One of the most picturesque and colorful oriental shrubs in indoor culture is homemade nandina. This is a unique plant with very spectacular leaves and a curly crown, from the beauty of which you can not take your eyes off. The foliage acquires special charm in the cold season, when its colors change as if by the whim of a watercolor painter. Even the love of coolness does not prevent this plant from becoming more and more popular. Nandinus is rightly considered to be an elite species of houseplant. This capricious miracle plant is not for everyone, it loves attention and care.
Nandina - “sacred bamboo” and its spectacular color change
Among indoor plants, nandins simply have no competitors. In the ranks of evergreen cultures, spectacular watercolor colors with such carved foliage are very rare. Inimitable, elite, moody, rare, exceptional - do not call a nandin, all epithets will be justified. In our country, and in the West, they like to call the plant “sacred bamboo”. And this beautiful name perfectly conveys the special beauty of this luxurious shrub in every sense. But it also causes a lot of confusion: neither by characteristic features nor by origin of the nandins have any relation to bamboos and received this nickname presumably for their tendency to produce root shoots, for their thin stems and the similar shape of complex leaves.
This charming shrub in nature is found only in Japan and China. Therefore, it is not surprising that he is considered one of the most eastern in appearance. Belongs to the home Nandina ( Nandina domestica ) in the Barberry family.
What Nandina cannot boast of is diversity. The genus Nandina is represented by a single species of ornamental shrubs. But the lack of various forms does not at all make this houseplant boring. Firstly, on sale it is represented by varieties that differ in leaf color, flowering and berries. Secondly, even the most modest nandina still seems outlandish perfection.
Domestic Nandina ( Nandina domestica ) - evergreen shrubs, less often - compact trees, even in nature limited to a maximum height of 4-5 m, and rarely grow up to one meter in a room culture (dwarf varieties are predominantly on sale). Nandina is distinguished by its practically non-branching, straight, thin shoots and compact, superficial root system. Crohn's her airy, graphic, amazingly elegant. However, this does not prevent the plant from actively producing numerous root shoots. Even the nandina's bark is very picturesque. Changing the color from lilac-beige to grayish-brown, flaunting with longitudinal grooves, she conquers with her muffled dullness. Nandins are grown in the form of an indoor shrub with a thick, picturesque crown or in the form of a bonsai.
The main pride of Nandina's home is luxurious carved foliage. Thrice or double cirrus, complex sheets of this beauty grow up to 40 cm in length, although it is not easy to examine their structure from afar, the crown seems so openwork-uniform. Triangular leaves consist of glossy, rhombic, feather-like leaf lobes, the pointed top of which perfectly emphasizes the grace of the plant. The dense texture of the leaves does not prevent the entire plant from appearing very light and lush. From a distance, Nandina is perceived as a small-leaved culture, but the shares of cirrus leaves grow up to 10 cm in length. Elegance emphasizes the long petiole of leaves (up to 15 cm) and reaching 3 cm in length of the petiole of cirrus lobes, which give the crown airiness.
The color scheme of the foliage of this extraordinary indoor shrub is mesmerizing. The watercolor show of plants fully manifests itself in the cold season, but some “previews” can be observed all year round. Young leaves with their muffled red, brick-brown tone gradually change color to dark green, as if red gradually fades with the base color over time. Despite the status of an evergreen, nandina changes color depending on the season. In the autumn, a watercolor show begins, during which the leaves gradually and unevenly repaint in dazzling red-ruby tones, and the “transitional” shades look unusually attractive. In winter, the nandina looks like a bright crimson miracle, slowly and unevenly begins to turn brown and yellow. But the change to a brown gamut does not indicate that the plant will soon drop its leaves: the closer to spring, the stronger the green color appears and the leaves repaint again, so that reddish young leaves sparkle against their background. The whole development of the plant is emphasized by the game of watercolor repainting, and it is this feature that makes the homeland nandina so unique a plant. And so luxuriously colorful nandins have numerous varieties with variegated, intensely red, purple, multicolor colors.
