How to Prune Oleander Shrubs

Oleanders are evergreen flowering shrubs that are popular as ornamental plants. With clusters of dark green leaves and large flowers spanning about 3 inches across, the oleander is an attractive addition to any landscape. These shrubs are hardy in zones 8 through 10 and bloom through the spring and summer months. Oleander shrubs grow quickly and require little maintenance. While pruning is not required for a healthy plant, a small amount of cutting back can be done to help shape the plant, encourage new growth and remove dead or diseased areas.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears


    • 1

      Remove dead or damaged branches in early spring before blooming begins. Cut the branches off at a leaf node using sharp pruning shears.

    • 2

      Select branches to cut back in the late summer to early fall to reshape the shrub and encourage new growth in the following year. Cutting back a branch will not only reduce the current size of the bush, but it also will create new growth. Up to three new branches will sprout from the end of the trimmed branch if you cut it at a leaf node. This helps to encourage a full, rounded shape.

    • 3

      Snip off branches just above the leaf nodes using sharp pruning shears in any area where you want to encourage growth.

Tips & Warnings

  • To avoid having a bare looking shrub, do not prune more than one third of the plant.
  • Do not prune the shrubs too late in the fall as the plant needs time for the trimmed branches to harden off before the first frost of the year.
  • Oleander is a poisonous shrub. Both the plant itself and the removed branches should be kept out of reach of small children.
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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images

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