Oleander tree growth rate

Oleander Bushes Stock Photos and Images

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  • Beautiful red and pink oleander bushes in bloom at Capraia Island, Tuscan Archipelago, Italy.
  • Oleander bushes (Nereum oleander) flowering in Hohlakies / Chochlakies gorge, Lasithi, eastern Crete, Greece.
  • Oleander, Rosebay, Oleander, Rosenlorbeer, Nerium oleander, Le laurier-rose, oléandre, rarement rosage, nérion, lauraine
  • Oleander (Nerium oleander), flowers, Rhodes, Greece, Europe
  • Flowering pink Oleander (Nerium oleander) on a blue sky background Photographed in Israel in June
  • Two mountain bikers cycle between oleander bushes in the mountains, road to Agio Farago, Kali Limenes, Matala, Crete, Greece
  • Landscape of Zakros gorge, also called the ‘Gorge of the Dead’ due to its Minoan cave burials, with many Oleander bushes (Nerium oleander) flowering beside its dried out stream bed, Kato Zakros, Sitia Nature Park, Lasithi, Crete, Greece, May 2013.
  • Blooming Oleander bushes in front of a golden wheat field in Sicily, summer, blue sky, sunny, hilly landscape, agriculture, tree, plant, mediterranean
  • Ancient Olive tree (Olea europaea) and flowering Oleander bushes (Nereum oleander) in Hohlakies / Chochlakies gorge, Sitia Nature Park, Lasithi, Crete, Greece, May 2013.
  • Beautiful pink flowering Oleander bushes in Spain
  • domestic cat, tuxedo, black and white, walking between flowering oleander bushes
  • On the banks of river Havel in Potsdam, Germany – Romantic café terrace surrounding by large potted oleander bushes.
  • domestic cat, blue, lying on a black garden chair in front of blooming oleander bushes
  • Holiday Apartments and Homes with Palm Trees and Oleander Bushes in Empuriabrava Costa Brava Catalonia Spain Espana
  • In the arboretum the flowering bushes of oleander.
  • Palm trees and oleander bushes alley in Segovia, Spain.
  • wooden arches in a park with white oleander bushes on the juicy green grass . For your design
  • Beautiful young adult caucasian female with straw hat and backpack posing on mediterranean street in shade of oleander bushes, looking at camera, retr
  • Blooming oleander bushes and palm trees on the banks of Megalopotamos river near Preveli beach in Crete Greece
  • Flowering Oleander (Nerium oleander), landscape with sea near Latchi, Akamas, Southern Cyprus, Republic of Cyprus
  • Oleander bushes (Nereum oleander) flowering in Hohlakies / Chochlakies gorge, Lasithi, eastern Crete, Greece.
  • Close-up of pale pink Oleander (Nerium) flowers.
  • Oleander bushes (Nereum oleander) flowering in Zakros gorge, Sitia Nature Park, Lasithi, Crete, Greece.
  • OLEANDER (NERIUM OLEANDER) SHRUB GROWING INSIDE SUBURBAN TIMBER FENCE.
  • View of St Marys church (Igreja de Santa Maria do Castelo) with pretty Oleander bushes in the foreground, Tavira, Algarve, Portugal, Europe.
  • Oleander, Rosebay, Oleander, Rosenlorbeer, Nerium oleander, Le laurier-rose, oléandre, rarement rosage, nérion, lauraine
  • Flowering pink Oleander (Nerium oleander) bush. Photographed in Greece in June
  • Oleander, wooden troughs, close-up,
  • Beautiful pink flowering Oleander bushes in Spain
  • Italy, island Sardinia, oleander, postage Raffael, view,
  • oleander (Nerium oleander), flowering rhododendron shrubs in Meladia valley, Greece, Lesbos
  • domestic cat, white, blue-eyed, lying on a black garden chair in front of blooming oleander bushes
  • Summer garden near the house with flowering bushes of pink, terry oleander on the background of fruit green trees
  • Pink Oleander (Nerium) flowers
  • Palm trees and oleander bushes alley in Segovia, Spain.
  • oleander (Nerium oleander), fruits, Cyprus
  • Oleander bushes and old bridge, Parnon Mountains, Peloponnese, Greece
  • Oleander bushes on the Alara river, Alanya, Antalya Province, Turkey
  • oleander (Nerium oleander), blooming
  • Nerium oleander is a shrub or small tree in the dogbane family Apocynaceae, toxic in all its parts.
  • Pink Oleander, Blooming
  • Oleander bushes (Nereum oleander) flowering in Zakros gorge, Sitia Nature Park, Lasithi, Crete, Greece.
  • oleander, plakias, crete, greece, europe, (nerium oleander)
  • Ancient Olive tree (Olea europaea) and flowering Oleander bushes (Nereum oleander) in Hohlakies / Chochlakies gorge, Crete.
  • Flowering pink Oleander (Nerium oleander) bush. Photographed in Greece in June
