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Pruning oleanders, which branches to cut


How to prune the oleander: all instructions for thepruning of oleanders. From ordinary todrastic pruningCare and advice for flowering.

Oleander pruning: how and how much to prune your oleander. Precautions and ideal times for pruning.

For the pruning of oleanders, of the Nerium oleander and its different cultivars and hybrids, two things must be kept in mind:

The oleander is poisonous

The first is that the oleander plant is poisonous. When pruning it is better to wear gloves and do not leave pruning cuttings lying around, especially in the case of small pets.

The cuttings of oleander pruning must be conferred with separate collection. In no case should they be burned! Oleandrin, contained in the stem and branches of oleander, is a very toxic alkaloid also for humans. So avoid burning these branches!

During thepruning of oleanderswear sturdy and impenetrable gloves. The plant of oleanderit is considered irritating even for simple contact with the skin.

Contact between the skin and the toxic alkaloid contained in the oleander can give rise to striking manifestations. From simple skin rash (stinging effect) with itching to real episodes of skin lesions with severe erythema and bleeding.

Even the tools at the end of the cut must be cleaned and disinfected. The same attention must be paid when taking and handling oleander cuttings.

Pruning can cause damage to flowers

The second thing to remember during the oleander pruningis that this plant blooms on the branches from the year, which are the ones to be preserved from cutting. If you cut young branches you risk finding yourself with aoleander that does not flower.

For the rest, the pruning of oleanders it does not present particular difficulties and knowing some things can be carried out even by the inexperienced gardener.

When to prune oleander, period

The most suitable period for prune oleanders coincides with the end of summer or the beginning of autumn.

The reason is that the oleander blooms again on the branches of the year and at the end of flowering it is easier to distinguish the new branches from those of the previous year. In order not to risk penalizing theflowering, the beginning of autumn and the end of summer represent the best time for oleander pruning.

Where the weather permits, pruning can also be done in February, but a more experienced eye is needed.

How to prune oleanders

Oleanders are pruned to eliminate dry branches, thin out and also to give a shape to the plant in case of more drastic pruning.

Given that in the bush oleander variety it is advisable to keep the lines, the stems can also be cut at different heights to create bifurcations and give the shrub a particular appearance. As a rule, the stems are cut for about a third of their length, but it is not mandatory.

The most suitable scissors for pruning oleanders

Oleanders have the particularity of bearing thin branches or very hard and thick branches. For this reason you must choose scissors that are able to be delicate with dry branches and more slender and decisive on branches with a more double diameter.

Any pruning shears used on any plant must:

  • guarantee a clean cut and without crushing.
  • Be disinfected before each pruning and, in the case of oleander, also after each pruning due to the poison contained in it.
  • Be strong enough to also cut off any woody branches and swollen at the base in case of drastic pruning.

For prune oleanders, as well as for pruning all the ornamental plants in the garden, we recommend the use of scissors with ratchet.

The ratchet scissors are very versatile (in agriculture they are also used for fruit trees or vines) but they are especially recommended when it comes toprune the oleanderand ornamental plants.

You can activate the ratchet to cut the branches at the base and all the branches of the oleander with a larger diameter: here, the ratchet system allows you to distribute the cutting effort and depending on the diameter of the branch so as to obtain a clean cut with minimal effort even with the hardest branches.

Another advantage of these scissors is the price. A good item with excellent value for money can be found on Amazon for € 7.99 with free shipping. For all information, I refer you to the official product page: Brüder ratchet scissors.

Regardless of the type of scissors you will use, make sure that they are well sharpened and that they do not crush or crush the branches of the oleander when cutting.

The brittle, crushed or badly cut branches become thefavorite hauntof a large number of parasites that could infect the plant and make a poor flowering.

Oleander pruning, precautions

We said that oleander is poisonous and in fact it is a lot! Every single part of the plant contains the said toxic alkaloid oleandrina.

For this reason, we reiterate that the plant and pruning cuttings should be placed out of the reach of children and animals and away from various barbecues and braziers.

It is a summer classic to read in the newspaper that a party in the garden (or on the terrace) ended with the guests hospitalized in the emergency room because of the oleander leaves fallen on the food being cooked or even used to flavor the embers by some inexperienced 'king of the grill'! Avoid burning pruning residues because the fumes are toxic.

In pruning of oleanders always use heavy rubber gloves, which must then be washed thoroughly. Disposable gloves would be even better, but it's not easy to find heavy ones that you throw away.


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