How to prune nandina?

How to prune nandina (heavenly bamboo)?
Mine has a scrub shape but then there are a few new tender shoots sticking out from the top, it looks non-uniform and ugly.
I heard you prune back the old canes 8-12" off the ground, but what would it do for the height? How can I get new growth to a uniform height?
In my old house, I didn't know what they were, I just cut off the stalks all top height wise, the top looked like vertical sticks for a couple of years (real ugly) but after a couple of years it regrew nicely.. maybe it took that long because we didn't have a sprinkler for that area.. or maybe I cut off too much.
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Nandina domestica has an open, uneven, wide spreading habit which is hard to keep shaped. You will have to get out and prune it about once a month. It spreads by underground runners and is invasive and very difficult to take out. If they are not too old, I would recommend you remove them and plant something else. If you like nandina, you can plant some of the dwarf varieties which are sterile, thus not invading native habitats. I personally feel it should be illegal to sell in the warm states. It's anything but heavenly!
On 15 Mar 2005 23:15:07 -0800, jeremy snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com (jj3000) opined:

Need a good, cheap, knowledge expanding present for yourself or a friend? http://www.animaux.net/stern/present.html
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On 15 Mar 2005 23:15:07 -0800, jeremy snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com (jj3000) wrote:

http://www.thegardenhelper.com/nandina.html
I have two types of nandina, one with berries that I recall should only be pruned in March so as not to interrupt the berry production. (Zone 8) They also produce an umbrella like appearance, but smaller plants pop up to cover the bare space under the umbrella. I'm trying to get big plants in that area and don't prune mine at all. The waxwings come through every spring and usually clean out the berries and I look forward to seeing them.
The other type without berries is more conducive to shaping and probably can be pruned any time, but grow more slowly.
Regards,
Hal
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The foliage naturally grows mainly at the top. Thus, if you want a sheared, uniform hedge, nandina is not a good choice. In my opinion, cutting the canes to different heights will produce the most attractive result. When pruned this way, foliage will fill in at the various levels, and the effect can striking.
jj3000 wrote:

Mike Prager On the North Carolina coast - Zone 8a (Remove spam traps from email address to reply.)
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On 15 Mar 2005 23:15:07 -0800, jeremy snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com (jj3000) wrote:

They're supposed to be non-uniform, if you want a formal hedge use something appropriate such as Privet or Box

I cut some of the oldest/tallest canes to the ground every year to keep forcing new growth If you need a uniform height just remove the taller ones
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