  • Many Oleander bushes (Nereum oleander) flowering beside stream bed in Zakros gorge, Sitia Nature Park, Lasithi, Crete, Greece.
  • Blown roses and oleander shoots in a garden in the hamlet of St Martial, Varen, Tarn et Garonne, Occitanie, France
  • Beautiful pink flowering Oleander bushes in Spain
  • Oleander shrub in bloom in flower-pot, Istria, Croatia, Europe
  • Brightly coloured Oleander flowers form a hedge along the roadside at Montouliers southern France
  • domestic cat, white, blue-eyed, lying on a black garden chair in front of blooming oleander bushes
  • Mediterranean oleander flowering
  • Three potted oleander plants at the Sveta Gora Monastry in Primorska, western Slovenia
  • Palm trees and oleander bushes alley in Segovia, Spain.
  • Twigs with flower buds terry, pink oleander on the background of green leaves in the garden
  • Maggiore lake in Italy, beautiful garden with oleander bushes in Borromeo island Isola bella.
  • Oleander ( Nerium oleander) empty seed pods and leaves Masmarrta Trail near Mealha Brás de Alportel Algarve Portugal Europe
  • oleander (Nerium oleander), blooming
  • Nerium oleander is a shrub or small tree in the dogbane family Apocynaceae, toxic in all its parts.
  • oleander (Nerium oleander), blooming
  • Date palms and bushes of oleander with water reflections.
  • a Typical house entrance
  • Desert Camping
  • Flowering pink Oleander (Nerium oleander) bush. Photographed in Greece in June
  • Overview of Zakros gorge, also called the ‘Gorge of the Dead’ due to its Minoan cave burials, with many Oleander bushes, Crete.
  • Kourtaliotis creek, Kourtaliotiko gorge, Megalopotamos, Finikas, Rethymno, Kourtaliotis, ionian sea, crete, greece, europe
  • Head of the Allium flower bending down on a stone wall. Oleander blossoming bushes in the background.
  • NERIUM OLEANDER. PINK OLEANDER.
  • Pink Oleander bush in full bloom, Silves, Portugal, Europe.
  • domestic cat, white, blue-eyed, lying on a black garden chair in front of blooming oleander bushes
  • Landscape with flower bush on sea coast in Natural Park Zingaro in Sicily, Italy
  • domestic cat, tuxedo, black and white, lying on a black garden chair in front of blooming oleander bushes
  • Oleander trees flowering in close-up in Corfu in Greece.
  • domestic cat, ginger, red tabby, lying on a black garden chair in front of blooming oleander bushes at the sea
  • Maggiore lake in Italy, beautiful garden with oleander bushes in Borromeo island Isola bella.
  • ginger cat sitting on a table between oleander
  • Beautiful pink clusters of large flowers of terry Oleander on the background of sun-drenched green trees
  • Nerium oleander is a shrub or small tree in the dogbane family Apocynaceae, toxic in all its parts.
  • oleander (Nerium oleander), blooming
  • Oleander trees flowering in close-up in Corfu in Greece.
  • Purple oleander bushes bloom and decorate stone houses near Corinth Greece
  • Landscape with Oleander
  • Colorful flowers on the bushes
  • Colorful flowers on the bushes
  • India; road from Udaipur to Jodhpur. Ranakpur Jain Temple and pink Oleander flowers.
  • the white chalk cliffs of rosh hanikra viewed from akhziv national park in israel with flowering oleander in the foreground
  • NERIUM OLEANDER. PINK OLEANDER.
  • Israel Upper Galilee a group of school children on a field day to Betzet River Flowering Oleander Nerium oleander bushes
  • On the beach with Oleander
  • Landscape with flower bush on sea coast in Natural Park Zingaro in Sicily, Italy
  • Oleander shrubs flowering in close-up in Corfu in Greece.
  • Oleander flowers on old stone fence near road on Malta island with view on Mediterranean sea
  • Pink oleander bushes in front of tomb carved into the face of mountainside in the rose red Nabataen city of Petra in Jordan
  • Maggiore lake in Italy, beautiful garden with oleander bushes in Borromeo island Isola bella.
  • Wady Sha’ib Es-Salt, Amman, etc. Ford of the Zerka. Stream bordered with oleander bushes. 1920, Jordan
  • Fragrant blooming terry flowers of pink oleander on the background of fruit green trees in the summer garden
  • Nerium oleander is a shrub or small tree in the dogbane family Apocynaceae, toxic in all its parts. Close-up of white oleander flowers.
  • oleander (Nerium oleander), blooming
  • Nerium oleander is a shrub or small tree in the dogbane family Apocynaceae, toxic in all its parts. Close-up of pink oleander flowers.
  • oleander (Nerium oleander), blooming

