Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Oleander
Nerium oleander

Family: Apocynaceae (a-pos-ih-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Nerium (NER-ee-um) (Info)
Species: oleander (oh-lee-AN-der) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

39 members have or want this plant for trade.

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8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Blooms all year
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
By air layering
By tip layering

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds

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17 positives
16 neutrals
9 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral tankX On Mar 4, 2011, tankX from Palm Springs, CA wrote:

Oleander is both good and bad. I have about 150 feet of 40 year old Saint Agnes, and at times it is stunning. It is a toxic plant so I have always isolated it from my dog. Not an easy effort, but essential. I would not plant this plant as a hedge today.
I would use the "Old fashion Oleander" the Hop Bush (a great winter purple foliage plant), or one of the many Texas Sages.
I have experienced several Grape Needle bug infestations, but it only one Oleander appeared to suffer decline. Time will tell on the parasite/ bacteria front.

Aphids? Yes, every year. The Oleander is a magnet in low desert locations, if your paying attention however, they come in one wave and a good green or insecticide wash rids them overnight.

The greatest problem with this plant is its Toxicity and it's need for pruning. If you consider this plant, the dwarf varieties might be the best choice.

Negative Raknruin On Nov 1, 2010, Raknruin from Mexico City and around
Mexico wrote:

I lost 2 adult Irish Setters and puppies to Oleander, which is nearly a weed here in Mexico. A maid living nearby was terrified by dogs and she mixed the flowers and the leaves with meat, let them rot a bit and then threw a bag into the garden.

I suppose one should feel sorry for the maid with her fear of dogs.

I was heartbroken for the dogs.

Neutral aggiebot5 On Oct 12, 2010, aggiebot5 from College Station, TX wrote:

Con--toxic, can be difficult to keep to shape, can outgrow its space, can brown or die back in cold weather

Pro--Takes all the heat and drought and humidity you can throw at it. In our area, nothing short of a nuclear strike from orbit can kill it, and the flowers are lovely.

Positive ttennebtrebor On Feb 3, 2009, ttennebtrebor from Lavaux
Switzerland wrote:

Zone 8b (Switzerland - Lake Geneva region). Positioned in partial sun, heavy, compacting soil, yet the three plants are thriving (two pink and one Alba). Tips: (1) Don't handle them too much with bare hands - I got a mild poisoning when planting them out (hot flashes, racing heart, swelling throat); (2) position them out of reach of kids, neighbors and pets; (3) never, ever water them in winter; (4) prune dead wood after winter, if any (none so far this winter although it was colder than last winter - they're nearly indestructible once established); (5) don't leave any parts of this plant lying around, don't compost, and don't burn.

Implement these simple precautions, and you've got a beautiful, prolifically flowering, hassle-free shrub that requires less than an hour's work per year to maintain. Once established, don't be shy about cutting it back to maintain the size you want.

Neutral greatswede On Dec 21, 2008, greatswede from Lincoln, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

December 2009
Well I covered the plants with a thermal landscape blanket when the temperatures dropped around 30 F and they still froze. I also cut off the water to them. They froze as usual.

They may be the variety 'Petite Pink which is not as cold hardy as others like 'Little Red. I am considering changing them out.
We live in Lincoln, CA which is about 30 miles from Sacramento. We had about 6 oleanders in Sacramento which grew quite well. But here in Lincoln, the three bushes in the front yard have died back every winter but do come back by the middle of summer and bloom late into Fall.

The winter temperatures really don't get that much lower than Sacramento but everyone in Lincoln has the same problem of frost damage. Ten miles away in Rocklin I've seen Oleanders about 15 feet high so they survived many winters.

This year I'm covering the plants with a thermal landscape blanket when the temperatures drop below 30 F. I'll see what happens. I'm also wondering if I should cut off the drip system to them during the winter.

Positive southernscenes On Jun 14, 2007, southernscenes from Willacoochee, GA wrote:

I was sure that I bought a dark red color and now it is pink.

