Nerium oleanders can do without being covered in desert climate

Question: We planted a 1-gallon dwarf, petite nerium oleander. Plus, in my backyard, I put in one xylosma. In the winter, when the temperature goes below 32, should I cover them with burlap, old towels or a different material?

I would not worry about it too much. There are some years when they may sail through the winter with no damage due to warm temperatures and others when they may die to the ground and regrow in the spring.

I don t believe they will totally die out unless you have them in a very exposed area to cold and wind.

The first year or two, you might want to wrap some burlap around the base to keep the wind off the bottom stems and capture some heat only during the coldest winter nights, when temperatures drop below about 28 Fahrenheit.

After a couple of years, they should be established enough to regrow after freezing damage. In about March, you will cut them down to a couple of inches high and let them regrow if seriously damaged.

They will grow very rapidly when they are established due to an established root system. Of course, they will not bloom until they get some leaf and stem growth.

Bob Morris is an associate professor with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. He can be reached at morrisr@unce.unr.edu or 257-5555.

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