I used to be young and naive, believing all plants were beautiful. They all had a purpose. But that was three years ago. Back before we bought our house. Before I met the scourge that is Nandina.
Nandina was planted in various locations in our front and backyards. And though I wasn’t opposed to the plant at that time, it didn’t have the laidback Carolina feel I was going for. So, I decided to have it all ripped out.
If you have any experience with the plant, you already know how that went. Like the proverbial cat, the plant came back.
Frustrated, I did a little research on the shrub. Nandina is a native to China and Japan. It was brought into Western gardens in 1804.
In the South, it’s invasive and easily spread by birds who eat the berries and drop seeds in wooded areas.
Making it even worse, parts of the plant produce hydrogen cyanide and are toxic to the animals who eat it.
Sometimes called “heavenly bamboo,” the shrub sends out underground runners that make new stalks appear just a few feet away from the mother plant. And cutting it down to the ground doesn’t kill it.
You’ve got to dig out the mother plants and remove all of those underground runners to eradicate it.
Heavenly bamboo, my foot!
I’m in a war over here, y’all. And right now, the Nandina is winning.