Negative eurokitty On Jun 9, 2006, eurokitty from Seattle, WA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Here on the Gulf Coast of Florida they're almost an epidemic. Developers use oleanders to landscape virtually all new housing construction on the island where I live, frequently using rows of them as hedges or screens. They're popular for this because they grow so quickly, and they look good right away. (Even as very large plants, they are not that expensive, either.)

But are these developers aware that they are incredibly toxic? Does anyone warn the home buyers (or more frequently these days, the tourists who rent the houses as vacation homes)? Or do the developers just not care? This just strikes me as incredibly irresponsible -- especially in new construction when there are other, viable and less damaging plants or trees from which to choose.

From Wikipedia: "According to the TESS or (Toxic Exposure Surveillance System) in 2002 there were 847 known human poisonings in the United States related to Oleander (Watson 2003). In animals, around 0.5 mg per kilogramme of body weight is lethal to many animals, and various other doses will affect other animals (Inchem 2005). Beware; all animals can suffer a reaction or death from this plant."

If you're building a house, or think you might be selling your house in the next few years, seriously reconsider planting oleanders. Also, please do your neighbors a favor and avoid planting them near property lines.

Positive janders On May 29, 2006, janders from Rockwall, TX wrote:

Yes, all parts of the plant is poisonous, but beautiful. It covers an otherwise plain fence on the side of my house. Whenever some of the leaves start to turn yellow I give it some iron and it easily fixes the problem.

Neutral matricesp On Jul 11, 2005, matricesp from San Pedro, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

A few years ago, five small oleander bushes were planted in my dirt parking lot that is located on a hill. The plants are located almost at the edge of the hill next to a fence. At first, I didn't like the idea of having these plants on an already beautiful hill, which had a great view of a park full of trees.

As these plants later looked like trees, they started to get on my nerves because they would block the beautiful view of the park. One day I thought I would cut off some branches and put them in a vase. They looked good, too, until my mom and I had an allergic reaction to them. I threw them outside immediately. My brother also had problems with this plant. While his car was parked next to the bush, the flowers would land on his front hood, which he said ruined the paint of his car.

Also, when I looked closely at this plant, it had little orange or yellow bugs on it. Oh, and I agree with the people that there is overgrowing of this plant in southern California. I see them everywhere, but not as much as I see the purple Lily of the Nile plant.

Neutral aviator8188 On May 13, 2005, aviator8188 from Murphysboro, IL (Zone 7a) wrote:

I must correct a few things on the notes posted about Nerium oleander...Oleander only blooms on old wood. Someone mentioned it bloomed on new wood. Although many plants such as Crape Myrtles bloom on new wood, Oleander will not. As far as toxicity, I think this plant has simply earned a bad name for itself because it's used so much in the south, making this plant easier to come into contact with. The leaves of tomato plants are highly toxic as well, yet some people have probably never heard that before.

I know a guy from Arkansas who threw some typical "Yew" cuttings into a pasture. 450lb cattle ate the cuttings and died 3 hours later. Oleander isn't alone in toxic nature. I have touched the plant without gloves all of the time and have never developed skin irritation. I also have two dogs, who never bother the stuff. I'm not saying it's completely safe, but it's not as bad as some gardeners make it out to be in my opinion.

Don't let it's toxic nature keep you from growing this beautiful shrub! It can take severe drought and it "laughs" at the heat! When everything stops growing from 100F+ temperatures, this plant thrives and blooms repeatedly!!! Requires no care when established, so it's completely "fool" proof! I recommend it for anybody!

One other thing to note, if you live in zone 7 and you're thinking about growing this shrub, keep it mind that it blooms only on old wood. If you treat oleander as a die-back, it will never bloom (in most cases). If it does bloom as a die-back, it probably wouldn't do so until the end of the summer.

