The heavenly bamboo, originally from Asia and the temple gardens there, is also becoming increasingly popular in the local latitudes. Because when nature slowly says goodbye in autumn and goes into hibernation, Nadina domestica captivates with bright red berries and then also turns its leaves pink. So that Nadina also grows decoratively in your own garden, the following article deals with the right care.


  • Genus Barberry
  • original home temple gardens in China and Japan
  • grows between two and three meters high in the bed
  • can be cultivated in a bucket
  • evergreen, bushy shrub
  • white flowers in summer
  • Leaves bright pink in autumn/winter
  • red, bright berries in autumn
  • hardy
  • berries slightly poisonous

soil condition

The soil at the site or in the bucket is ideal for the heavenly bamboo if it is moist and permeable, has enough nutrients and a loamy content. The right soil for garden beds and tubs looks like this:

  • Mix garden soil with clay and compost
  • some sand also offers better permeability
  • Potted plant or potting soil


During the growing season, the plant needs fertilizer. Don’t fertilize at all during the winter. The correct fertilizer doses look like this:

  • twice a month
  • between spring and autumn
  • Commercial liquid fertilizer
  • pay attention to manufacturer information
  • is given with water
Tip: Every fertilizer is used differently. This also varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. To ensure that the plant receives enough fertilizer, but under no circumstances is it over-fertilized, you should always pay attention to the manufacturer’s instructions.


It should be neither too dry nor too wet for the heavenly bamboo. Especially during a very hot and dry summer, you should pay attention to constant watering:

  • especially in the summer regularly
  • Potted plants even on rainy days
  • are covered, for example
  • Rain doesn’t get into the bucket that easily
  • Always water when the soil has dried on the surface
  • always use lime-free water
  • Rainwater is ideal
  • alternatively stale tap water
  • Root ball should soak up completely
  • always in the early morning and late evening hours

When watering, it is important that the root ball is not waterlogged afterwards. But even a complete drying out of the roots is not tolerated for a long time. Therefore, watering in winter during dry periods is also very important.

Tip: Potted plants should only be watered until the first water comes out of the bottom of the pot. Otherwise, waterlogging could occur despite the drainage.


If the heavenly bamboo is to be cultivated in the garden in a bed or in a corner of the meadow, the planting site should be prepared about a month before planting. For this purpose, the garden soil is mixed with compost. This only decomposes its nutrients over time, so that after about a month the soil there has enough humus for the shrub. Otherwise, the following should be considered when planting:

  • Planting hole twice as big as root ball
  • Carefully remove the shrub from the container
  • briefly in a water bath
  • insert and fill in soil
  • press well
  • water well
Tip: Drainage should be installed on the bottom of the planting hole to prevent waterlogging. Accordingly, the hole must also be widened downwards, otherwise the stones or potsherds placed in the hole could later obstruct the roots.

plants in the bucket

If the heavenly bamboo is to be cultivated in a bucket, then a sufficiently large container must be selected that is at least twice as large as the root ball. Because the shrub likes to spread its roots. When planting, proceed as follows:

  • create drainage on drain hole
  • Use gravel or shards of pottery for this purpose
  • Put plant fleece over it
  • Fill in some soil
  • Insert shrub after root irrigation
  • Fill in the rest of the soil and press down well
  • water well again
  • Half an hour after pouring, drain the drip tray
Tip: If you place the bucket directly on a rolling base, you have the option of simply moving the heavy and large plant to the desired location at any time.

Care mistakes, diseases or pests

In the event of care errors, diseases and pests can still occur in the actually resilient shrub. Above all, waterlogging should be mentioned here, which causes the roots to rot. Then the rest of the plant is undersupplied, loses its leaves and dries up. When it comes to pests, watch out for spider mites and scale insects in the winter quarters. If diseases or pests occur, you should act immediately as follows:

  • Dig up the plant if it is waterlogged
  • cut off rotten roots
  • Allow root ball to dry
  • place in new, fresh, dry substrate
  • water more moderately in a row
  • in the case of pest infestation, the plant is too warm
  • spend in a cooler place
  • Rinse the shrub several times
  • Wash off pests with soapy water
  • use insecticides

To cut

A heavenly bamboo cultivated in the garden usually does not need a cut, a shrub planted in a bucket should be cut every now and then so that it does not take up too much space. When cutting, attention should be paid to the shape and therefore proceed as follows:

  • Pruning is possible all year round
  • clear regularly
  • remove old branches inside
  • Cut off the shoots all around if they are too big
  • remove old flowering stems
  • in spring after dropping the berries

The plant also tolerates a radical pruning, for example because the shrub was exposed to a dry period. However, this should usually be carried out in autumn. Then the heavenly bamboo will sprout again in spring.


