S & J Nursery’s Guide to Growing
Semi – Dwarf Nandina ‘Gulf Stream’
in the Northeast Florida Jacksonville
| St. Augustine area Landscape
( Nandina Domestica ‘Gulf Stream’ ) patent expired
Nandina Semi – Dwarf Gulf Stream Origins:
– This new variety was discovered at Hines Wholesale Nurseries, The new variety originated as a mutation in the cultivar, Nandina domestica `Compacta,`a dwarf selection being bred for its compact habit. The distinctive plant was identified in a population of asexually produced (propigated by cutting pieces and rootiung them in soil making clones of the parent ) plants of similar age and culture. The plant was selected and isolated as a distinctive form for further evaluation. The new variety has been reproduced numerous times by asexual propagation (vegetative cuttings).
This new variety has many desirable, distinctive characteristics which render it unique from the original parent cultivar and the common species. The overall appearance of the new variety is a dwarf, symmetrical, densely compact, solitary form. The plant branches freely from basal and lateral buds. The foliage is held slightly erect and occurs in a high density fashion. The individual leaf is 2-3 pinnately compound. The individual leaflet is ovate to lanceolate and slightly concave. The leaves upon emergence are multicolored, in hues of green, orange, copper, and reddish bronze; maturing into a medium green color. Fall coloration ranges from orange through red, being more intense in cold temperatures.
For more about “Gulf Stream” Nandina you can see its differences from its parent plant as well as comparisons to other cultivars on the market in the patent information in the link below
Evergreen , frost tolerant, hardy in zones 6a-10b.
Exposure for Semi-Dwarf Nandina Gulf Stream :
– Nandina Gulf Stream plants can be planted in a full sun or partial sun and partial shade location in the North Florida | St. Augustine | Jacksonville area landscape. If planting Gulf Stream Nandina into a full hot sun location it will require a bit more fertilizer and supplemental irrigation through an irrigation system or hand watering to keep it at its best.
Foliage of the Semi- Dwarf Nandina Gulf Stream :
– Very pretty lacy foliage adds movement and texture as well as a beautifully soft color to the landscape. New growth emerges soft corn husk yellow and rose pink with hues of coppery orange then ages to a deep green. Fall and winter color when temperatures cool is a lovely orange to burgundy although we may not see that fall winter coloring here in our Northeast Florida landscapes realizably year after year.
Soil Preference / Salt tolerance of the Dwarf Nandina selection ‘Gulf Stream’ :
– Nandina Gulf Stream will prefer moist but well draining fertile soils in the North Florida landscape. Amend the soils with compost when planting for an extra low maintenance landscape planting. Avoid water logged soils.
– Salt tolerance unknown.
Size Variance of Gulf Stream Nandina:
– This Semi-Dwarf selection of Nandina Domestica is normally found to grow to 3-3.5/4 ft high and 2-3 ft wide in the Northeast Florida Jacksonville | St. Augustine area landscapes.
Growth Habit of the Semi-Dwarf Nandina ‘Gulf Stream’:
– Nandina Gulf Stream has a compact somewhat upright but rounded growth habit and needs little to no pruning to keep its naturally attractive shape. naturally lush and full foliage of the Gulf Stream Nandina makes it a landscape favorite.
Growth Rate of the Gulf Stream Nandina domestica selection:
– Nandina Gulf Stream will grow moderately in the North Florida landscape, expect to get on average 6-10 inches to its height each year until maturity.
Nandina Gulf Stream Bloom:
-Although I see Gulf Stream on many lists of sterile cultivars for Florida, my findings is that is not exactly accurate.
“Gulf Stream Nandina has been evaluated and considered to in both North and South Florida be a non invasive option for Nandina domestica. “Poor to no fruit production in South Florida and limited fruit production in North Florida”
was the result of the testing. More information on that study here. https://irrecenvhort.ifas.ufl.edu/invasiveplants/publications/J%20Environ%20Hort%202006%20-%20Nandina.pdf
In addition to intentional testing by botanical gardens, garden clubs and nurseries , unlike other sterile varieties, Gulf Stream has been monitored well over 20 years in landscapes. Due to that close and long term inspection of the plants habits over multiple years in a variety of weather patterns, it has been found to (although infrequently) produce blooms and sometimes although not always from those blooms also bear fruits. Those fruits have undergone testing and been found to be of low viability, meaning they do not have the germination success rate of their parent plant or its wild predecessor. They will not invade neighboring forest and spread by seed to become a pest plant in our State. So although I see why they are just included in the sterile listings, they are in fact not quite, but may just well be pretty stinking close!
With that said, I still would encourage the monitoring and removal of any berries that do happen to form on your gulf stream plants.
Water Requirements Once Established into the Landscape of the Dwarf Nandina domestica Flirt:
– Fairly drought tolerant, will require moderate watering in the landscape (performing at its best with at least weekly supplemental irrigation especially during times of extreme drought.)
Butterfly or Bird Attracting:
– Not touted to be a wildlife attractor for the landscape.
Best Uses For Semi- Dwarf Nandina Gulf Stream in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area landscape :
– This compact little plant is perfect for a low maintenance landscape and can be used in masses as a groundcover or in island beds to accent palms or other landscape specimen plants, use them as the middle to back or middle layer of foundation plantings around homes or commercial plantings.
– Low maintenance landscape plant selection!
Care of S & J Nursery’s North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine Shrubs:
– Shrubs can be planted in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area at any time during the year. In normal and well draining soils dig the hole as deep as the root ball and two to three times as wide. Plant
the top of the root ball level or slightly higher than the surrounding soils. When planting in poorly drained soils make sure to plant your shrubs a minimum of 3 inches ABOVE the surrounding soil level.
– Water every day during the establishment period. For most 3 gallon size shrubs in the North Florida landscape in average soil, that is neither heavy clay that holds water or really sandy that will take 2-3 weeks of daily watering to ensure that your newly planted shrub will begin to put out new roots and grow into its new home happily. After the first few weeks begin tapering back your watering to every other day then every third day and so
on until your newly planted items are flourishing without your assistance.
– If planting larger shrubs you may need to extend the initial care a bit longer to protect your investment and get your shrubs off to the best start possible.
– IMPORTANT: If planting shrubs in heavy clay soils that hold allot of water after a rain or irrigating, remember to check the soil for moisture by sticking your fingers into the soil near the root ball of the newly
planted shrub down to 2-3 inches. If it remains wet from the previous watering wait for the top 2-3 inches to dry out before watering again.
– IMPORTANT: When planting shrubs into poor sandy soils be sure to amend the planting hole by mixing compost or cow manure etc. with the native soil that will go back in the hole around the new plants root ball when installing your shrub material, this will not only give your new shrubs good soil to grow its new roots into but help it hold water.
– When planting shrubs from containers be sure to loosen the roots as much as possible pulling loose roots away from the root ball before installing your new plants, if the roots are to tight to easily loosen with your hands use a knife to cut a few slits into the root ball being careful to go all the way from the top to the bottom and making the cut at least an inch deep. This will ensure that your plant will immediately begin to form new roots
into its new surrounding soil.
– Mulch newly planted shrubs whenever possible.
– Fertilize each spring with a mixture of Milorganite and a slow release poly coated plant food such as Osmocote or Stay Green general purpose plant food, sprinkling the fertilizer around the mulch circle underneath the
foliage of the tree.
– Prune as needed to shape each spring and or summer.
For more tips on how to get your new plants off to the best start possible to begin growing and thriving on their own….