Plant of the Month


Heavenly Bamboo, Sacred Bamboo
Nandina domestica

  • Plant Form: Evergreen shrub
  • Water Use: Low
  • Mature Size: 4-8 ft. tall x 2-4 ft. wide
  • Exposure: Part Sun, full shade
  • Bloom Time: Spring (May), Summer (June – Aug)
  • Native to: China, India, Japan
  • Hardiness: Cold hardy to 10°F
This lacy member of the barberry family is so reminiscent of bamboo with its cane-like stems and feathery foliage that it has been named after its look-alike.

Heavenly Bamboo provides year-round interest with very little care. Sprays of tiny white flowers in late spring and summer are followed by bright red berries in autumn (plant several for more berry production). Lacy new leaves emerge pink or a pale bronze, turning bright green when mature, and changing to bronze or fiery red in winter, the degree of color depending on cold, frost, and sun. Native to China, India, and Japan, this evergreen shrub grows moderately fast to 4 – 8 feet tall and 2 – 4 feet wide, and is cold hardy to 10°F (it loses leaves at 10°F, but recovers fast). While it appreciates regular watering, it can survive with low water and tolerates drought. Although not a real bamboo, its upright, cane-like stems mimic its namesake, making it effective as a screen or border. Its tall, thin growth habit allows its use in very narrow places, tight gateways, and entries. Versatile in courtyards, entry gardens, hedges, and containers. In mass plantings, it creates a colorful landscape effect as the foliage changes color seasonally. Happiest in our hot deserts with protection from afternoon sun and hot summer winds. This graceful plant excels in creating light, airy, vertical effects, and is dramatic with night lighting. 

Check out our “Garden Tasks” for December