Ask a Question forum: Nandinas yay or nay?

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North Texas (Zone 8a)
Pennzies
Nov 5, 2018 9:44 AM CST
Thinking of having a row of nandinas? Thoughts? I've put on in but planning to put one on each end. Should I keep the monkey grass in between each one?
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Nov 5, 2018 9:50 AM CST
Nandinas will grow tall enough to obstruct your windows, and some people don't like the fact that they are toxic and spread. Pretty plants, though.
Porkpal
Hurst, TX (Zone 8a)
Dog Lover Region: Texas
luis_pr
Nov 5, 2018 1:31 PM CST
There are dwarf versions you could select. Very useful in tight spots. Not all versions spread so try the dwarfs out. Nice looking this time of the year and thru winter.
[Last edited by luis_pr - Nov 5, 2018 1:32 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Nov 5, 2018 1:35 PM CST
I agree, only use the dwarf ones. I had the larger ones in a place like yours, and I needed to trim them back constantly.
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Nov 5, 2018 5:23 PM CST
I would move the Nandina to the corner between the windows so you can take advantage of its height without have to continually cut it down.
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Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
Nov 5, 2018 6:01 PM CST
Ditto to Daisy- or depending on size and space, one each end, one in the middle at the corner between windows
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North Central TX (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
Nov 5, 2018 11:33 PM CST
No, no, no to Nandinas. They are invasive, at least here in Texas. I love 'em. They're pretty in all 4 seasons, but they are definitely invasive.
Texas (Zone 8a)
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GrammaChar
Nov 6, 2018 12:48 AM CST
From the Audubon Society: " Nandina berries contain cyanide and other alkaloids that produce highly toxic hydrogen cyanide (HCN) which is extremely poisonous to all animals." Many bird deaths are now being attributed to this.

They are attractive plants, but just wanted to pass this along.
GrammaChar
Name: Honey
9a (Zone 9a)
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honeyx4
Nov 6, 2018 5:55 AM CST
I didn't see this thread when I recommended Nandina in another thread, sorry. I still like them very much.

The area you show should contain the spread well, it would be all surrounded by concrete and brick, but the toxicity may be of concern.

All though you would be hard pressed to find a shopping mall or business park in north Texas that doesn't have some Nandina. Its every where up there.
Name: Cheryl
Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Nov 6, 2018 7:18 AM CST
I guess I'm in the minority. I have 4-5 nandina lining my driveway. Do I pull up a few rogue plants? Yes. But compared to my English Ivy, it's far from high maintenance
One is 20+years old and 8ft tall. The space can take it. I keep it trimmed so the car doesnt hit it. I'm enjoying the leaf color change right now. Its something we dont get much of down here in the South. I also have a 25+ year old row in the shade. They get light morning sun and are only 4ft tall. I recently trimmed them for uniformity.

But for your space yes, use dwarf.
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North Central TX (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
Nov 6, 2018 10:49 AM CST
Just think about the poor little birdies before you plant nandinas.

Texas (Zone 8a)
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GrammaChar
Nov 6, 2018 11:44 AM CST
Nandina foliage is really beautiful in the fall so I understand the appeal. The plants wouldn't present a problem if the flowers were clipped before the berries could form. Of course, the berries are pretty too - sad that they're so toxic.

I have read reports that, once established, the nandina bushes are boogers to dig out.
GrammaChar
Glendale, AZ (Zone 9b)
Fruit Growers Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: Arizona Region: Southwest Gardening Hibiscus
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RobGlen
Nov 6, 2018 11:49 AM CST
I would instead put Baby Gem Boxwoods and some Sunshine Ligustrums there. Just a suggestion...
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
Nov 6, 2018 1:29 PM CST
How 'deep' is this? If chosen well, shrubs are mostly plant and forget. But maybe you should consider easy perennials. This looks not very big.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Pennzies
Nov 6, 2018 1:32 PM CST
About a 1-1.5 feet wide and 10ish feet long. Not wide at all. I was hoping for something I can plant and just forget about 😜 I don't want to poison the birds though so I'll probably pick something else besides Nandina
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Nov 6, 2018 2:11 PM CST
The birds here seem to have sense enough not to eat it.
Porkpal
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Nov 6, 2018 5:41 PM CST
Nandina berries are actually a good source of winter food for most birds. Cedar Waxwings are the only birds I know of that will eat too many of the berries and kill themselves. But they also will eat too many mulberry and flowering pear fruits and fall out of trees drunk.

Nandina berries are not considered toxic for children and pets (or birds) for the same reason apple seeds aren't toxic - they don't eat enough of them.

If the Nandina bushes decide to go rogue, pull up the suckers.

Plant the Nandina.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
Nov 6, 2018 6:57 PM CST
Drunk isn't as bad as dead. Sorry.

Before I learned about the negatives I was thinking of planting (or liberating) a nandina. And that was also before one of our members, @Frostweed, taught me about the wonders of going native.

I would encourage you to wait a bit before you sink more $$ into plants. Give us a little time to make some suggestions which you'll be free to ignore. 😝

Thanks for telling us the dimensions of the area you're thinking of. You said it's sunny, right? After I get some groceries (vacation = empty fridge), I'll post some pictures that might help. Or not.
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Pennzies
Nov 6, 2018 7:00 PM CST
Thank you everyone for all of your suggestions! I'm in no rush to plant anything and am open to any ideas!
Name: Trudy
Youngsville, LA (Zone 9b)
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tabbycat
Nov 11, 2018 7:06 PM CST
I just learned about nandinas being toxic from a P. Allen Smith facebook post & I have some. It was pointed out that the seeds are what hurts birds, animals & people so to keep seeds cut at all stages. I have a dwarf variety planted 25 years ago by the home builder as foundational landscaping & although only 4 ft. evergreens they are so invasive I'm thinking seriously about removing the 5 or 6 plants. They love moist areas & get the drip of the house which fuels their spreading by root shoots year around. Think long & serious before planting even dwarf ones.

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