- Planting and Care
- Pests or Problems
- A Word of Caution
- Are oleander plants really poisonous?
- The question: “I remember my mom telling me when I was a kid that oleander flowers were poisonous. I just moved into a house with a bunch of these plants, and want to know if they’re actually dangerous, or if my mother was just being over-protective.”
- Nerium oleander ‘Hardy Red’
- Plant Finder
- Types Of Oleander Shrubs – Different Oleander Varieties For Gardens
- Different Kinds of Oleander Plants
- Oleander Varieties
- Dwarf Oleander
- Oleander Tree
- Nerium oleander
Oleander (Nerium oleander) may have a bit of a bad-girl reputation, but it is a truly beautiful addition to the Florida landscape.
While it’s true that all parts of the plant are toxic if ingested, you can still enjoy oleander. Just choose a spot in your yard that is away from small children and curious pets.
Nevertheless, oleander is well-loved because it’s fast-growing, has beautiful flowers, and can grow in a broad range of soils. It’s so easy to care for, you’ll find it planted alongside highways and interstates throughout Florida, where it handles heat and car exhaust admirably.
It’s tolerant of sea spray, and thus makes a colorful addition to the beachside landscape. There are even varieties with fragrant flowers. Oleander thrives throughout much of Florida, so gardeners across the state can enjoy this evergreen beauty.
Oleander is a member of the Apocynaceae family, along with star jasmine and periwinkle. It’s native to northern Africa and the eastern Mediterranean. This fast-growing evergreen shrub or small tree can be used in your garden as a living screen or wall. With pruning, oleander can be kept at a shrub height, or it can be trained into a small tree reaching between 10 and 18 feet tall. Shrubs will form a mounded shape up to 10 feet wide. There are dwarf cultivars, like ‘Petite Pink’ and ‘Petite Salmon’, reaching 4 feet in height that will work well in smaller spaces without pruning.
Oleander has long, dark green leaves and blooms throughout much of the year, especially in warm months. The bright flowers come in shades of white, pink, red, coral, or yellow, depending on the variety. The white flowers are especially bright and will pop in the landscape. There are varieties with single blossoms and double blossoms. Single flowers usually drop cleanly, while spent double flowers may linger unattractively on the plant. However, it’s the double-flower oleanders that tend to be fragrant. You’ll most likely find oleanders for sale by color, rather than by a variety name.
Planting and Care
While its slender leaves and dainty flowers give the plant a delicate look, oleander is low-maintenance. It will grow in USDA hardiness zones 9a through 11, although frost will damage plants in North Florida. It will grow in the poorest of soils and is even drought-tolerant; oleander even does well in areas with moderate sea spray.
Oleanders do best in full sun but will tolerate partial shade; too little light will cause the plant to get a leggy, open look and reduces flowering. If you’re looking to create a “green wall” with your oleander plants, they should be planted at 5 to 7 foot intervals.
To maintain a tree form, be sure to remove suckers that will grow at the base of the plant. Some gardeners severely prune plants in early to late fall to stimulate new growth. Since oleanders bloom on new wood, this can stimulate flowering, but fall pruning isn’t necessary. Regularly removing dead, damaged, or infested branches can improve plant health.
Oleanders are very drought tolerant and will do fine without supplemental watering, but during the hottest or driest parts of the year, a little watering will help your oleander thrive. Avoid overwatering and try to water the roots, not the leaves.
Pests or Problems
Although the toxic properties of oleander protect it against certain enemies like deer, it’s not without vulnerabilities. Disease-wise, it can become infected with Sphaeropsis gall, which usually becomes apparent with a proliferation of shoots and branches arising from diseased portions of branches (a “witches broom” effect). If this happens, prune branches at least 6 inches below where symptoms are seen. Prune back further if any discoloration from the fungal growth in the wood is noticed in the cut stem.
Oleander moth. Photo by Chazz Hesselein, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Bugwood.org
It is also susceptible to false oleander scale, aphids, and the most damaging, oleander caterpillars. The colorful oleander moth (sometimes called the “polka-dot wasp moth” or “Uncle Sam moth”) lays its eggs on new leaves at the branch tips, where the larvae will feed. Oleander caterpillars can inflict serious chewing damage if left unchecked; they can completely defoliate a plant in as little as a week.