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Oleander Plant

A tough and rugged shrub, oleander is known as a sturdy ornamental bush. It’s versatile and makes a good border, hedge, or screen, as well as a good pick for a potted plant. However, all parts of the shrub are poisonous because of its different types of toxic compounds. So beware and plant accordingly.

genus name
  • Nerium
light
  • Sun
plant type
  • Shrub
height
  • 3 to 8 feet,
  • 8 to 20 feet
width
  • 3 to 10 feet
flower color
  • Red,
  • White,
  • Pink
foliage color
  • Blue/Green
season features
  • Summer Bloom
problem solvers
  • Deer Resistant,
  • Drought Tolerant,
  • Good For Privacy,
  • Slope/Erosion Control
special features
  • Low Maintenance,
  • Fragrance,
  • Good for Containers
zones
  • 9,
  • 10,
  • 11
propagation
  • Seed,
  • Stem Cuttings

Colorful Combinations

Oleander flowers emerge at the tips of stems for a flush of pink or white. Typically, plants have a single row of petals, but some varieties set a double row of petals for a better show. The flowers stand out against the long, narrow bright green leaves that have a light midrib, making them reminiscent of olive trees.

Poision-proof your home with our list of common poisionous plants.

Oleander Care Must-Knows

Once established, oleander requires little maintenance. It is drought tolerant and does well in poor soil. If the roots stay wet for too long, it can be prone to rot.

Oleander grows fast and can develop a lanky habit if not properly maintained. One of the best ways to create the densest habit possible is to plant it in full sun, which also encourages the most blossoms. Oleander tolerates part shade, but in those conditions, it requires staking to prevent flopping and will need more frequent pruning. In cool climates where the oleander is not hardy, overwinter potted plants indoors.

Unlike some plants that have one toxic compound, the oleander has several, which can cause issues with the digestive tract and cardiovascular and nervous systems. Most of these compounds are only harmful when eaten, so no part of the Oleander should be ingested by humans or animals. But do be careful when pruning an oleander because the milky sap can cause skin irritation.

Find out how to treat the pesky yellow leaves on your oleander plant here!

More Varieties of Oleander

‘Pink Beauty’ oleander

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This Nerium cultivar bears large, clear-pink flowers that have little to no fragrance. It grows 20 feet tall and 12 feet wide, and tolerates light frosts better than most oleander varieties. Zones 9-11

‘Mrs. Lucille Hutchings’ oleander

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Nerium ‘Mrs. Lucille Hutchings’ is a large variety with showy, peachy-pink double flowers. It grows 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide. Zones 9-11

‘Hardy Pink’ oleander

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This variety of Nerium forms an open, upright plant that grows 15 feet tall and 10 feet wide with clusters of rose-pink flowers all summer. Zones 9-11

White oleander

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Nerium ‘Album’ offers white flowers throughout the summer on a big plant to 18 feet tall and 10 feet wide. Zones 10-11

‘Tangier’ oleander

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This type of Nerium produces light pink blooms on a big shrub to 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide. Zones 10-11

Oleanders (Nerium oleander) are evergreen shrubs that are fast growing and showy. They are often grown along highways because they are beautiful and hardy.

General Description

Oleanders have long, narrow, dark green leaves that are typically four to six inches long and less than an inch wide. The showy flowers are either single or double and range from white through yellow, peach, salmon and pink to deep burgundy red. They flower from summer to fall.

Oleanders are drought tolerant and will even tolerate salty spray, making them useful for planting near the ocean. They are hardy in USDA zones 8 through 10, although they occasionally get frost bit in zone 8 and die back to the roots. They come back the next spring, however.

