When Do You Trim Oleander?


Quick Answer

As a general rule of thumb, it is best to prune oleanders directly after they finish blooming. When to trim oleander depends on the hardiness zone the plant grows in and the specific oleander variety in question.

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Full Answer

Oleanders do not require yearly pruning to maintain health. However, because of their vigorous growth, trimming does help gardeners maintain control of the plants. For the majority of varieties, trimming after the last blooms die is the best choice. Some oleander varieties are long-blooming, continuing to flower well into the fall. These varieties require pruning no later than mid-September.

Use hand pruners for younger, supple foliage and loppers for older, tougher stems. For general maintenance, avoid removing any more than one-third of the whole plant. Start by removing dead and damaged limbs at the base of the plant or the point at which they join onto healthy stems. When pruning healthy, undamaged branches, encourage new growth by cutting them off just above a leaf node.

After pruning, clean the tools thoroughly to prevent the spread of pathogens. Soak the tool blades in one-part bleach to three-parts water for a few minutes, then rinse and dry. Dispose of the pruned branches and waste as well.

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