But the miracle of colored crown is not the only talent of the plant. With proper wintering, the plant also blooms. Lace bloom begins in June and lasts only a few weeks. Small flowers are surprisingly original: white sepals are tilted back, emphasizing six massive stamens around the pistil. Despite their small size, the flowers are very beautiful. But the size of the inflorescences is even more surprising: unusual flowers are collected in very large and translucent openwork panicles of inflorescences, the length of which can exceed 30 cm. After flowering, large dazzling berries are tied, gradually acquiring an alo-ruby color. Fruits with a pointed tip up to 1 cm in diameter on this plant look like luxurious beads.
Growing conditions for room nandina
When the beauty of the Nandin is extolled, there is no question of any exaggeration. This plant is second to none. But by capriciousness, it deserves the title of exceptional sissy. Nandina is not just a plant not for everyone: it is extremely demanding on humidity, steadily intense lighting and temperatures even in the warm season. And it can be recommended only to experienced gardeners who are looking for an exclusive decoration of their collection. The demandingness of the plant to the conditions does not change regardless of the form of cultivation, it is typical for bush nandins and bonsai.
Lighting for nandina and its placement
Room nandins need to choose a place very carefully. For this plant, it is necessary to select stable conditions, and the lighting should remain unchanged throughout the year. The photophilousness of the plant requires the selection of appropriate places on the windowsills or providing additional illumination. Direct sunlight, with the exception of the soft morning and evening, is contraindicated for this beauty, the lighting should be bright, but scattered. In the autumn-winter period, the nandinus must be supplemented to preserve the habitual plant regime of maintenance. Nandina reacts well to artificial lighting.
Nandina's home feels great on the western and eastern window sills, at the windows and glass walls, and light halls or vestibules will suit her. But best of all, Nandina feels herself in a winter garden with controlled conditions.
Temperature conditions for nandina and airing
Regardless of the time of year and stage of development, homemade nandina remains a lover of coolness. Of course, in the summer it is not kept in atypical conditions for rooms, but you should not allow it to rise above 20 degrees. At a temperature range of 18 to 20 degrees, the plant retains high decorativeness and always only pleases.
During the winter, nandins are moved to cooler rooms. The temperature from 7 to 13 degrees of heat is considered comfortable for this plant, short-term cooling is permissible.
Nandins love fresh air, frequent airing and will happily spend the summer in the garden in protected places. It is better to protect the plant from drafts. Nandina can be grown as a garden potted plant.
Nandina care at home
Nandins need care and constant attention. Frequent inspections of the plant, checking the conditions and condition of the leaves and substrate, moisture indicators will prevent errors and timely adjust the care program.
Nandine irrigation and humidity
The correct irrigation schedule for Nandina is easy to select. The plant is watered so that between the procedures the top layer of the substrate in the containers dries. In summer, watering should be plentiful, but not frequent. In winter, they are reduced, focusing on how the soil dries. Full drying of an earthen coma should not be allowed. Particular attention should be paid to the quality of the water: the nandina prefers soft, standing water at the same temperature as the air in the room or a little warmer. It is permissible for nandins to improve water by acidification.
The main condition under which you can grow nandina in living rooms and even in winter gardens is high humidity. Nandina is preferably grown with an installed humidifier. At the same time, it is not necessary to use special devices: just a pallet or a second container filled with wet decorative stones, moss or expanded clay. Moreover, any contact with the water of the bottom of the pot with the plant and stagnation of water in the lower part of the pots is absolutely unacceptable.
The installation of a humidifier in the spring and summer is best supplemented by regular spraying. When kept in cool spraying is carried out carefully. For nandins, you can use only soft, distilled or purified, warm water and a fine spray.
Nandina fertilizing and fertilizer composition
Nandina is fed homemade at a standard frequency. Fertilizers for this plant are applied only from March to September. The optimal frequency is once every 2 weeks. In the autumn-winter period, both bush and nandins are fed in the form of a bonsai, guided by the instructions received upon purchase or by halving the dosage and frequency of fertilizers.
