How to Grow Oleander Shrub - Plant Care & Tips

By NorwichGardener Team   /   2024

Oleander shrub is a flowering plant that is native to the Mediterranean region. It is a member of the family Apocynaceae, which also includes the periwinkle and the echium plant. The oleander shrub is a evergreen shrub or small tree that can grow to a height of 6-8 m (20-26 ft). The leaves are dark green and leathery, and the flowers are white, pink, or red. The oleander shrub is poisonous, and all parts of the plant contain toxic compounds.

How to Grow Oleander Shrub - Plant Care & Tips

Alternative name

  • Adelfa
  • Laurel
  • Nerium oleander
  • Rosebay willowherb
  • Spindle

Good to Know

  • Oleander shrubs are beautiful, flowering plants that are popular in many gardens.
  • They are also one of the most poisonous plants in the world, and all parts of the plant are considered toxic.
  • Symptoms of oleander poisoning can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and heart arrhythmias.
  • Oleander poisoning can be fatal, so it is important to seek medical treatment immediately if you suspect someone has ingested any part of the plant.
  • The best way to prevent oleander poisoning is to avoid planting the shrub in areas where children or animals may have access to it.
  • If you do have an oleander shrub in your garden, be sure to keep it well-pruned and away from areas where people or animals may come into contact with it.
  • Wear gloves and long sleeves when handling the plant, and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
  • Do not compost oleander leaves or stems, as the toxins can remain in the compost and be taken up by other plants.
  • If you suspect that someone has been poisoned by oleander, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-122
  • For more information on oleander shrubs, including pictures and care tips, visit the website of the University of California, Davis.

Planting Process

  1. For oleander shrub, first step is to choose the right plant.
  2. Make sure to get a plant that is healthy and has a good root system.
  3. Plant the oleander shrub in a location that gets full sun.
  4. Oleander shrub prefers well-drained soil.
  5. Add organic matter to the soil before planting.
  6. Water the plant regularly.
  7. Fertilize the plant regularly.
  8. Prune the plant as needed.
  9. Watch for pests and diseases.
  10. Enjoy your beautiful oleander shrub!

Related plant:
Oleander Tree

Soil Condition

About soil condition, Oleander shrub can grow in many different types of soil, but prefer well-drained, loamy soil. They are not particular about pH and will do well in both acidic and alkaline soils. They are also tolerant of salt and will do well in coastal conditions.

About light

Not too different with other plants, oleander shrubs need sunlight to grow. They will do best in an area that gets six to eight hours of sunlight each day. If you live in an area with hot summers, it's best to plant your oleander in a spot that gets some afternoon shade.

The Temperature

The temperature condition that is most ideal for oleander shrubs is one that is warm and sunny. They thrive in these conditions and produce the most beautiful blooms. If the temperature is too cold, the shrubs will not bloom as well.

Humidity Level

Ideal humidity condition for this plant is 50% or below, anything above that will start to cause the leaves to droop. If the leaves droop, cut back on watering and increase the amount of air circulation around the plant. If the leaves start to turn yellow, that is a sign of too much water.

Fertilizer Requirement

Mentioning fertilizer, this family of plant is known to be heavy feeders. During the growing season, it is important to fertilize oleander shrubs every few weeks. However, be sure to use a fertilizer that is low in nitrogen. Too much nitrogen will result in lots of foliage growth, but few flowers. When it comes to watering, oleander shrubs are drought tolerant once established. However, during the first year or two, they will need to be watered regularly, especially during hot, dry periods. When it comes to planting, oleander shrubs do best in full sun. They are not particular about soil type, but they do prefer well-drained soil. When planting, be sure to dig a hole that is twice the width of the root ball.

Plant Pruning

Pruning oleander shrubs is a necessary part of keeping them healthy and looking their best. It is best to prune in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. You should remove any dead or diseased wood, as well as any crossing or rubbing branches. branches. You should also cut back any overly long or straggly branches.

About Propagating

Propagation is generally done by taking cuttings from the desired plant. The cutting should be about 4-6 inches in length and should be taken from new growth. The cutting should be placed in water or moistened soil and left in a bright, warm location. Once the cutting has rooted, it can be transplanted into a pot or into the ground.

Plant Growth

Usually, the plant growth rate is fast, with some species growing as much as 3 feet in one season. With regular watering, full sun and well-drained soil, your oleander will likely thrive. Fertilize twice a year with a balanced fertilizer for best results. Pruning is not necessary, but can be done to shape the shrub.

Basic Problems

Common problems for this kind of plant are root rot and stem dieback. Root rot is caused by overwatering or poor drainage, which leads to the plant's roots being unable to get the oxygen they need. Stem dieback is usually caused by pests or diseases, which attack the plant's stems and leaves.

List to Know

  • Remember to water oleander shrub regularly, as it is a thirsty plant.
  • Place oleander in a sunny spot, as it loves the sun and heat.
  • Fertilize oleander regularly to promote lush growth.
  • Prune oleander shrub regularly to shape it and encourage new growth.
  • Keep an eye out for pests and diseases, and treat them promptly.
  • Deadhead oleander blooms regularly to encourage more flowers.
  • Cut back oleander shrub in late winter or early spring to promote new growth.
  • Divide oleander shrub every few years to keep it healthy and vigorous.
  • propagate from stem cuttings taken in late spring or early summer.
  • Enjoy the beautiful blooms of oleander shrub all summer long!

Related Plants

  • Oddenia.
  • Ondesmia.
  • Oleandra.
  • Olearia.
  • Olneya.
  • Oenothera.
  • Onagraceae.
  • Onoclea.
  • Ononis.
  • Onosma.

To Oleander or Not to Oleander | Cochise County Master Gardeners
Nerium oleander - University of California, Berkeley
Oleander Aphid | NC State Extension Publications

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Reviewed & Published by Richelle
Submitted by our contributor
Herbs Category