If you find oleander caterpillars, it’s not too late. Removing larvae-infested foliage is the most environmentally friendly method of control. Oleander sap can cause skin and eye irritation, so be sure to wash your hands immediately after touching any cuttings, or better yet, wear disposable gloves while pruning. Hand-pick the non-stinging caterpillars or cut off damaged foliage and the larvae feeding on it. Young caterpillars only scrape the leaf tissue, so this initial damage is easy to spot and can help cut short a full-on infestation. Put caterpillars (or the plant matter covered with them) in a plastic bag and freeze for 24 hours to kill the pests.
Mature caterpillars often migrate up walls of nearby buildings and pupate near the eaves. Removing these cocoons can help manage the next generation of this pest.
Oleander caterpillar. Photo by
Anne W. Gideon, Bugwood.org
A Word of Caution
It’s imporant to note again that oleanders contain a naturally occurring toxin (cardenolide glycosides) that, when ingested in certain quantities, can be harmful—even fatal—to humans and pets. If an individual comes in contact with any poisonous materials, contact your local Poison Control Center immediately. Learn more from UF Health.
Due to this, using oleander in a landscape should be carefully considered. Parents should avoid planting oleander in their home landscape where there is a potential for small children to consume parts of this plant. When disposing of pruned branches, don’t burn them; the toxins will become airborne and may cause respiratory difficulties if the smoke is inhaled. Pet owners and livestock producers also are cautioned to place this plant out of the reach of animals who may graze on it. But don’t let this stop you from growing this beautiful and tough, low-maintenance shrub if you have the appropriate landscape for it.
For more information on growing oleander, contact your local county Extension office.
Also on Gardening Solutions
- Coastal Landscapes
- Deadly Plants
- Nerium oleander, Oleander
- Oleanders for Florida (PDF)
- False Oleander Scale Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli (Cooley)
- Oleander Aphid, Aphis nerii Boyer de Fonscolombe
- Oleander Caterpillar, Syntomeida epilais Walker
- Sphaeropsis Gall of Holly and Other Landscape Plants
- Pam wrote: I just wanted to tell a sad tale that happened in recent years here in El Segundo, CA. A family found two adorable preschool age orphans in the Soviet Union, took pity on them and adopted them. Six months later they found the poor little boys inexplicably dead. When the authorities did the autopsy they found oleander leaves in their stomachs. So please don’t make light of the truly dangerous characteristic of this plant! Little children and pets can and will eat the most deplorable things. I also had a friend who had to rush her 5-year-old son to the emergency room when he drank a whole cup of bleach that was sitting near the clothes washer to be dumped in the wash!
- Judy Hedding replied: Hello, and thanks for your comments. I didn’t at all make light of it. Horrible accidents can and do happen. As you point out, accidental deaths can occur from plants, household chemicals, and in many other seemingly safe situations, like backing out of driveways or riding a bike in the street. It is important for people with children and pets to know that oleanders, like many plants, are poisonous. That’s why I mention that in this article about them.
- Kelley wrote: I love oleanders. It is one of the few “plant and forget” trees that put up with our FL heat. I have 2 planted on both sides of my front steps. Our dog digs underneath the steps, laying right beside the oleanders. She has never tried to eat them (unlike the plumbago).
- Deborah wrote: Wow, I’m glad he’s not my neighbor. I have Brugmansia all over my yard, AND oleander, so he’s be poisoning mine all day long. You might not want to go into his poisoning his neighbor’s plants, but I will. This man sounds like someone evil and vicious, who will find something wrong with anything, anytime. I’ve had a neighbor like that. He poisoned my cats, systematically, one at a time with anti-freeze. I had the last one autopsied, then my friend and I staked out his yard with a video camera and caught him putting out antifreeze at night for cats. He simply hated cats. We waited until the wee hours of the morning, went over the fence and stole his antifreeze, pan and all, and left him a note that if any more of my cats died, we now had video and physical evidence that we were going to take to the police. People like this man are what needs to be kept out of neighborhoods, not oleanders.
