Nandina toxicity

Asked March 24, 2019, 3:31 PM EDT

Should I remove this plant from my home garden? I have heard it’s berries are toxic to birds and that it is an invasive plant. Thank you.

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

Nandina domestica is a Tier 2 invasive plant in Maryland and it is regulated by the Maryland Department of Agriculture. You are correct -- there have been reports that the berries are toxic to cedar waxwing birds. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3005831/ We recommend that you remove it.

For a replacement, consider using Maryland adapted plants that provide berries -- hollies, chokeberries, and Viburnums are some other choices you might consider. Here are two links to help you with replacement plant selection.
http://www.nativeplantcenter.net/
https://www.audubon.org/plantsforbirds

ckc