Nandina general information
Nandina is an evergreen shrub native to Asia. It is a plant characterized by thin and erect stems that can measure up to two meters in height. The leaves are thin, lanceolate and green in color which, however, become reddish with the arrival of the first colds, therefore during autumn, or in winter, depending on the climate, they undergo this wonderful chromatic variation. Flowering occurs in spring when, at the apex of the branches, white flowers appear, not particularly showy in themselves were it not for the production of wonderful fruits. In fact, the fruits are wonderful spherical red berries that give the plant a truly unique appearance throughout the winter. These berries are produced in considerable quantities and create very suggestive scenarios especially when they are covered with frost.
Watering and irrigation
This is a very hardy and slow growing plant. Its rusticity means that it adapts well to any climate and that it also bears well the attacks of external agents, characteristics that make it very easy to grow. This simplicity of cultivation certainly balances what is its only weak point, that is, very slow growth, especially if grown in pots. It does not require particular soils, so it can be planted practically anywhere, trying to prefer a partial shade or partially sunny exposure, a non-essential condition for the healthy development of the plant, since it grows well even in the shade, but which will allow the plant to produce many more berries. Finally the irrigation. Adult plants do not need watering except in the summer period, a period during which it is good to provide the right amount of water regularly, making sure that the soil is completely dry between one irrigation and the other. During the rest of the year, seasonal rains are sufficient.
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This plant, given its characteristics, is perfectly suited for creating hedges. The ideal way to form a hedge of nandina compact and dense is to arrange the plants about sixty centimeters from each other and about fifty centimeters from the border. Before carrying out this operation, however, the ground must be prepared. It starts by digging holes more or less double the amount of earth the plants were used to, after which the state of the soil is checked. If it is too clayey, it is good to add gravel which will make it more draining. This process is important to avoid dangerous stagnation of water that could favor the onset of root rot, often lethal for plants. If desired, it is possible to create a hedge with this plant also using pots, in this case, however, in addition to slower growth, it will be necessary to intervene more often with irrigation and fertilization.
Fertilization and pruning
Like all plants, this variety also needs fertilization. To have a healthy and vigorous hedge it is good to ensure the right amount of nutrients. The best way is to administer pelleted manure at the foot of the plants in autumn and proceed with slow-termination granular fertilizer at the end of winter. The latter with its slow release of substances will allow the plant a more conspicuous flowering and fruiting. Unlike other hedge plants, the nandina it does not require pruning, you can safely limit yourself to the elimination of dry or weakened branches, if there were any, by winter frosts. However, multiplication is not recommended, which can take place both by seed and by cutting, because, given the slow growth of the plant, it would take years to get good results.