- Julie wrote: Me and my family have been really sick for a long time and I just found out about the Oleander issue. I thought oh look they planted Oleander outside. Since they have been able to pollenate we’ve been sick. Nausea vomiting and diarrhea. I’m writing a letter they have them all over our town.
- Maggie wrote: About 3 weeks ago, I was trimming an oleander plant at the home I recently purchased. Within a few days, I had a few sores on my knees and I attribute it to an allergic reaction to the oleander sap which I must have gotten on my knee. Since then I have had sores pop up on my legs, arms, fingers, and hands. These itch terribly. I am taking Benedryl and covering the spots with Calaclear which is causing the itching to stop and the welts to dry up. But I am still getting a few each day and they are not fun!
- Mica wrote: I was having asthma attacks, swollen face and eyes. I kept ending up in the urgent care. I couldn’t figure out what was happening to me. I made sure that anything newly purchased was thrown out, yet I was still getting so sick. I drove to the local shopping center for fast food. I rolled down my window and immediately began to have an asthma attack. I looked around and was encircled by oleander bushes. It may not bother others but I am basically a hostage in my home during their fragrant season. What if I didn’t have my inhaler? Is this cheap plant really worth someone’s life?
- Rudy wrote: My mother in law was allergic to poinsettias yet you can still buy them anywhere you want at Christmas. My children are allergic to eucalyptus but they have not outlawed that. My point? If we banned every plant or substance that affected certain people…what would be left?
Are oleander plants really poisonous?
The question: “I remember my mom telling me when I was a kid that oleander flowers were poisonous. I just moved into a house with a bunch of these plants, and want to know if they’re actually dangerous, or if my mother was just being over-protective.”
Rule number one: Always listen to your mama.
Oleander (Nerium oleander) is a hardy, easy-to-grow flowering plant, mainly found in the lower half of the US. Apart from making an appearance in gardens from coast to coast, in many states — including California — it’s commonly seen alongside freeways and on medians. But just because it’s all over the place doesn’t mean it’s always a G-rated plant.
The oleander is a pretty plant, with flowers of white, pink, salmon, red, and pale yellow.
It’s so pretty and common, in fact, that many people don’t realize that — yes — it can be dangerous. It’s is not only poisonous to adults and children, but almost all types of animals can be affected.
Unfortunately, the whole oleander plant can mean bad news — from the leaves to the flowers, the stems to the seeds — and whether eaten, licked, chewed, inhaled or otherwise consumed.
Just touching it could potentially cause irritation, and smoke from burning cuttings can potentially cause severe reactions. (You might even be able to get poisoned by eating honey made by bees that visited an oleander plant for nectar.)
The International Oleander Society says that you should be sure to wash your hands and arms thoroughly when finished working with the plant. They add, “Do not chew on any part of the plant. And do not use it as a skewer for food (or as a toothpick!).”
What can oleander do to you?
Why’s it so dangerous? Two of the ingredients in oleander are oleandrin and digitoxigenin, which are related to the heart drug digitalis. (A 2010 medical study noted, “oleander poisoning can be fatal with relatively small amounts ingested,” and says references an earlier study that calculated the lethal oleander leaf dose to be approximately 4 grams. They added, “Practicing physicians should understand the potential lethal properties of oleander and its availability throughout the world.”)
Signs of oleander poisoning include gastrointestinal issues (nausea/vomiting, stomach pain, bloody diarrhea), heart problems (slowed pulse, irregular heartbeat, dizziness) along with other symptoms like dilated pupils and drowsiness. (See a detailed list of oleander poisoning symptoms here.)
Despite the obvious need to exercise caution, it’s worth noting that a study by the Cardiovascular Toxicology Research Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston found that the adult death rate from oleander poisoning is generally low — smaller children and animals are most at risk.
But still, it might have its upside: oleander extracts are being tested for their potential to treat cancer. (In fact, the American Cancer Society says that Arab physicians first used oleander as a cancer treatment back in the eighth century AD.)
