A plant like home nandina is an evergreen tree and the only member of the genus Nandina. It belongs to the barberry family (Berberidaceae). It is found in nature on the mountain slopes of East China and Japan.
This plant stands out among the others in that it changes the color of its foliage depending on the season. So, in autumn and winter it becomes saturated green-red, in spring they acquire a brownish tint. And then gradually the foliage again turns green.
In the wild, a tree can reach a height of 5 meters. He has multiple basal shoots, which makes the plant similar to a bush, and quite dense. Thanks to erect, unbranched stems, the crown has a cylindrical shape.
Nandina's bark is also of interest. On young shoots, it is painted in a violet-brown color, over time it acquires a lighter shade and, in the end, becomes brownish-gray with longitudinally located grooves. Opposite rather long (up to 40 centimeters) leaves have elongated petioles, and they are only at the tops of shoots. They are pinnate. Consist of 3 dense leaves of a lanceolate-rhombic form having a pointed apex. They are interconnected by short petioles 1 cm long.
Small flowers abound. Their diameter is about half a centimeter. Flowerless flowers have whitish sepals, which are collected in friable inflorescences in the shape of a brush. It blooms in the first summer weeks, and later the formation of small round fruits with a rich red color occurs, they are considered to be a real decoration of the nandina.
At the moment, there are approximately 50 varieties of this plant. They differ in size, color of fruits and foliage. So, there are varieties in which the foliage is always painted pink or red, with small or variegated leaves, dwarf varieties, with whitish fruits, etc.
Nandina care at home
This plant is not particularly popular with flower growers, since it is very difficult for him to create conditions suitable for growth and development.
We need a bright, but at the same time diffused light, all year round. The plant can be exposed to direct sunlight in the morning and evening hours. In winter, when there is not so much light, you need light. Especially in need varieties with variegated leaves.
In the warm season, the tree can be moved to the street (to the balcony or to the garden). However, it should be borne in mind that it requires mandatory shading from the scorching midday sunlight.
In the spring-summer period, it needs coolness (up to 20 degrees). Wintering should be quite cold (10 to 15 degrees).
Maintaining such a temperature, especially in the summer, is the main difficulty that gardeners will encounter.
How to water
Watering in the spring and summer should be plentiful. It should be borne in mind that watering is carried out only after the top layer of the substrate has thoroughly dried. With a cold wintering, watering should be much less.
For irrigation use settled soft water. To mitigate it is recommended to use citric or acetic acid.
Needs high humidity. It is recommended to put the tree in close proximity to the source of water, or you can pour a little expanded clay into the pan and pour in the liquid. You need to moisten the foliage in the morning and evening hours, using water that does not have lime and chlorine in its composition.
For the preparation of earth mixtures should be combined sheet and sod land with coarse sand, taken in equal proportions. Do not forget about a very good drainage layer, which must be thick, which will help to avoid moisture stagnation in the soil.
With the onset of spring, nandins should be fed, which continues until the middle of the autumn period. Top dressing is carried out 2 times a month, using organic as well as mineral fertilizers for this. Experienced flower growers also recommend feeding the tree with fertilizer for bonsai.
In winter, you need to feed the plant 1 time in 4 weeks.
Young plants should be transplanted once a year. Adult specimens are subjected to this procedure much less frequently, namely, once every 3 or 4 years, and the top layer of the substrate in pots must be replaced annually.
Most often, root growth is used for reproduction. It is carefully separated from the mother tree and planted in a separate container. Semi-lignified cuttings are also suitable for propagation, but they root very poorly.
The plant should not be cut, because it almost does not branch, even if you pinch the upper parts of the shoots. In this regard, the adult nandina will not be able to have a tree shape, even if you cut off the existing root shoots.
Diseases and pests
Nematodes and aphids can settle. If harmful insects have been noticed, then the plant should be treated with special chemicals in the near future.
Most often, a plant becomes ill if it is not properly looked after. If the water stagnates in the soil, the roots will begin to rot, and if the plant is in a room with an air temperature of more than 20 degrees and with low humidity, it can dump all the foliage.
By the way, this plant can be grown as a bonsai .