The Q&A Archives: heavenly bamboo

Question: Hello,

About two months ago I planted 2 heavenly bamboo shrubs in my flower bed. Other plants have thrived there well. However, my heavenly bamboo has started to turn yellow and the leaves are falling off. One of them has very few leaves left at all. I know that they need to stay moist and be watered regularly. However, I am afraid i may be over-watering. The weather here has been between 90-98 the last two months. We are going to reach 108 next week. Am I watering too much even with the hot weather or is there posibly another problem?

Thank you,


Answer: If other plants are thriving in the same bed, I suspect the soil is okay (drains well, etc.) so the problem may be too much exposure to hot sunshine, or too frequent watering. Plant roots need oxygen as well as moisture to thrive. Your heavenly bamboo plants need to adjust to their surroundings, and deal with hot weather, all at once. In order to establish well, the plants should be watered deeply once (or twice) a week. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. To promote new growth, cut the nandina back. Choose a few of the upright stems and cut them all the way down to the crown of the plant (don't lop off the top or your plant will maintain that look until new stems grow to cover it up!) Water deeply once or twice a week to encourage deep root growth. Once your nandinas become established they will grow wonderfully well for you. If they don't perk up within a few weeks and the site is receiving hot afternoon sunshine, you may want to consider moving your nandinas to a site with some shelter from hot afternoon sun.

Good luck with your garden!

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