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Cut off oleander flowers: Should you remove faded flowers and pods or leave them until winter?

The oleander is a woody plant that loves to bloom. With good care, its flowers delight the eye of the amateur gardener all summer long. But when the plant begins to fade in August, then the question arises: can you still extend the flowering period? Perhaps cut off the oleander flowers? We explain whether removing the faded along with the pods really achieves the desired effect.

Cut oleander flowers: When is it a good idea to remove what has faded?

Cut off oleander flowers or leave them after they have withered

Oleander is a heavy grower that grows very quickly. So it’s no wonder that after just a few years, the blooms start to dwindle. In this case, a nurturing pruning is necessary. By the way, this applies not only to the garden plant, but also to the container plant.

Normally, pruning is done in the fall, just before the plant is brought to the winter quarters and before the winter dormancy period begins. However, only the older shoots are removed. In August, the oleander has already formed the new flower buds. If these are cut off, it will not bloom next year. Therefore, in September, the plant is only thinned out a little and not completely cut back close to the ground.

If the oleander has old flowers from the previous year: Cut it off or leave it?

Oleander as a tub plant care useful tips

Regular pruning saves a lot of time and effort in the fall. Flower buds from the previous year that have not opened are best left standing. However, you should remove dried out flower buds. Instead of cutting them off, pluck them off.

Should you cut off faded flowers?

You don’t need to cut off the flowers either. It is completely sufficient if you pluck off only the petals. One shoot bears many inflorescences, which bear new flowers one by one. Therefore, in any case, do not cut or shorten the flower shoots – at least until the end of the flowering period, which, with good care, can be extended until the end of September.

The oleander has long pods: remove or in any case do not cut?

Cut off oleander long pods or do not remove them

The first pods of the oleander appear in August. The long fruit capsules (about 10 to 15 cm long) contain the seeds of the plant. After a ripening period, the seed pods burst open, releasing the seeds. The oleander uses too much energy to form the pods. This can weaken it and make it more susceptible to pests and diseases . Therefore, cut off the pods regularly. In this way, you can also encourage flower formation.

Encourage flower formation and extend the flowering period by pruning with care in summer.

Do not remove flower buds from the previous year


It is possible to promote flower formation through a nurturing pruning. Older plants in particular form many inward-growing, sickly shoots. For this, the oleander wastes a lot of energy that it actually needs for flower formation. The sprouting weakens the tub plant and the flower formation decreases. But if you regularly cut off these shoots, then the oleander can put its strength into the flowers.

Pruning oleander: Be sure to protect your hands and arms when pruning

The oleander is a poisonous plant. All plant parts of the wild plant are highly toxic. The ornamental plant is also poisonous, although most cultivated varieties are less dangerous than the wild plant. However, you should definitely not underestimate the toxins and take the following protective measures:

Oleander in the garden or on the balcony is poisonous

1. whenever you cut the oleander, you should wear gardening gloves and clothing with long sleeves.  When cutting with power shears, you should also wear a protective mask so that you do not inhale small parts of the plant.

2. Avoid direct contact between the cut plant parts and your skin. The contact could cause skin irritation.

3. Do not burn the cuttings under any circumstances, even the smoke is toxic. Dispose of the cut plant parts with your household waste.

4. Place the oleander out of the reach of small children and pets.

5. If you experience symptoms such as nausea and vomiting shortly after cutting the oleander, contact your family doctor.

Care tips you can use to extend the oleander’s blooming season into fall

Cut oleander better in summer or autumn


To bloom long and lush, the oleander needs plenty of sun, warm weather and regular watering and fertilizing. Here are some care tips during the blooming season:

  • Always water the oleander from the bottom, the leaves should remain dry.
  • The tub plant does not tolerate rain, so always place it in a location protected from rain.
  • Water abundantly with water containing lime. Do not throw away the water in the saucer.
  • Water the plant early in the morning.

With good care, the exotic will thank you with a splendor of flowers. However, if it produces fewer flowers than the previous year or gets yellow leaves, then it is a sign of lack of care or a pest infestation. Check the leaves for scale insects and signs of oleander canker.