Caution: Poisonous

Oleanders are extremely toxic. All parts are poisonous and contact with them can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions. Always wear long sleeves and gloves when handling oleanders. Oleanders are so poisonous that children have died from making a whistle from a twig. Adults have died from using a twig as a skewer to roast a hot dog. If any amount of the plant is ingested, contact poison control immediately. Even burning it can cause reactions to the smoke.

Uses

Roadside planting

Given how poisonous oleanders are, you may be wondering why anyone would plant them. They are drought and sea salt tolerant so are often planted along highways in beautification projects.

They grow quickly, one to two feet a year, and can quickly become a thick hedge or a small tree. Most oleanders grow to be between eight and 12 feet tall and just as wide. Dwarf varieties stay three to five feet tall and just as wide. Occasionally, a protected tree may reach 20 feet. Their showy blossoms make them an ideal accent piece in the garden.

Growing Oleanders

Oleanders are generally purchased from the nursery as a small potted shrub. They can be planted in the fall or the spring. To plant them, pick a sunny area. They will even live in an area where heat radiates from a southern or western wall. Oleanders will live in a variety of soils as long as they are well drained. They do not like wet feet.

  1. Dig a hole twice as wide but only as deep as the root ball.
  2. Carefully remove the plant from the pot and set it in the new hole.
  3. Fill in the hole then water in well.
  4. Add dirt after watering in to make sure that there is sufficient dirt to cover the entire root ball.
  5. Water again.

Oleanders need about an inch of water a week until established, then are very drought tolerant. However, they will produce prettier and more flowers if they are watered. The first year in the spring, fertilize with a balanced fertilizer such as a 10-10-10. After that, oleanders do not require fertilization.

Propagation

Oleanders are propagated from cuttings. You cut about six inches off the tip. Remove the lower leaves and cut the upper leaves to about an inch long. Place in water on a sunny windowsill. In about two weeks, the cutting will develop roots. It is then ready to be planted in potting soil. It takes about a year for the plant to reach gallon size.

Care and Maintenance

Even though oleanders are drought tolerant, they should be watered one inch a week for best foliage and growth. Do not over water. If the leaves turn yellow, you are over watering the plant.

Deadheading the plant will prolong blooming and keep the plant looking neat. Place spent blooms where children and animals cannot reach them, and not in the compost pile.

You also need to prune the plant. You prune oleanders to shape the shrubs and to force more branching. Each branch has flowers, so the more branches, the more flowers. Oleanders should be pruned in September into early October. Any later will cause a flush of new growth that will be damaged in the winter. The International Oleander Society has a good explanation of pruning on its website.

Pests and Diseases

Botryosphaeria dieback, which is caused by the fungus Botryosphaeria, can make branches and shoots die and turn a blackish brown color. It is more likely to attack shrubs who are drought stressed or subjected to severe freezes. To treat, trim the effected branches at least four inches below the fungus. Then spray your shrub with a copper fungicide formulation as a preventative.

The oleander caterpillar is a serious insect pest of the oleander. Caterpillars feed in groups and can strip a tree bare of its leaves in a week or so. Although this defoliation will not kill an adult shrub, it can weaken it and make it vulnerable to other insects and diseases. Bt pesticide (Bacillus thuringiensis) can be sprayed on the caterpillars to kill them. This is an organic product that will not hurt beneficial insects.

Aphids, mealybugs, and scales can also be problematic. These can be dealt with by treating the shrub with insecticidal soap or Neem oil. Make sure you cover every surface of the plant, including under the leaves, to effectively remove these pests.

Varieties of Note

Oleanders are often sold by color rather than by cultivar. However, these are some good choices for home gardens.

  • If you want single, dark red flowers you should choose ‘Algiers.’ It grows to a height of eight to 10 feet.
  • A tall tree that grows 10 to 18 feet tall, ‘Calypso’ is cold hardy and has single cherry red flowers.
  • The hardiest cultivar of oleander is ‘Hardy Red.’ It grows to be eight feet tall so is good for hedges. It has single, cherry red flowers.
  • If you prefer pink to red, choose ‘Hardy Pink.’ It has most of the features of ‘Hardy Red,’ but with salmon pink flowers.
  • If you need a yellow flowered oleander, choose ‘Matilde Ferrier.’ It is often sold as ‘Double Yellow,’ and will fit the bill. It is a tall oleander, growing to be eight feet.

