Do You Need to Cut Oleander Flowers and Seed Pods: What Summer Care is Required?

Written by Kremena Ruseva

Should you cut oleander flowers and seed pods in late summer or leave them? The proper handling of withered flowers and seeds is very important for the flowering period next year.

Oleander Has Faded, Now What? The Right Care in Late Summer

cut oleander flowers instructions

The flowering period for oleanders begins in June and, in good weather, ends at the end of August, when only faded flowers are left on the bush. Then one wonders whether the withered flowers should be removed. Ultimately, this will encourage flowering in other plants and stop seed formation for the time being.

Caution! Oleander is poisonous in all parts of the plant.  Touch the plant only with garden gloves, wear a protective mask and goggles.  Touch your eyes only with clean hands and never with the gardening gloves. Small children and pets should not play around the tree and must be in the garden only under supervision. Otherwise there is a risk of poisoning.

Don’t Cut Oleander Flowers, Let Them Fall Off

cut oleander flowers or seed pods or leave them

Cleaning out the plant can do more harm than good. Firstly, because it has already formed the new flower buds on its old shoot tips. If you cut off the withered part, you also remove the new flower buds at the same time. At the end of August, oleander has neither the time nor the strength to form new flower buds and there will be no flowers next year.

Secondly, because such a pruning is not necessary anyway. The withered flowers fall off by themselves.

However, there are also exceptions: For example, if the oleander gets sick with a bacterial or fungal disease. In this case, it is recommended to remove and discard the flower buds.

Also read: Oleander Diseases Pictures: What Do Yellow Leaves, Brown Spots or White Dots Indicate?

Remove Oleander Seed Pods or Leave Them?

cut off oleander seed pods or leave them

After the end of the flowering period, however, the next phase takes place – the seed formation. However, every experienced hobby gardener wants to avoid this phase. There are several reasons why seed formation is bad for the plant.

  1. Oleander puts its energy into seed formation, during this time it is greatly weakened and often falls victim to pests and diseases.
  2. Flower formation decreases greatly during this phase. If the weather in August is rainy, the oleander hardly manages to form new flowers. Even during the ripening period of the seed pods, it does not bear any flower buds. In the worst case, the next year’s flowering period will fail.
  3. The seed pods can only mature in warm weather and sun. However, if the weather in August is changeable and the temperatures often fall below 68F/20C degrees, the seed pods cannot ripen. To promote the ripening process, you can provide the plant with potassium fertilizer. The right time for this is mid to late August.
  4. Cut off all unripe seed pods at the latest shortly before the first frost (depending on the region, around the end of September to the beginning of October).
  5. If you have pets or children, we recommend that you cut off the seed pods.
  6. In one case, however, it is worth not cutting off the seed pods – namely, if you want to propagate the plant. The collection of seeds is quite uncomplicated.

when to remove withered oleander flowers is it neessary

Basically, if you want to propagate the oleander by seed, then you can leave several seed pods. Cut off the rest so that the plant does not waste its strength in vain.

If you want to encourage oleander flowering, then leave all the withered flowers and remove all the seed pods.

In the spring, the plant is pruned thoroughly. All shoots are pruned, completely removing really old branches and old flower buds. In addition, all diseased and inward or upward growing shoots are removed. The goal is that all branches can get sunlight.

How to Cut Oleander Flowers and Seed Pods?

oleander withers when to cut off the flowers

Cut individual flowers or entire inflorescences with sharp pruning shears. Always wear long-sleeved shirts, it is best not to use a knife – it will crush the stalks and the cut will heal slower.

If you want to cut off the seed pods, you will also need disinfected and sharp pruning shears. Cut them off along with the stem.

Cutting Oleander Flowers and Seed Pods: The Most Important Things Summarized

When your oleander fades in August, you don’t have to cut off the flowers. They will dry up and fall off. However, you should remove the flower capsules weekly, otherwise the plant will put all its energy into seed formation. A strong pruning takes place only in the next spring. Until then, just wait and slowly stop fertilizing. After the end of the flowering period, the shrub needs fewer nutrients.




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