Question: How do I prune my nandinas? They’re far too tall, but, more than that, they’re also very leggy down near the ground.

Answer: Nandinas are pruned in an uncommon way. If you cut a given stem back almost to the soil line, it will regrow from its base. If you do that to the tallest one-third of the canes every year, you’ll have a constant supply of fresh and new growth coming up from the ground each spring. In severe cases, for example, where extreme cold has “burned ” most of the foliage, you may even want to prune half or more of the canes back to the ground. Do it with hand shears, so you can leave any new growth that is already forming in place. This works with any of the standard types, but you probably wouldn’t want to do it to nana nandinas. Do this pruning in late January or early February, before the new spring growth starts to emerge, and follow it up with an early spring feeding of a high-nitrogen, lawn-type fertilizer.

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