Nandina - Dividing? Transplanting? Propatate?

ladyamityMarch 28, 2009

Hello Everyone!

I know from reading at GW for years that Nandina isn't on the top 10 favorite plants list for some areas of the country.

In some places it's considered very invasive, in other places it's considered way over-used.

A little background:

We bought this house over 25 years ago knowing absolutely nothing about plants other than the green end goes up.

I was at Ho-De and there was this little 1-gallon pot with the prettiest, 10 inch tall airy plant with lime green leaves.

A dollar and eighty seven cents later, I lugged her home and stuck her in the ground in the shadiest spot of my yard and right smack up against the house.

She was our very first plant and never did much of anything but grow a few shoots that I would whack off because they would grow in front of the window....the only light we had coming into that room.

Fast forward 22 years....we took down the eyesore of an above-ground pool (kids grown and we were spending time cleaning it only). The area turned into a dumping ground for other DIY projects.

Last year we finally cleared the area and hubby put up a Pav, complete with DIY cement floor, step up to Pav and we filled it and the surrounding area with plants from Craigs List and friendly neighborhood cuttings and trades.

I had told hubby I would look for another Nandina to soften the entrance of the Pav.

I got sticker shock at the prices of 2 - 5 gallon Nandinas.

I awoke from a nap last November to my hubby all excited because he had dug up the original Nandina and put it in a pot next to the Pav entrance (hubby who knows less about plants than I did 25 years ago).

Of course I thanked him over and over for such a sweet gesture, all the while worried sick that the Nandina was not long for this world.

To my surprise, by January the Nandina had doubled in height.

Here it is, almost the end of March and Ms. Nan has again doubled in size and she has tripled in width (obviously hubby did something right without even realizing it. lol)

Ms. Nan has a special place in my heart, the sentimental fool that I am.

Not only that but her colors....from Bronzy Reds to Goldens to Lime Green, and ALL at the same time, give such an interest to the area. She is usually the first plant that gets noticed by all who visit the back yard.

Right now she is proudly showing off her flowers but just before they go to seed I will cut them off.

What I'd like to do is Transplant her to a larger pot and in the process I would like to know the BEST/SAFEST way to divide and/or propagate so that I can have more Ms. Nans in containers to soften the corners of the Pav with beautiful airy and colorful leaves.

Can anyone offer tried and true suggestions so that the transplanting, dividing and/or propagating goes well with no loss of life?

Thank you!

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Transplanting can take place pretty much at any time in your climate. I wouldn't recommend division - most shrubs, even caning shrubs and more specifically evergreen shrubs, dislike it and it can put it into shock. You could easily lose both the mother plant and any divisions. Propagation is most easily accomplished by stem cuttings. That's the method most growers use, outside of microculture.

Root pruning, which may be appropriate at transplant time, can also generate root cuttings from the rhizomatous shoots. This is quite a bit different from division though, as you are only removing the exterior shoots, not disrupting the entire root mass.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 3:34PM
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Thank you so very much for all the great info.
And I had never heard of Root Pruning, so I'm headed to Google to look it up and lean.
Again, thank you!!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 12:48PM
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