Can I prune or trim oleander

batrachianApril 6, 2009

I have a beautiful Oleander wall along my drive way. However, they grow so much that some of their branches block part of the drive way. I am just wondering if I can just trim part of the branch off.

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You can cut them back as much as you like, but they will be ugly for a while.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 7:37PM
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You can cut them to the ground, trim up the branches that are in the way, train them to be standards....they are very forgiving and grow quickly this time of year.

We are still surprised how many died from Ike, they are pretty salt tolerant. Some very, very old plants too.
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 8:39AM
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Good question--I've been wondering something similar myself. I just transplanted a bunch that weren't getting enough sun and some of the branches (that is, all the leaves on a branch) have turned brown. I removed the dead leaves but it seems the branch is still green. I didn't know if I should cut back the whole branch or if it will regrow leaves along the branch. In a heathy plant, it seems like it produces leaves only at the tips, so I didn't know if it would grow new leaves on an old branch. Any help?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 11:16AM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

Please do!
My old neighbor had an oleander between our properties. It was haggard looking. It was overgrown into a tree that it was planted too close to. The thing and it's mate on the other side of her driveway were hideously ugly. Scraggly,old mildewed half dead leaves, frost burn,no flowers and just everywhere and nowhere. I offered to make it healthy and new again. She agreed it needed help.
I cut it to the ground and she freaked. Her landscaper son told her I'd killed it. I informed him that killing it would require a wench and herbacides. Spring rolled around and the darn thing sprang to life! Good shape, LOTS of flowers, and pretty new leaves. No one apologized for accusing me of killing it,but her "landscaper pro son" did cut the one the other side of the drive to the ground.... LOL! PJ

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 6:54PM
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The Oleander beside my drive way is kind of sparse. I am just wondering if I can plant more by cutting the branch and plant it directly into soil.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 9:53PM
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jardineratx(zone 8, Texas)

I have a row of oleanders that I grew from a matter of fact, I have never purchased an oleander in my life. I usually take about a 6" inch cutting, remove the lower leaves and root in water or soil.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 9:59PM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

That's about it. They are hardy! PJ

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 3:58PM
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Just remember oleanders are poisonous, so be sure to wash up thoroughly after cutting. Also, be careful with disposing of the cuttings.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 12:49PM
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My experience is that wherever you prune, three new branches grow from/near the tip. So pruning them makes them fuller. With my first oleander, when I was new to the gardening bug, I made the mistake of transplanting it in the middle of summer and cutting it all the way back till there were no leaves left. And even with that abuse only one branch died--it came back as happy as ever. I also have a larger oleander that has some old woody branches and I prune those. I don't like it when it gets all woody looking and I like it fuller and shorter. So pruning an old branch has worked for me. It seems to take to pruning anywhere.

The only thing I still don't get is when the ideal time to prune is, if there is any. Some advice says it blooms on old wood, some say on new. Or are there different types?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 7:07PM
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uhohgardner(7b NE Tx)

What does the oleander do to mulch if it's chipped up? Does it hurt other plants or animals that get in it? I know a utility used to give customers their shredder/chipper mulch until advised to stop because it might contain oleander.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 7:59PM
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Unless they eat the mulch it isn't a problem.
You can prune them anytime, old wood, new wood.
There has never been an accidental death, either in horses, dogs, cats, people, from these, they just taste too bad.
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 2:43PM
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little_dani(9, S. Tex Coast)

Well, actually, there have been accidental deaths in cows and horses from oleanders. This story never ceases to amaze me, especially since it is a true story.

One of our county Commissioners was telling us that he knew the oleander was poison because they had tied their horses to the oleander bushes, and the horses ate the bushes and dies.

It made him so mad that he cut the bushes to the ground and threw the cuttings out in the pasture. You guessed it-three of his heifers ate the cuttings, and they died too! True story!

Do not use the cuttings for sticks for roasting marshmallows, either. You can get real sick...


    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 9:34PM
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you can prune your oleander after the season is over (fall or just before). When it stops blooming for the year.Prune all the way to the ground won't hurt it. I believe it makes the prettier to prune way down. happy cannas,snowbird02

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 9:02AM
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buttoni(8 Temple,TX)

My yard when I lived in Texas City was surrounded by 52 oleanders. They would usually freeze back to the ground if we got a freeze, but I liked to prune them down to the ground every year even if we didn't get a freeze, just so they would be fuller and bloom more. My neighbor in Galveston for 15 years was the president of the Oleander Society and said pruning hard like that is the very best thing you can do for oleanders. If you don't, they tend to get leggy, thin and bloom less and less over the years.

Mine were healthy beyond words for all the pruning I gave them annually.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 1:38PM
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I live in central texas and I do my grandparents landscaping. Their oleander has become very leggy and was wondering if I could cut it back now even though winter is approaching. Can I cut it in the middle of winter or should I wait till early spring?

    Bookmark   December 20, 2010 at 3:50PM
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I live in Phoenix and the oleander that my house has is extreemly ugly. We just moved into this home and can tell the previous owners didn't care if it grew and grew. My question is I'd like to start over with the bush and cut it down to the ground so it'll start growing back "my way" Being that it's June and starting to get hot is it still ok for my to cut it down?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 9:41PM
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Well, I finally get to answer a question, that I have done reserch on. You can trim an oleander, as long as you do not remove more than 1/3 of the plant. I made a mistake and trimed them back more than half. After I cut them back, I read on the internet about caring for oleanders, and it mentioned never to trim more than 1/3, I posted on the forum, and just kept my fingers crossed that I would not loose them. I started using superthrive and mulched them. I trimmed them in Jan, and April they just started to come back. I have the dark red, I think they are called hardy, but are darker than the hardy red. Barbra

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 12:27PM
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alameda/zone 8

I have a dark red one, planted in full sun, watered well but it doesnt bloom. I see others around town blooming and am wondering what I am doing wrong. Should I fertilize? Thanks for any advice......

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 9:32PM
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