Pruning an oleander: when and how? Our advices


Oleander is a shrub that can be grown in the ground or in pots. It is popular with many gardeners because its culture does not pose any particular problem and it is covered with a abundant flowering. It therefore works wonders in the garden, on the terrace, the balcony, where we also enjoy in winter its evergreen foliage of an intense green and very shiny. The oleander well deserves that we take care to prune it according to the rules of the art in order to densify its foliage and to promote its flowering but also to save it after big frosts. Let’s see when to prune your oleander and what method to adopt.

Oleander pruning: recommended period

The size keeps the compact habit oleander and prevent the new branches of the year, full of vigor, from developing too quickly. On the other hand, it should not be detrimental to the flowering to come. So the best time to prune an oleander is located between end of October / beginning of November and the month of February the tree being in vegetative rest. It is important not to take too late, when with the arrival of spring the first shoots appear.

It is very important to respect this pruning period, that the shrub is located in the ground or be planted in a jar. If the pruning intervenes too late, that is to say when the spring is already well established, we will not see any flower blooming for the year. It would be a real shame because no one can resist the beauty of its profusion of flowering which enhances the outdoor space.

Note, however, that pruning an oleander is not necessary every year as long as the shrub retains its compact habit, its foliage is lively and very shiny, no branch is damaged and it blooms profusely. These are elements that testify to his good health. We can therefore be satisfied with prune it every 2 or 3 years in order to simply limit its growth, for example.

Pruning an oleander: how to do it?

To preserve the beauty of the oleander after its flowering, it is useful to remove all faded flowers. It is also an essential task that must be carried out when wintering potted plants in a room in order to protect them from extreme cold. This moment must be chosen to fold each subject into the tank, opting for a fairly severe size if necessary. Otherwise, a maintenance pruning is enough. The length of the stems of the year is shortened at most by 40% so that the shrub retains a harmonious and compact silhouette.

To perform the caring for oleander, just follow the following procedure:

  • Remove the old branches by cutting above a new branch, this one starting from the bottom of the old woods,
  • Eliminate the new branches starting from the base if there are too many of them and only keep the most vigorous ones.

For lead an oleander on stem, pruning then consists of keeping only one branch which will become the trunk. This being perfectly clear, it will branch out later, but the shrub will no longer have its compact form.

Frozen oleander: can severe pruning save it?

It may happen that an oleander suffers from having suffered successive freezes. This shrub does not tolerate temperatures below -4 ° C when it is still young, but its tolerance level increases with age. It can, after a few years of cultivation, bear down to -10 ° C. This is the reason why it is preferable to keep it in a pot in mountainous regions, as this allows it to be stored away during the off-season. Note that in the north of the Loire, you can at least install a wintering veil to protect oleanders which cannot be placed in a room.

Yes the oleander froze, which can be seen from the blackening of some of its branches and / or the softening of some others as well as the yellowing of the leaves, do not hesitate to knock it down severely : at a minimum of fifty centimeters from the ground or better yet, the whole foot can be folded down to the ground so as to remove all the aerial parts which have frozen because they will not grow back. This shrub absolutely not afraid of drastic sizes. It will leave all the better in the spring and will not wait long to regain all its vigor and beauty. However, it will not flower during the year following this size.

Finally, care must be taken to remove all pods oleander. They are simply bean-shaped bags that carry the seeds. Leaving them depletes the shrub unnecessarily. And last precaution to take: we systematically wear gloves to handle an oleander whose toxicity is well known. Be careful with children! They must not touch either the leaves or the stems, as they can become poisoned by putting their hands to their mouths.

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