For nandina, it is desirable to select a comprehensive, universal fertilizer. This crop prefers liquid top dressing and does not like long-acting fertilizers. If nandina is grown in the form of bonsai, then special fertilizer mixtures are used for it.
Trimming and shaping room nandina
Mowing this houseplant, except for growing in the form of a bonsai, is not needed. The absence of dense branching, thin, straight and graceful shoots will not allow you to thicken the crown when pinching, and with targeted pruning. The release of a large number of young shoots is stimulated by shortening by one third of the oldest branches, and by cutting them with a frequency of 1 time every 3-4 years, they control the size and rejuvenate the bush. The formation of bonsai most often comes down to exposing the lower part of the shoots, limiting the size of the plant by removing the shoots and part of the trunks. Nandin is easier to buy already formed than to give her style and form later.
The only mandatory measure is the regular removal of old drying leaves, which the plant does not always discard from below on its own.
Transplant and substrate for nandina
Changing the capacity for the plant is necessary only when the previous pot is fully mastered. Young nandins are transplanted annually, but adults only need a transplant once every 3 or even 4 years. In years when transplantation is not carried out, the top layer of the substrate must be replaced with a fresh one.
Nandins are usually grown in large tubs or large pots with an equal aspect ratio, increasing the capacity by several centimeters.
For home nandins, they select a universal, loose and light earth mixture. The substrate for decorative leafy plants is perfect. If you mix the soil yourself, you can use a substrate of equal parts of sand, turf and leafy soil. The culture is undemanding to the soil reaction, it feels good in soil with a pH from 4 to 6.5, but slightly acidic soil is still preferable for it.
The transplant is carried out without exposing the roots, with minimal contact and removing the top layer of the contaminated substrate. At the bottom of the containers, a high drainage layer must be laid at least 6 cm thick for classic pots and about 1/3 of the container height for bonsai. The root neck of the plant cannot be buried in the soil. If necessary, you can limit the volume of the root system by trimming it to a more compact size.
Diseases and pests of nandins
Nandins are quite stable, but if not properly maintained, they can suffer from spider mites or aphids. Pest control is better with insecticides.
Among these plants, mosaic spotting is common, which is easy to notice by the specific yellow spots on the leaves. Most often, the plants become infected before purchase. It is better to deal with this problem with systemic fungicide.
Common growing problems:
dropping foliage at temperatures above 20 degrees;
partial or complete loss of leaves in dry air;
spots on leaves when exposed to sunlight;
yellowing of leaves when irrigated with hard water, lack of iron or magnesium;
blanching of leaves in low light and in the absence of top dressing;
stretching shoots and the growth of weak twigs in low light.
Propagation of nandins at home
It is not entirely fair to consider that sacred bamboo is considered one of the most difficult plants to reproduce. Rather, this reputation of the plant can be associated with its high cost and elite status than with real difficulties.
The easiest way to propagate nandins by separating the root shoot. The plant forms siblings in very large numbers, and during transplantation, several plants can be separated from the mother bush and planted in separate containers.
Slow rooting of cuttings does not mean at all that you cannot grow your nandina from twigs. The main thing is to use semi-lignified shoots, withstand slices in a growth stimulator and plant them in a light substrate under the hood. Rooted cuttings of homemade nandins at a temperature of 20 to 25 degrees. Usually the process takes at least 1 month.
Nandina seeds are a rarity, despite the abundant fruiting of the plant in winter gardens. Sowing is desirable to carry out immediately after ripening and harvesting the fruit, but although low, seed germination is maintained for up to 3 years. Seeds are sown to a depth of 1-1.5 cm, in loose and light soil. Under glass, they are also kept in hot temperatures (from 23 to 25 degrees) and in bright light. Seedlings develop slowly, they are very fragile, they need careful care and high humidity.