Nandina, sometimes called Heavenly bamboo, is one of the toughest and most deer resistant of Southern plants. It will grow from sun to shade and is tolerant of nearly any soil conditions with the exception of wet. Nandina domestica, the most common nandina, is typically revered as leggy and ugly, but when pruned properly (read that as with a heavy hand) it is bushy with masses of feathery foliage. The white summer flowers and red winter berries are very showy. Nandina is also evergreen. It’s red winter color is best in sun and after frost.
There are newer and smaller cultivars available on the market that are growing in popularity. Durable, dependable and low maintenance, they make a good addition to the landscape.
‘Compacta’ looks like a regular nandina but stays in the 4 to 6 foot range.
‘Fire Power’ stays small and has flaming red winter color when planted in full sun.
‘Obsession’ is a new introduction with more brilliant color than other varieties and a maximum height of just 4 feet.
‘Flirt’ is a true dwarf, reaching only 2 feet. It has blue green foliage topped with purple new growth, a lovely combination in the landscape.