The Main Plant entry for Heavenly Bamboos (Nandina domestica)

This database entry exists to show plant data and photos that apply generically to all Heavenly Bamboos.

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 6a -23.3 °C (-10 °F) to -20.6 °C (-5 °F)
Plant Height: 6-8 ft.
Plant Spread: 4-6 ft.
Leaves: Good fall color
Unusual foliage color
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: White
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Provides winter interest
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Birds
Toxicity: Leaves are poisonous
Fruit is poisonous
Other: Nandina berries contain cyanide and other alkaloids and is extremely poisonous to all animals.
Propagation: Seeds: Suitable for wintersowing
Other info: Direct sow outside in fall.
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem

Common names
  • Heavenly Bamboo

This plant is tagged in:
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  • Posted by plantmanager (New Mexico - Zone 8a) on Feb 18, 2018 10:49 AM concerning plant:
    Although this is named Bamboo, the only thing it has in common with Bamboo is the lacy foliage and cane-like growth. It grows well in zones 5 to 10. I've grown it in zones 7b and 9b. It did much better in my zone 7b. In 7b it looked good out in full sun. In 9b it needed some middle of the day shade in order to look its best.

    Left alone, it can make a huge bush up to 8 ft tall, but it looks best if kept pruned lower. I liked to remove about a third of the canes down to the ground each year.

    The birds love the berries! I loved the colorful foliage.

    I found it hard to grow from seed, but softwood cuttings were an easy way to have more plants. This is a tough plant, and will do well with minimal care.
  • Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Nov 24, 2011 1:40 PM concerning plant:
    Very hardy in my zone but is considered an invasive species here.
  • Posted by gingin (Fountain, Florida - Zone 8b) on Dec 9, 2011 10:52 AM concerning plant:
    I personally don't care for this plant in spite of the white flowers in spring and red berries in fall. For me it is invasive and very hard to get rid of. Although called Heavenly Bamboo it is actually a member of the barberry family.
  • Posted by sheryl (Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ - Zone 9b) on Dec 9, 2011 7:20 PM concerning plant:
    Although a very attractive bush and widely used, Nandina is listed as invasive throughout the south-eastern United States and Texas. Because it is tolerant of shady areas it will grow in areas of forest with heavy tree cover.
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Mar 6, 2019 10:08 AM concerning plant:
    I bought a Heavenly-Bamboo from the nursery where I worked in southeast Pennsylvania, planted it at a corner of my house, and kept it for several years. It was really pretty. However, later on, I wanted to have the landscape: more American native; I did not like the self-sown seedlings around in the bark chip mulch near the shrub that were hard to dig out; and I saw in a few articles online and on Facebook that the berries were toxic to a number of American birds, as Cedar Waxwing. So I tore the beautiful thing out and replaced it with a pink blooming Summersweet Clethra, which is also beautiful but definitely beneficial for pollinating insects. If it is a mild winter, it looks good all winter, but if the winter is hard, it does not look good. I don't know of this species escaping into the wild in Zone 6, but it is definitely invasive in many places in the South in Zones 8 to 10. It is commonly sold and planted in the Mid-Atlantic. The shore area of southern Delaware is abundant with this plant and some cultivars of it. It is sort of expensive to buy, so I think that is the reason why I see it not so much in the average yard, but more in well-to-do neighbourhoods and professional designed landscapes. This member of the Barberry Family is native to China.
  • Posted by virginiarose (Virginia - Zone 8a) on Feb 28, 2012 7:29 PM concerning plant:
    The berries on this shrub are just fluorescent red this time of year, really good color.
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