Is it OK to prune oleanders in Tucson in Sept/Oct? Or should I wait?
Ann, oleanders are usually pruned in the early sping to control size and form. To keep from spreading the bacterial gall these plants can get sterilize your pruners after each cut. I just dip mine in rubbing alcohol. It must be quite a shock moving here from Seattle! I would love to have some of that rain! I to like paths next to soft plants and love the outdoor room gardening ideas. Soon, if this heat ever lets up pansy, stock, petunias, snaps, hollyhocks, etc. can go in. Will look forward to reading about your new Tucson gardens!
I am in the Redding area of California My husband past away and couldnt take care of the yard. The yard is a mess. I have 20 years of growth of oleaders and also junipers. The junipers are dried out and a great amount of honeysuckle is through out both of them in the same area. I dont know what to do with either one as there is a great amount of debry all throughout this side of the yard. I am now cleaning up. You said early spring. I need to do something with this side of the yard. If I did trim them back would it hurt them at all. It is now Oct. I am very naive about gardening.
You shouldn't have any problem pruning your Oleanders back now. I pruned mine back a month ago, because they were just overgrown and ugly. They have already grown back. In some areas, they get cut back a foot from the ground, and come back surprisingly well. I cut mine back about two-thirds.
One thing to note: all parts of oleanders are highly poisonous. I usually wear long sleeves and gloves to prune mine back. Even the woody parts are poisonous, so don't go putting your hand in your mouth.
Actually, pruning them back will encourage them to blossom next spring.
Here is a link that might be useful: Desert Gardens
Oleander cuttings can be rooted in water
I grew up in San Pedro Calif with lots of Oleander to take care of. We always just pruned it when it looked like it needed it, wrong time of year or not, and it did just fine. Do you get frost or freezes in Redding? If so then I'd wait until after they hit to anything major on them, that way the outside branches protect the inside ones. But if your winter is more like ours is here in Arizona I trim a bit now, mostly dead scraggly parts but keep my trimming to a minimum in case this is the year we get hit heavy and hard on the freezes. It's kind of roulette with the weather in this part of AZ. We had only one real freeze last year, but the first year I lived here we actually got snow, 5 years ago. Just a few inches but enough to make the plants happy that we didn't cut them back more.