Dwarf heavenly bamboo, Japanese sacred bambooOne of my favourite plants in my garden is Nandina pygmaea – Dwarf Sacred Bamboo. It is an evergreen shrub, used for its foliage and will apparantly endure diverse growing conditions. It grows well in a container and can be used as a background plant, low hedge, in a shrub border and as a groundcover. It grows in full sun or partial shade (green leaves) preferring moist, but well-drained soil.

The foliage is green with red to purple tones turning bright yellow and red in Autumn. We’ve planted this in various areas in my garden and it is amazing to see the difference in foliage colour, depending on how much sun it gets. In the very shaded areas of the garden it is a lovely light green colour with no “other”  colours whatsoever, and in the sunnier parts of the garden the leaves are turning all sorts of shades of orange to bright red. I’m looking forward to seeing what it does in Autumn …

Notes:
This little plant is a dwarf version of the Nandina domestica and is native To China and Japan, where it is often planted near temples. Nandina will endure diverse growing conditions and grows easily throughout the country, but needs regular watering in dry areas. It is hardy to all but severe frost and will grow +-50 to 60cm tall and +-50cm wide. It will grow in full sun or semi-shade, but the leaf colour is more intense in winter if it is planted in full sun. In very arid regions it is best planted in semi-shade. Heavenly bamboo is semi-evergreen and will drop some leaves in winter. It prefers a light, moist well-drained soil, but will grow in most garden soils. Although it is moderately drought hardy, it responds well to regular watering in summer.