Q. I purchased dwarf oleanders two years ago in five gallon containers. They are doing fine but are about four feet high. It is my understanding the plants can be pruned. I need to know the best time to do so and how far down to go without harming them.
A. Pruning oleander is very simple, much simpler than many other plants. You can prune them any time of the year without any problems. Having said that, they are usually pruned during the winter, late winter or very early spring.
Prune them with a loppers; the one that has two handles and you have to use both hands. Count the number of main stems coming from the base of the plant. Identify the two or three that are the oldest. They will be the largest in diameter.
Remove these oldest ones within a couple of inches above the soil. You are done for this year! It takes about ten minutes and no mess to clean up! If there are some unusually long ones remove them from the base as well.
Repeat this about two or three years later. Continue this cycle of removing the largest diameter every three years or so.
Please do not use any hedge shears unless you don’t like the flowers. Having said all this, the absolute best time to do this in southern Nevada is February but you can do it any time without damaging the plant!