Question: My oleanders never flower very well. Is there anything I can do to help them bloom better? They come back well after the winter, although they do die down fairly often because of the cold.

Answer: You’ve answered your own question. When oleanders freeze back, they spend much of the next growing season producing new stems and leaves. Where they normally would flower in late May, through June and into late summer, they’re busy re-establishing themselves as shrubs during that prime time. Any flowers they are able to produce later in the summer will be less prominent than that first burst of June. For the record, reds are the most cold-hardy color, followed by pink, white and the creamy yellow form. Answering it mercifully, you really can’t count on oleanders for regular blooms each summer in the central third of the state. In North Texas, they may not even survive the winters, while in South Texas, they should be fine most seasons.

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