The location is important for the heavenly bamboo so that it can develop its full beauty in autumn and winter. The ideal location looks half-shady to sunny but bright. A place sheltered from the wind would also be ideal. Plants that have been cultivated in the tub can always be pushed to the right place. Choosing the location for the heavenly bamboo should look like this:

  • in the garden bed
  • under a tall, translucent tree
  • on the east or west side of a house
  • on the east or west balcony and terrace
  • avoid direct midday sun
  • alternatively protect on the south side with a screen or awning
  • sheltered from the wind in a corner

If the heavenly bamboo is cultivated in a warm climate zone, then it can definitely spend the winter outdoors and can also be planted in a bed. However, if it gets colder than -12° Celsius in winter, a tub cultivation is optimal, because then the plant can be brought inside during the cold months.

Hibernation outdoors

As a rule, the heavenly bamboo does not need winter protection, but if the temperatures fall below -12° Celsius, then it can only tolerate them for a short time and must be protected in such a case. The winter protection for Nandina domestica in the garden bed looks like this:

  • Always mulch soil in winter
  • not only keeps out frost and cold
  • also helps keep the soil from drying out
  • If it gets very cold, wrap it up with plant fleece
  • wrap the fleece around the entire bush
  • avoid direct winter midday sun

As soon as it gets warmer again, the shrub should be unpacked and the foil removed. Otherwise, the plant underneath could be damaged by a fungal attack, for example, if moisture accumulates under the fleece.

Tip: Watering is also extremely important in winter on frost-free and very sunny days. Because the sky tree is more likely to be damaged in winter due to drought than frost.

Hibernation in bucket

If the heavenly bamboo was cultivated in a bucket on the terrace or balcony, it can move inside in winter or hibernate outside in a protected place. Plants grown in pots are more and more susceptible to cold temperatures during the cold months. Because the soil in the bucket can cool down more easily. Therefore, the protection during the winter in the bucket looks like this:

  • Wrap the tub with plant fleece to protect it
  • alternatively with brushwood mats, has a more decorative effect
  • place on styrofoam or wood
  • put mulch on soil
  • fall temperatures, also wrap plant
  • alternatively spend inside
  • choose a bright, cool place
  • no direct midday sun
  • no draft
Tip: Anyone who can offer a suitable place for the bucket in a stairwell, an unheated room or a conservatory is on the safe side. However, the shrub, which is particularly decorative in winter, should not be “locked away”, such as in a basement or garage.


The heavenly bamboo should be repotted every two to three years. Even if the roots have not spread significantly in the container and the pot is not too narrow, the shrub still needs fresh substrate from time to time. Therefore, when repotting, the old container can be used again. So the following should be taken into account:

  • Carefully remove the plant from the container
  • Remove all old soil as far from roots as possible
  • clean pot
  • Reattach drainage
  • Half fill with new substrate
  • Use Nandina domestica
  • add the rest of the soil and press down well
  • water well


The easiest way to propagate the heavenly bamboo is to obtain the root suckers by division. In the course of its life, the shrub keeps growing new, small plants on its roots, which are simply separated and placed in their own location. Cuttings can also be used for propagation. When multiplying, the procedure is therefore as follows:

  • ideal time for propagation when repotting
  • Carefully separate roots
  • plant individually
  • use semi-lignified branches for cuttings
  • are cut in summer
  • Place the cuttings in a glass of water
  • Ambient temperature above 20° Celsius
  • when roots appear, pot
Tip: Plants obtained through propagation, especially those grown from cuttings, should spend the first few years in a bucket and be brought indoors in winter. Once they have grown big enough, the shrubs can move outdoors.

The care for the heavenly bamboo is quite simple if a few points are considered in relation to watering, fertilizing, location and pruning. Even in winter there is not much to consider. The plant is a shrub that is also well suited for hobby gardeners with little time to give the garden, balcony or terrace a decorative picture even in autumn and winter.

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