The Q&A Archives: is it dead

Question: I planted 9 firepower heavenly bamboo bushes (nandina domestica firepower)last fall and enjoyed beautiful color changes that lasted literally thru almost the entire winter. When should they start looking like they are alive again? I have 2-3 of 9 that are statring to get green leaves around the base of the shrob and that is all. Do they need to be cut way back? How far back? Are they alive still?

Answer: I'm not exactly sure where you are gardening in Utah but I know Nandina is hardy in Washington County so I expect they are hardy where you are, as well. However, it does sound like the tops of some of your plants have died over the winter months, as evidenced by the new growth at the bases of the plants. I'd wait a few more weeks to see what the others do. If all the new growth is from the base, cut off the tops to allow room for the new growth. Sometimes the newer growth is hardier than the previous growth and will survive over the winter months. If not, you may need to cut the dead growth off on an annual basis. Hope that's not the case, but be prepared, just in case. Good luck with your nandinas.

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