What to do if you suspect oleander poisoning
If you, someone else or a pet has possibly (or definitely) come into close contact with an oleander plant, call 911 or one of the appropriate poison control centers:
- Poison Control Center: 1-800-222-1222
- Animal Poison Control Center: 1-888-426-4435
Nerium oleander ‘Hardy Red’
Newly planted shrublet
|Life cycle||shrub (Z8-10)|
Evergreen shrub with a mounded habit. Cultivars exist with white, red, pink, and yellow flowers – this variety is in the red-pink spectrum. Shiny bright-green leaves. Native from northern Africa to southeast Asia, oleander likes warm dry climates. Foliage may be damaged during freezes, even if temperatures don’t drop so low as to kill the plant – but that doesn’t keep it from being a very popular plant around here, used often in screens or hedges. It is quite fast-growing: I bought a small specimen from a big-box store in mid-May, divided into two shrublets, then watched as the bigger of the two shot up to about 5 foot tall by late summer. Both divisions bloomed once or twice that summer. They were severely damaged in the hard freeze the following winter – I was at first hopeful they had come away with little harm because some of the leaves stayed green for several weeks after the freeze, but after another couple of weeks they had turned tan and crispy.
Hardy Red Oleander flowers
Hardy Red Oleander flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 12 feet
Spread: 12 feet
Hardiness Zone: 7b
Other Names: Rose Bay
A popular tropical shrub grown for its bright red flowers in summer; very useful to fill in open areas quickly, also often used as a patio plant; pruning required to maintain strong structure; parts of this plant are known to be toxic
Hardy Red Oleander features showy clusters of red star-shaped flowers at the ends of the branches from late spring to early fall. It has green foliage. The narrow leaves remain green throughout the winter. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.
Hardy Red Oleander is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.
This is a high maintenance shrub that will require regular care and upkeep, and can be pruned at anytime. Deer don’t particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;
Hardy Red Oleander is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
Planting & Growing
Hardy Red Oleander will grow to be about 12 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.
This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in poor soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America, and parts of it are known to be toxic to humans and animals, so care should be exercised in planting it around children and pets.
Types Of Oleander Shrubs – Different Oleander Varieties For Gardens
Oleander (Nerium oleander) is an evergreen shrub grown for its attractive leaves and abundant, whorled flowers. Some types of oleander shrubs can be pruned into small trees, but their natural growth pattern produces a mound of foliage as wide as it is tall. Many varieties of oleander plants are available in commerce. This means that you can select the types of oleander shrubs with the mature height and blossom color that work best in your backyard. Read on for information about oleander varieties.
Different Kinds of Oleander Plants
Oleanders look something like olive trees with blossoms. They can grow from 3 to 20 feet tall and from 3 to 10 feet wide.
The blossoms are fragrant and different kinds of oleander plants produce different color flowers. All oleander plant types are relatively low maintenance, however, and the shrubs are popular with gardeners in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11.
Many oleander varieties are cultivars, varieties developed for special characteristics. Currently, you can buy more than 50 different oleander plant types for your garden.
- One of the popular oleander plant types is the oleander cultivar ‘Hardy Pink.’ It rises to 15 feet tall and expands to 10 feet wide, offering pretty pink blossoms all summer long.
- If you like double flowers, you might try ‘Mrs. Lucille Hutchings,’ one of the larger oleander varieties. It grows to 20 feet tall and produces peach-hued flowers.
- Another of the tall types of oleander shrubs is ‘Tangier,’ a cultivar that grows to 20 feet tall, with pale pink blossoms.
- ‘Pink Beauty’ is yet another of the tall oleander plant types. It grows to 20 feet tall and bears lovely, large pink flowers that have little fragrance.
- For white blossoms, try ‘Album’ cultivar. It grows to 18 feet tall in USDA zones 10-11.
Dwarf Varieties of Oleander Plants
If you like the idea of oleanders but the size seems too big for your garden, take a look at dwarf varieties of oleander plants. These can stay as short as 3 or 4 feet.
