How to prune an oleander tree

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Oleander (Nerium) is an evergreen flowering plant that can grow as tall as 4 metres. If the lower branches are continually removed as they grow rather than allowing them to spread into a round shrub, the oleander will grow into a tree. This plant can handle heat and drought magnificently. It also can tolerate winds and sea spray. Planted in well-draining soil in a pot in your conservatory, greenhouse or living room and given plenty of sun, the oleander will produce abundant flowers. To optimise flower production, pruning is in order.

Watch for the blooms to die back. Pruning the oleander at the end of the growing season will give the plant time to develop new flowers for the next year. According to the International Oleander Society, September or early October is the best time to prune.

Cut branches above leaf nodes with garden shears. The leaf node is the spot on the branch from which three leaves are growing. Make the cut about 0.75 cm above the node.

Watch for the development of new branches. During the next growing season, three new branches will grow at the node where three leaves had formerly grown. At the tips of those new branches, new flowers will develop.

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