Nandina (Nandina domestica) is often mis-pruned. By shearing or topping nandina foliage, blooms and resulting berries are lost (see photo). The plant eventually becomes leggy and thin.
Sharply prune back about a third of the taller stems at the base of the shrub in March before spring growth begins. Stagger the cuts 3 to 6 inches above the soil. Within a few months new shoots begin to grow out near the soil line, eventually filling in around the shrub base. The regrowth gives the nandina a fresh appearance.