A few dwarf oleander plant types to try are:
- ‘Petite Salmon’ and ‘Petite Pink,’ that naturally top out at 4 feet.
- ‘Algiers,’ a dwarf variety with dark red flowers, can get between 5 and 8 feet tall.
There are few plants which grow almost everywhere in Australia. The humble oleander (Nerium oleander), is such a plant and it is also one of the most useful of all garden plants.
If pruned correctly the oleander can be a magnificent plant, its dense foliage providing privacy where many other plants could not survive. Even on a very busy city road these plants can make a colourful screen against both noise and visual pollution. As it is dense but not woody it is also an effective road-side barrier as it should slow down a crashing car.
Oleanders are adaptable to a wide variety of growing conditions, from the salty winds of the seaside, to dry, sandy desert soils, and wetlands. They can be grown just about anywhere in Australia, preferring a well-drained, sunny position. They will manage to grow well in dry soil but cannot tolerate very wet conditions, although they like plenty of water during their main growing and flowering times.
They have a long flowering season, (summer to autumn) and a wide range of colourful varieties. The most common colour is pink, although there are also red, white and apricot flowers.
Dwarf oleander varieties
There are now dwarf varieties of oleanders which grow to about 1-1.5m (3′-5′) tall. These shrubs flower for most of the year and come in pink, red and apricot colours.
- Nerium oleander ‘Apricot Form’ – new dwarf variety with apricot coloured flowers
- Nerium oleander ‘Pink’ – dwarf variety that flowers pink
- Nerium oleander ‘Cherry Surprise’ – red flowering dwarf oleander
Cost and availability
Dwarf oleanders are available throughout Australia with the exception of Tasmania and there are limited supplies in New South Wales.
Our segment was filmed at Tim’s Garden Centre, Mount Annan Drive, Mount Annan, NSW, 2567. Phone: (02) 4647 3788. The dwarf oleander ‘Apricot Form’ starts from $8 for a 15cm (6″) pot.
Is it safe to plant?
Some people believe oleanders should not be grown in gardens because they are poisonous. This is a misinformed belief. Whilst oleander (Nerium oleander) is poisonous, it is no more dangerous than many other garden plants. In general, the stories about poisoning from the plant have been found to be myths. Indeed, records from the Poisons Information Centre suggest that there have been no serious injuries or any deaths attributed to oleander (Nerium oleander) in Australia. Oleander poisoning is caused by glycocytes, which need to be ingested by chewing large quantities of leaves, flowers or fruit. The plant has a bitter taste and large quantities of leaves would need to be ingested to effect poisoning. The bitter taste would also be likely to deter most children before any danger was done. Nevertheless, take care when handling this plant. It is poisonous and shouldn’t be under-estimated.
For information on oleander poisoning, or for instructions if poisoning is suspected call Poisons Information on 13 1126. This is a national service, which operates from the New Children’s Hospital at Westmead, New South Wales. It can be dialled from anywhere in Australia.
Oleander (Nerium oleander) is a plant with a past. People love the beautiful Oleander flowers, and they have graced gardens in Asia, Africa and the Mediterranean since ancient times. They were grown in the famed gardens of Pompeii. No wonder it was brought to cultivate in the Galveston, Texas area in 1841.
These rugged garden plants caught national interest, and they found their way from Texas across the entire country. Oleander thrives in Zones 8 – 10 from Southern California with its dry heat, to both coasts, to the high heat and humidity of Florida and the Gulf Coast.
These large, pink flowering shrubs feature long, narrow lance shape leaves that capture the slightest breeze. The dazzling flowers persist from early summer to early fall.
They are well known for their ability to tolerate the harshest conditions, including drought, salt spray, reflected light from windows and painted walls, high heat and high humidity. It grows in either acid or alkaline soils.
Oleanders have been used by city planners as freeway plantings for many decades. In some areas you can drive for miles experiencing a kaleidoscope of color in the median strip. Why not line your long driveway with these time-tested shrubs?
