The Q&A Archives: Nandina

Question: My nandina's look awful now. Some look like they're trying to die. The leaves at the bottom are dead. What can I do for this as it runs across front of house. thank you

Answer: Based on your description I am not certain what is happening to your nandinas. Most often fertilizer is not the solution to this type of symptom and can even make it worse. Nandinas require a well drained soil and are very drought tolerant once established. If when you water you're keeping the soil wet rather than slightly moist, you may be overwatering them. This can cause root problems which then show up as foliage problems or dieback. Or, if you have fertilized heavily, you may have overfertilized with the same result of root damage. Finally, there is a possibility that the soil there is not a good match for this shrub. Sometimes when a house is built the soil along the foundation is disturbed and may not be consistent from place to place. I hope this helps you troubleshoot, but I would also suggest you check with your county extension and/or local professional nursery staff. They may appreciate photos of the overall plants and their location to help them determine what is happening. Nandinas are very sturdy plants, even with this setback I hope they can be saved.

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