Nandina is sometimes called “heavenly bamboo”. The jointed, multiple stalks vaguely resemble bamboo, but the plant would never be mistaken for fishing pole material! Nandinas have two major pluses in the landscape: they tolerate shade very well and their bright red berries appear just in time for Christmas each winter.
Old plants, or those grown in the shade, tend to become “leggy”, with lots of foliage high on top of spindly stems. You can correct this habit at almost any time of year, keeping in mind that pruning during flowering time will remove potential berries.
The easiest way is to “stair-step” the stems. Cut off a couple of the stems at 12 inches tall, some at 18 inches tall, some at 24 inches tall and so forth. The stalks will sprout new foliage at each level and the plant will be more balanced top-to-bottom.