Use Oleander wisely in your landscape. They make a wonderful hedge, a great screen plant as well as a very beautiful accent tree. They can be trained as a multi or single trunk tree and make a great featured plant in the landscape.
These are perfect accent plants in even the most aggressively warm climates. They are quick growers to their full height and are perfect for fences, borders and property edges. Oleanders are evergreen shrubs that don’t need to be pruned or fussed over. You can truly plant and forget them, once they are established.
They are evergreens, so the waxy, deep-green leaf color is on the plant year-round. They put on a flower show all summer long with gorgeous trumpet-shaped blooms. They are big enough to provide a sparkling background for other flowering shrubs in the border, too.
In higher humidity, the mildly sweet Apricot fragrance of the Oleander adds another landscape attribute. This pink flowering variety features single flowers which fall cleanly from the shrub.
Nature Hills ships strong field-grown plants that will arrive at your doorstep in fabulous condition, ready to plant in your garden. Order these truly ‘tough as nails’ but beautiful Oleanders today!
How to Use Oleander in the Landscape
You can enjoy these incredibly rugged and drought resistant plants so many ways in your landscape. With their lovely leaves and bright pink flowers, they are truly standouts in any garden.
Up close, the leaves and flowers look dainty, but from a distance, the shrub shows off a rougher texture. These plants make the perfect large backdrop for garden borders.
Create living walls for special garden rooms or hide the more mundane utility areas of your garden.
Use them as a beautiful flowering windbreak at beach properties. Plant them in a staggered double row in a zig-zagging pattern.
Train one into a small accent tree by removing lower limbs. It can create a marvelous focal point in a drought tolerant, xeriscape garden.
Mass them on tough, sunny sites, such as slopes. It’s far easier and safer to allow them to grow into their full height and spread than trying to mow.
Line the perimeter of a large commercial or home property with a great looking Oleander hedge. For a long, continuous hedge, plant Oleander 5 feet apart (you’ll measure from the center of one to the center of the next.)
Oleander also makes a wonderful container plant and patio accent plant. Although it is not cold hardy, people in colder climates can grow them as summer flowering container plants. In Zones 4 – 7, simply move them to an attached garage with a window in winter to protect from the cold. Remember to water your containerized Oleander in winter!
#ProPlantTips for Care
In the home garden, care must be taken to avoid the highly toxic sap. While kids tend to steer clear of anything “green” like vegetables or Oleander, it’s best to educate them early to leave this plant alone. Even though the leaves are extremely bitter and unpalatable, it is not a shrub recommended for use near stock animals. Some people also have a sensitivity to leathery Oleander leaves. Wear gloves to avoid skin irritation while handling.
Oleander stays fresh and flowers with little assistance. However, you can prune it to encourage bushier growth and more flowers, and to reduce the size of the shrub.
It blooms on new wood. It’s best to prune them after the summer blooms are finished.
Regularly remove damaged, criss-crossing or dead branches to keep your plants healthy. Be sure to bag and remove pruned branches from the site. The limbs and leaves should not be use as firewood or the limbs to cook with.
Once your plants are 10 years old, start a regular maintenance program of rejuvenation pruning. in spring, cut 1/3 of the oldest trunks off at the ground level in spring and remove from your property. In a three-year period, you’ll have a brand new shrub without losing valuable height.
Oleander is as drought tolerant as a landscape shrub or tree can be. Water regularly for the first year and less the next year and needs very little supplemental water from then on.
The plant is adapted to almost all soils and can even tolerate brief periods of flooding. However, overwatering can lead to yellowing leaves. Best to keep this arid native on the dry side with well-drained soil. When supplemental water is given, water the soil at the roots and keep the leaves dry.
Apply a 2-inch layer of compost under the plant each spring to retain moisture and control weeds.
In containers, Oleanders require regular watering and must be fed a general-purpose fertilizer at least twice a season. Recommended application rate is once in the late winter and once on the late summer.
You’ll love these plants that provide a burst of color in your yard. They’ll grow beautifully, even in poor soil and extreme heat. Don’t miss your chance – order today!
