How to Care for the Nandina Firepower Plant

Overview

Fire Power, a compact cultivar of the popular nandina shrub, reaches up to 2-feet tall and produces large, white flowers in spring and red-tinged leaves in summer. As winter approaches, the leaves turn an attractive, deep-red color that match the red berries borne in fall. Nandina Fire Power grows slowly and spreads through underground stems, eventually creating a large clump that makes an attractive ground cover or specimen planting. The shrub performs best in USDA hardiness zones 6 through 10, lives for up to 100 years or more with proper care and is considered relatively low-maintenance.

Step 1

Plant Nandina Fire Power during any time of year that the soil is warm and workable. Choose a planting site that receives full sunlight throughout the day and consists of well-drained, moist, rich soil for optimal growth and performance. Space Nandina Fire Power shrubs 24 to 36 inches apart.

Step 2

Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch over the soil surrounding the plant to improve moisture retention, deter weed growth and insulate the root system. Start the mulch at least 3 inches from the plant's crown, or the area where the stem and roots meet, to allow room for adequate air circulation.

Step 3

Water Nandina Fire Power plant once every week during the spring, summer and fall months to prevent the soil from drying out completely. Reduce the watering frequency to once every 10 to 14 days during winter, when active growth ceases. Soak the soil to a depth of at least 6 inches at each watering to make sure the roots receive enough moisture.

Step 4

Feed the shrub once per month during spring, summer and fall to provide proper nutrition for root, flower, foliage and berry production. Use a balanced 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer at the rate suggested by the manufacturer for the best results. Water lightly after feeding to prevent root injury and to help the nutrients penetrate the soil.

Step 5

Prune Nandina Fire Power plant once per year during early spring, just before active growth resumes. Use pruning shears to cut the tallest canes back to the ground to promote a thicker, denser and more compact growth habit. Allow shorter canes to remain 4 to 5 inches above the soil, which will encourage bushier growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears

References

  • Clemson University Cooperative Extension: Nandina
  • University of Florida: Nandina Domestica 'Fire Power'
  • "The Homeowner's Complete Tree & Shrub Handbook"; Penelope O'Sullivan, Karen Bussolini; 2007

Who Can Help

  • USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: Nandina Fire Power, Fire Power shrub, Nandina plant care

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.