White oleander

  • Two good dwarf oleanders are ‘Petite Salmon’ and ‘Petite Pink.’ They will stay three to four feet tall if lightly pruned but are less cold hardy than full size oleanders.
  • If you are in search of a white oleander, you should buy ‘Sister Agnes,’ often sold as ‘White Oleander.’ It grows ten to 12 feet tall and is very vigorous.

Beautiful but Dangerous

Oleanders are beautiful, hardy shrubs that require little maintenance once they are established. They provide a striking accent piece in the garden. However, they are very poisonous, so should not be planted where children or pets can reach them.

Oleander is a shrub or small tree that blooms in summer with large, striking flowers in shades of red, white, light yellow, and pink. Because of its dense branching and rapid growth rate it is a popular hedge. Planting an oleander hedge is an excellent way to hide utilities, chain link fences, and other eyesores in the landscape. It also makes an attractive specimen plant if planted singly or in a garden border.

While it can reach twenty feet, oleander takes well to pruning and is typically kept at six to ten feet. Tolerant of dry soils and hot sun, oleander is an excellent plant for the desert, but can thrive in warm, humid climates as well.

Growing Requirements for Oleander

For the best flowering, plant oleanders in full sun, but in very hot climates they bloom more reliably in light shade. Oleanders tolerate a range of soil conditions, from dry sandy soils to moist clay soils. They grow best where the weather stays above freezing, although they can tolerate short periods of below-freezing temperatures.

Depending on how the plants are to be used and the size of the cultivar, the ideal planting distance ranges from five to ten feet. In the right climate oleander is easy to grow and requires no special care beyond annual pruning and feeding.

Pruning Oleander

Prune after flowering to stimulate new branches, control size and shape, avoid leggy growth, and encourage next year’s flower buds. Remove suckers, which can interfere with flowering, and dead branches.

Oleander Propagation

Propagate oleanders by taking cuttings of healthy, young stems in summer and rooting them in a mix of sand and peat.

Oleander Pests and Diseases

Oleanders generally have no serious insect or disease problems. In humid climates aphids and scale insects may be a problem. Caterpillars can strip oleander leaves in just a few days.

Oleander Toxicity

All parts of oleander are poisonous. They contain a toxic chemical that can cause illness, skin irritation, or even death if eaten in enough quantity. Fortunately the plant has an acrid taste that causes a gagging reaction in most people that causes them to throw up. Burning oleander also causes toxicity, so it should never be put in a burn pile, nor should it be used as a stake for roasting food over a fire.

Wearing gloves while working with oleander may prevent allergic skin reactions. Because of its toxicity, oleander is not recommended for playgrounds or other places children play.

Want to Learn More About Oleander?

Learn more about the history, folklore, and culture of oleander at these sites:

Lean all about Oleander from the International Oleander Society.

This site has great information about the Nerium Oleander.

Here’s a .pdf file about Nerium Oleander.

Nerium oleander

Take a summer drive through any South Florida beach town and you’ll see oleander, a large and willowy shrub with colorful flowers.

Because of their moderate salt tolerance, you can use them in coastal landscapes.

And their ability to tolerate cold weather makes them happy anywhere in South Florida.

These tall shrubs are fast growing sun lovers that reward you with bright blossoms in shades of red, pink and white during the warm seasons – and are some of the easiest-to-grow Florida shrubs.

Because they can withstand high levels of pollution, you’ll sometimes see them along Florida highways – a testament to their tough nature and low maintenance requirements.

If you’d prefer the look of an oleander tree, keep the base cleaned up for a multi-trunk specimen…or buy one from the nursery trained to a single trunk.

The only drawback to ease of care is the dreaded oleander caterpillar. It won’t be a problem for all homeowners, but it’s something to consider.

This pest likes to create its own bed and breakfast by cocooning on a nearby structure and chowing down on the plant’s leaves. They can defoliate a shrub in no time flat.

The key to avoiding caterpillar infestation is to place the plants away from the house, garage, fence, or poolcage to make the spot less inviting (breakfast – yes, bed – no.).

If you do find caterpillars invading your oleander shrubs, spray with thuracide (a natural bacteria) right away.
Though they’re a tasty treat to caterpillars, these pretty Florida flowering plants are poisonous, so don’t plant where people or pets might ingest any part of the plant. They’re even considered deer-resistant.
If you have sensitive skin, handling cuttings can cause skin irritations, so wear gloves and protective clothing.

This plant works well in a casual or tropical setting.

It grows upright and looks best left untrimmed in its naturally attractive form, rather than sheared for a manicured effect.

