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sacred bamboo

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i have inherited this shrub and knew nothing about caring for it. it seems to have been badly damaged by the cold over winter. is there any way i can a) check its survival and b) help it back to health?

  • Views: 974
  • Replies: 2
  • Posted: Wed. 26th May 2010 19:18

Re: sacred bamboo

Reply from Kathy C

Hi, Magicgranny (love your user name, by the way),
Nandina domestica is one of those borderline plants - when temperatures hit 0C, some might dieback, some can be completely unaffected. When I lived on the east coast of the US, I treated it as a 'dieback' shrub meaning I assumed the shoots/branches would be killed in the cold weather, but the base of the shrub would survive. In that case, it would be cut down to the base, almost to the ground (always just above a bud) and then it would break new shoots. Best thing for you to do is the 'scratch test' which means starting with a shoot/branch at the top of the shrub. Lightly scrape away the thin layer of bark. If you see a thin layer of green (called cambium), it is still alive. If you don't see green, move further down the plant. Keep giving the test until you see the cambium layer. Cut the plant back to the area that has green. If you don't see green until the base of the plant, cut it back to the ground and then keep your fingers crossed! I hope you find green high up! If you do, you can assume the plant is still in a state of shock. Just curious, where are you that the weather was so cold?
Kathy C.

  • Posted: Thu. 27th May 2010 17:25

Re: sacred bamboo

Reply from magicgranny

hi kathy and thanks for your advice.

i live in northumberland and this winter temperatures went down to -17 degrees, unheard of in my lifetime.

  • Posted: Sun. 30th May 2010 22:18