Answer: Nandinas will defoliate in harsh winter weather, and may sometimes even die back partially or even all the way to the ground. So they are considered semi-evergreens. In your winter hardiness zone 5, they should survive (assuming they have some protection from the winter wind and are well mulched) but may frequently suffer winter damage. In the spring, since this is their first winter and they were planted in the fall, be very patient in letting them gather strength at the roots and begin growing again. In general, in your area, it is better ot plant evergreens in the spring so that they have a full growing season to become rooted before winter. Fall planting is a little riskier. I hope they are okay.
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