared, but I like the more natural growth pattern so I shorten some of the shoots but not all, and I remove some of the oldest stems down to ground level. Whichever approach you use, try not to remove more than a third of the plant in any one pruning session. If you do, it make go into shock and regrowth will be retarded.

Best wishes with your nandina!

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