How to propagate Nandina domestica
This is a quick step by step guide on the methods we use to propagate nandina domestica also known as heavenly bamboo or sacred bamboo. Each year we collect seed to produce thousands of new plants.
Collecting the seed
Nandina domestica flowers in summer. By late Autumn the seed should be ready to harvest. The seed is ready when it turns a vibrant red.
I have read that you should remove the red pulp from the seed and soak the seeds. We have tried this and whilst the seed did germinate it still took the same amount of time as when we leave the pulp on, so you may as well save time and not worry about this process.
We also read that the seeds should be covered, and bottom heat applied. Once again we tried this technique, to no avail. It made no difference to our germination times.
Our next test is to try freezing a batch of seeds, then sowing, to see if that may help to speed up the germination process. We will keep you posted.
In the meantime, it’s lenghtly, but this method works for us every time. We produce thousands of plants each year.
Sow the seed
Once we have collected our ripe berries, we sow them in a seedling tray 4/5 full of the perlite peat moss mix that we use. They can be sown directly into a potting mix but we have found they don’t come up as uniform as when we use the perlite peat moss mix.
We simply spread the seeds out over the top of the perlite peat moss mix, then lightly cover with more perlite & peat moss.
Then water the tray thoroughly. We keep the tray inside an igloo or cold frame, it needs a nice safe sheltered spot, away from weed seed and pest disturbances. Keep the tray moist but not wet.
Wait & Pot your Nandinas
Using this method will take almost 12 months. You’ll see your seedlings emerging when the berries are ripening on the nandinas in your garden. It does take a long time and that’s why we’ve looked into other methods to speed up the process.
But as long as we collect seed every year we are ensured to have a constant supply. It’s also a simple and easy method which produces over 500 plants from one seedling tray, and an outstanding success rate.
Once the seedlings pop up you can start potting them. Use a good quality potting mix. Once the seedlings are potted up water them well and store them in a sheltered position. Keeping them moist.
After about 6-12weeks depending on the temperature of where you live, the seedlings should have developed a good healthy root system.
If your time line is similar to ours, they should have a great root system by Spring. Now they can be planted outside in the garden or given to friends and family.
Happy planting ?
Below is a short video showing the above steps. If you enjoy the content feel free to subscribe and we will continue to keep adding more plants which we propagate.
You may also be interested in learning how to propagate nandina’s by cuttings.
We have also put together a resource page that contains links to the products we use or similar. If you want to check that out click the link.
Propagate Nandina Domestica Video
Nandina domestica-sacred bamboo information
Nandina domestica sacred bamboo is a medium sized evergreen shrub. It forms clumps of several slender upright canes. Quite an architecturally pleasing shrub. It has very attractive foliage which turns vibrant red in Autumn. White flowers are produced in summer which are followed by bright red berries in Autumn, the berries hold on to the bush for a very long time, creating a very pleasing show..
Nandina domestica sacred bamboo is a great addition to almost any garden as it provides year-round interest, with it’s ever changing colours of foliage. It’s well suited for Asian themed gardens, where it may be used in lieu of Bamboo. Can also make for a great screening plant or even placed into patio pots.
It thrives in a position of full sun to part shade. Prefers moist well drained soil. Very tolerant of frosts and dry periods once it’s established. The best way to prune is to remove unwanted stems at ground level, new fresh shoots will then emerge.
Botanical name: Nandina domestica
Common name: Sacred bamboo, Heavenly bamboo
Native to: Eastern Asia
Position: Full sun/Part shade