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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Friday - February 11, 2005

From: San Marcos, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Pruning time of non-native oleander
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

When and how should I trim oleanders that turned brown after our first freeze?

ANSWER:

The oleander (Nerium oleander) is a native of northern Africa, the eastern Mediterranean and southeast Asia. It was introduced into the U. S. in the 1800s and now can be found in cultivation and naturalized over the southeastern states, Texas, California, and Utah.

Late winter to early spring is a good time to prune oleanders. Oleanders are very hardy and can withstand a great deal of pruning. You should trim the branches right above a leaf node. This will encourage the plant to do more branching. The International Oleander Society has more instructions on how to prune your oleander.
 

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