Yaupon Holly question

stretchtex1January 16, 2014

I just purchased a home with about 10 of these planted in the front bed. They all appear to be tall and skinny at the bottom. Ive scheduled a consultation with a gardener to come have a look at these bushes. Is it possible that they can be pruned in such a way that will allow them to fill out?

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additional photo

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 1:32PM
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That is Nandina domestica. Not native to the US, invasive in Florida wild areas.

And there is a report that cedar waxwings can gorge themselves on it (their normal behavior) and die due to the trace amounts of cyanide in each berry.

I would get rid of it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Article about that here

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 5:06PM
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I have never understood what people find attractive about Nandina, they're one of the ugliest shrubs I can think of. My first house had them plated across the entire back, I ripped them all out.

You may be able to find some dwarf Yaupon that would work in that area.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 10:15PM
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Agree, (about the toxicity and about removal).
If the area is too shady for yaupon(looks dim in photo at least), consider replacing with something more shade tolerant like oakleaf hydrangea (h quercifolia).

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 8:59AM
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Thanks so much! These will all be removed next week. The front of my home in south/central Texas faces north/northwest and the neighborhood has a healthy deer population. I'm thinking of replacing with a yaupon holly.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 9:57AM
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jcalhoun(8b Mobile County AL)

Deer will nibble on yaupons but it doesn't hurt them in the least.

Here on the gulf coast yaupons will get about 25 feet tall and rather dense. Fast growing too. They'll grow just about anywhere.

If you want to plant them right next to the house you'll want to consider a dwarf variety.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 10:00PM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

The reason for nandina's persistence in American gardens is that there are not many (any?) robust native evergreen alternatives with good multi-season variety that can hit 6 to 8 ft of height from only a 3 ft diameter footprint. We've been looking for a weeping yaupon (Ilex vomitoria 'Pendula') or the new female (berried) fastigiate 'Scarlet's Peak' to try as a replacement for some nandinas we have as a privacy screen on the property line. These yaupon cultivars stay narrower than the standard variety, but also want to get much taller than your soffit. I've seen a weeping yaupon being kept at 6 to 8 ft that looked okay (though not sure how old it was), but don't know how the fastigiates ('Will Fleming' is a male version) respond to being kept much shorter than their natural height. Need to select female yaupons if you want a chance of berries.

Standard yaupon (Ilex vomitoria) will only fit in your space if you're prepared to do a lot of pruning and training. The common dwarf cultivars get much bigger than most nursery photos indicate and will top out around the bottom of the window shown in the photo. Good thing is the dwarfs can be cut back to most any size as needed and will look good after a season of recovery; we keep some at about 2.5 ft with a major trim every 2 or 3 years.

'Micron/Gremicr' is a relatively new cultivar that is smaller than the other dwarfs ('Nana', 'Stoke's', 'Schillings',..) . Unfortunately none of the dwarf cultivars I'm aware of have berries.

This post was edited by bostedo on Fri, Feb 7, 14 at 11:35

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 10:26AM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

Forgot to suggest you take a look at Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica). Depending upon where you are in Texas, this can work as a shade tolerant semi-evergreen shrub that has a lot of the color characteristics of nandina: prominent white flowers in spring, great red colors in late fall and winter, and green the rest of the year. 'Henry's Garnet' is a 4 to 7ft improved variety and there's a smaller cultivar known as 'Little Henry'.

Here is a link that might be useful: Itea virginica 'Henry's Garnet'

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 12:04PM
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