If you’re looking for a versatile shrub to add to your garden, oleander is a wonderful choice! They tolerate a wide variety of conditions, including difficult soil and drought. The only condition they cannot withstand is winter temperatures reaching below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. However, during our winter months you can grow an oleander in a container and bring it indoors until temperatures rise again.
Oleander is a shrub that requires minimal care. They are drought-tolerant, but look their best when they are watered during dry spells. Take care, however, not to overwater them. If the leaves are yellowing, that is an indication that they are getting too much water.
Something that is very important to know about oleander if you plan on growing it in your garden is not to plant it in an area where children and pets might play. All parts of oleander shrubs are poisonous and ingesting even a small amount of foliage, flowers, or shoots from an oleander plant can be fatal. Contact with the foliage and flowers can cause severe skin irritations and allergic reactions. Long sleeves and gloves should always be worn when handling this shrub.
If you have poor soil, feed your oleander lightly with a balanced fertilizer during its first spring. Once your plant is established, it won’t require routine fertilization. Pinching out the tips of young stems reduces legginess and encourages the shrub to branch out. Pruning is also beneficial. When the bloom is finished, just follow the bloom stem down and cut it off right at the bottom. After that, it will send up two blooms and bloom again. Prune to remove damaged or diseased limbs at any time, and prune to shape the shrub in late fall.
Oleanders bloom from spring until the end of summer and produce large clusters of flowers in shades of yellow, white, pink or red at the tips of the stems. They bloom best in full sun, but will tolerate light shade. They love our sun and heat. They smell very sweet and are a wonderful plant for our zone!
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