Oleander, Nerium oleander, is a super drought tolerant evergreen hedge or tree that can add vibrant color as well as privacy to your landscape. From the Mediterranean, this floriferous, fast-growing beauty is a staple in landscapes across the Western United States. It’s a small to medium sized plant that makes an excellent ‘Living Fence’. Colorful and fragrant white, red and pink flowers appear in late spring and into fall, to create a dazzling display of color. This versatile plant tolerates a wide range of soils and can be used as a hedge or tree, though many homeowners choose to use it as a hedge for use as a colorful privacy screen.
An Oleander will thrive in full sun with little to no water required once established. It’s a versatile plant that can grow just fine in partial shade, too. Larger Oleanders can be easily trained into single or multi-trunked trees with dark green, leathery, and semi-glossy narrow leaves providing year round interest. Once in bloom, expect pollinators and hummingbirds to flock into your garden to enjoy the floriferous display of heavily scented single and double petal flowers.
Easy to care for, homeowners are sure to appreciate the low maintenance features of an Oleander plant. It features a real tight and neat appearance making this an excellent choice for patios or growing in a container. Feel free to plant along the seaside, as Oleanders can tolerate salt spray. This popular tree or hedge is compatible with a wide range of landscape styles. Because of its versatility, it can be used for hedges, screens, large accents or focal points in your landscape.
Fun fact: grown since ancient times, Oleanders are featured in many of the Roman wall paintings in Pompeii. Purchase this evergreen from ancient times at Moon Valley Nurseries, where we offer the finest selection of Oleanders for sale. We can assure their quality is the best you’ll find anywhere because we custom grow our own from our own private stock of premium quality specimens! Be sure to plant with our Super Charged Moon Juice for spectacular results!
- Versatile – can grow from the desert to the seaside
- Low maintenance, easy care
- Fragrant flowers attract hummingbirds
- Makes an excellent privacy hedge
- Drought tolerant
- Can tolerate salt spray – good plants for coastal areas
- Tolerates a wide range of soils
Oleander – Click to Enlarge
|Uses||Shrub, Specimen Tree, Hedge|
|Cold Hardiness||Yes, down to 20 degrees.|
|Light Needs||Thrives in full sun.|
|Flower Color||Red, Pink, Salmon, Yellow, Purple|
|Blooms||All year, more during warmer months|
|Water Needs||Moderate, do not overwater|
|Life – A/P length||Perennial|
|Mature Height||5(dwarf)-25 feet(Tall)|
Versatile, showy oleanders add year-round color to the Florida home landscape.
Usually cultivated as an evergreen shrub, oleanders can also be pruned into small trees. The slender branches are dense and assume an upright, mounded pattern. The stems and trunk range in color from light green to pale gray. The dark green leaves are long, narrow, leathery and sword-like. The profuse flowers appear in clusters at the stem ends and can be white, pink, red, salmon-colored or pale yellow. In Florida, oleanders bloom all year, with heaviest flowering occurring during the warmer months.
Oleanders are seen everywhere because they’ll grow almost anywhere. These sturdy shrubs thrive in sand, clay or rocky soils. They’re drought resistant and can stand overwatering. They don’t mind dust or exhaust and are suitable for street plantings. They have an unusually high salt tolerance, their open growth pattern helps them survive high winds, and they can take temperatures as low as 20F with minimal damage. The one thing oleanders demand is direct sun and lots of it. When planted in areas of deep shade, they grow more slowly, blooming is reduced and the branches can become leggy or sparse.
In Florida, the deep green foliage and brilliant blossoms of oleanders make them popular additions to tropical jungle landscapes. Limb them up into small, single-trunked trees to create delightful accents in borders or flowerbeds. Available dwarf varieties can be planted in containers to add splashes of color to porches or patios. Fast-growing oleanders are most often cultivated in rows to create tall, dense and colorful green fences, windbreaks or privacy screens.
Warning: All parts of the oleander are poisonous if ingested and may cause skin irritation. Exercise caution when planting where small children or pets are present and wear protective clothing while pruning. Never burn fallen or pruned branches, leaves or limbs.
Dwarf Oleander (3-5 Feet)