These are big plants that can grow wide as well as tall. If your landscape would be better off with a smaller plant, consider the dwarf variety which you can keep at just 3 feet.

This shrub is a fast grower that you can keep about 8 feet tall – or let it grow to 15 feet.

It’s moderately salt-tolerant, and cold-hardy as well – Zone 9B or Zone 10 is fine.

Plant in a full sun area…not generally difficult since (if you take our advice) you’ll be placing them away from the house, which shades many plants for at least part of the day.

Add a combination of top soil (or organic peat moss) and composted cow manure to the hole when you plant.

Little trimming is necessary. Do a hard pruning in spring (late March) to encourage fullness and to Keep the plant’s size in check.

These South Florida shrubs are drought-tolerant once established, but do best if you water regularly, allowing time for the plant to dry out a bit between waterings.

Fertilize 3 times a year – in spring, summer, and autumn – with a good quality granular fertilizer. Supplement feedings with bone meal and/or liquid fertilizer if you want to promote heavier flowering.

If planting in a row, situate these shrubs 3 to 5 feet apart.

Keep them away from structures like the house or fence by as much distance as you can manage to avoid caterpillar issues.

Along a drive or walk, come in 4 or 5 feet to allow the plant to grow full and bushy without being in the way.

These shrubs are not meant to grow long-term in containers.

Landscape uses for oleander

  • hedge
  • privacy around a patio
  • single yard specimen
  • backdrop for smaller plants
  • accent for a garden bed

GOOD SNOWBIRD PLANT? NO
COMPANION PLANT SUGGESTIONS: Silver buttonwood, yesterday today and tomorrow, muhly grass, dwarf bougainvillea, bush allamanda, cocoplum, and railroad vine.

Other plants you might like: Bougainvillea, Yellow Elder

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The Growth Rate of Oleander Plants

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A rapidly growing shrub, the evergreen oleander (Nerium oleander) grows 1 to 2 feet per year, according to Clemson University Cooperative Extension. It will reach a height of up to 20 feet and attain a width of around 10 feet, if left to grow naturally.

Temperature Effects

An oleander killed by a frost or a hard freeze will regrow rapidly from its root system once the old, dead growth is cut away. Damage usually occurs if the temperature dips below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Texas A&M University AgriLife Extension.

Considerations

Oleanders flower only on new growth. Pruning the shrub in the fall months encourages it to reproduce new stems and bloom profusely. The oleander will flower year round. It produces clusters of blossoms in shades of pink, lavender, salmon, apricot, red, purple, pink and white. Each flower measures approximately 2 inches in width.

Planting Location

Full sunlight encourages the oleander to produce a dense canopy. The shrub will grow in partial or even full shade, but its growth will be seriously stunted and leggy, according to Texas A&M University AgriLife Extension.

Oleander Privacy Hedge: Tips On Planting Oleander As A Hedge

Maybe you’re tired of seeing that crazy neighbor who mows his lawn in a speedo or maybe you just want to make your yard feel like a cozy, sacred space miles away from the neighbors in general. Either way, an oleander hedge might be exactly what you need. Continue reading to learn about planting oleander as a privacy hedge.

Oleander Bushes for Privacy

Oleander, Nerium oleander, is a tall bushy evergreen shrub in zones 8-10. Growing 3-20 feet tall depending on the variety. Oleander’s dense, upright growth makes it an excellent screening plant. As a tidy hedge or privacy wall, Oleander is tolerant of salt, pollution and drought. Add in the beautiful, fragrant clusters of blooms and oleander sounds too good to be true. There is a downfall, however. Oleander is toxic to humans and animals if eaten.

Using Oleander as Hedges

The first step to planting oleander as a hedge is to decide what kind of hedge you want so that you can select the right variety of oleander. For a tall, natural privacy hedge or windbreak, use tall varieties of oleander with prolific blooms.

If you just want a low growing formal hedge, look for dwarf varieties. A formal oleander hedge will require trimming 2-3 times a year. Though oleander blooms on new wood, you will end up with less flowers on a neatly groomed oleander hedge.

Oleander hedge spacing should be at least 4 feet apart. This plant’s quick growth rate will fill in the gaps soon enough. While oleander is drought tolerant when established, water it regularly the first season. Oleander tends to grow in poor conditions where other plants struggle and requires very little fertilizer. When planting, however, use a low dose of root stimulant and then only fertilize in spring.

Note: reconsider using oleander as a hedge if you have small children or pets.

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