pruning back bushes - Knowledgebase Question

Murrells Inlet, So
Avatar for Susiet05
Question by Susiet05
September 28, 2010
When is the time to cut back Bottle Brush and Oleander bushes? Also how far do you cut them back?Ours have grown tremendously over the summer.

Answer from NGA
September 28, 2010
If you have about six weeks between now and your average first frost date, you can prune your shrubs back now. If you don't have that much time, wait until spring to do your pruning. The reasoning behind this is that pruning encourages new growth and without adequate time for that new growth to harden off before frosty weather arrives, the new growth will die down during the winter months and you'll need to prune again in the spring. So, check the weather reports and do your pruning accordingly. You can prune your bottlebrush back only slightly. If you prune back to bare wood, no new growth will develop so be sure to leave at least a few pairs of leaves on each branch that you prune. The leaf nodes is where the new growth will emerge. Oleanders take all manner of pruning, from a light once-over to major reduction. You can safely prune your oleanders down by as much as two-thirds and they'll recover nicely over the summer months. Best wishes with your landscape.

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