Oleander

Can I Cut Back Freeze Damaged Oleander in Zone 7 and Expect It to Grow Back Next Summer?


alanhale added on January 4, 2014 | Answered

large established oleander with recent freeze damage, and I've heard they will recover from a heavy cut-back to be healthy bloomers next summer. is that right?


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ANSWERS
Heather
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on January 5, 2014

I would recommend waiting until spring to cut them back. First, I think we can expect this winter to be a bit harsh and unexpected yet to come. Cutting now will remove any protection the plant has from the cold in terms of dormancy. Pruned plants come out of dormancy and, while oleanders don't have much cold protection during dormancy, if you get another cold snap, they will need even the little they have. Second, you will have trouble fully assessing the damage. Just because the leaves die back does not mean the stems have died. In the spring, you can better assess which stems are re-foliating (i.e. are not dead) and which are not, and then remove the ones that are not producing new leaves.

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