The Q&A Archives: oleander over wintering

Question: I live in Zone 7 on Long Island, NY. I have an oleander standard. How do I over winter it? How about burgmansia as well? Thank you for your help!

Answer: The oleander can be brought in to a sunny but cool room, between 55 and 60 degrees. Cut back on watering (it will use less since it will more or less stop growing due to the reduced light) and stop fertilizing. Be careful when pruning or cleaning up after this plant as it is not only poisonous but can also cause skin irritation.

The brugmansia can sometimes be kept in active growth but usually defoliates when brought indoors. It also tends to import pests so be very careful to inspect it and wash it clean before you bring it indoors, inspect again and spray if needed. Many home gardeners overwinter this plant in a cool but dark place such as an unheated basement or garage, and let the soil go almost dry to encourage it to rest. (Cooler temperatures will also slow any pest activity.) In the late winter or early spring cut it back quite hard to stimulate new growth and branching and bring it into the light. Resume watering as it comes into growth and also begin fertilizing again. Acclimate it gradually to being outside once the weather is settled.

Good luck with your plants!

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