In zone 7, I also recommend planting it against a south wall, in full sun. Protecting it with a bucket during nights with low's in the single digits would also be a good idea, to preserve as much of the old wood as possible to enhance blooming during the growing season. I have also found the hardy pink, white, and double yellow to be the "hardiest!"

Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh/Durham, N.C. has the hardy pink, white, and double yellow for sale mail order. The plants are shipped in 1 quart pots. Plant Delights also sells them for a pretty cheap price!


Neutral zsnp On Apr 28, 2005, zsnp from Pensacola, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

If you want nice, small oleander bushes, cut down your oleanders to about 8-12 inches tall. This stimulates new growth. Do not cut back the plant if it is less than 2-3 feet tall.

Iron in the ground stimulates flowering. When I plant oleanders, I usually put some rusty pieces of iron in the ground.

WARNING: Honey made from oleander flowers is also poisonous!

Positive Retired99 On Apr 7, 2005, Retired99 from Sebastian, FL wrote:

We have planted several of the pink "miniature" oleanders. They grow about 4-6 ft. tall and have been a welcome addition of our yard. After the hurricanes last fall, we did cut them back and they are doing just fine. We do have to deal with the caterpillars sometimes but we just pluck them off the plant.

Neutral nevadagdn On Apr 6, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

I was being "experimental" again. Oleander isn't hardy even in perfectly drained Zone 7. It made it through the summer and the fall, but the winter did it in.

Positive artcons On Mar 2, 2005, artcons from Fort Lauderdale, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

I garden for enjoyment and butterflies. When I first decided to grow for butterflies I learned that to keep them coming back, you need both nectar and larvae plants. I planted whatever I could find that would provide their requirements without thinking about what I was attracting. It turns out my oleander attract (and they totally devour the plant) oleander caterpillar. I am sure others have the same experience.

However the oleander caterpillar turns into one of the most unusual butterflies I have ever experienced. It becomes a Polka-dot wasp moth. You may have seen these most colorful insects without realizing they are moths. The moth's body and wings are a beautiful iridescent blue/green, the wings almost black, and they get to about 1 3/4 inches in diameter. The body is about an inch. Small white dots are found on the body, wings, legs and antennae, and the tip of the abdomen is red/orange.

I would marvel at the colors of these insects when I saw them, but kept my distance because of their resemblance to wasps and their bold colors which screamed "keep away from me, I am dangerous". I now know better and will have them land on me whenever I have the chance. If you have the orange body and black-spined oleander caterpillar, look for the moth, they won't harm you.

Neutral BrianCRX90 On Jan 30, 2005, BrianCRX90 from Fort Worth, TX wrote:

I moved to my house in Fort Worth, TX 2 years ago. I always loved Oleanders in California and attempted to grow them here. I had a red one and a white one. I heard that they don't like freezing temperatures but along came spring. The red one only had brown damage here and there but the white one turned completely brown. Along came April and it never grew. I ripped it out cause it was dead. So I wouldn't buy the white ones again.

I bought several red ones at Lowe's that spring. Turned out I got ripped off cause a couple months later 3 of them had white flowers! However, unlike my other dead white one (that plant never grew much at all), these 3 were treated to better soil and mulch preparation. Even though I was told it wasn't necessary using expensive soil, it worked, and they all grew 5 feet tall till this winter came.

The other 2 red ones have some winter damage but they will make it. The red one I planted 2 years ago has hardly any damage. I guess after being in the soil for 2 years it's stable. The white ones are interesting. Most of all of them are brown. The leaves are almost all brown except parts of the lower base. The only good news is the stems are still green. I really hope these white ones make it through and they will regrow. But will they turn out all right is the question.

Positive Kelli On Oct 5, 2004, Kelli from L.A. (Canoga Park), CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I used to think oleanders were overused, until I had a yard of my own that came with 8 or more mature oleanders. They make good low-maintenance evergreen screens in areas that are difficult to access and few other things are as willing to bloom in hot weather. Their being poisonous is a non-issue in my yard. We don't have any babies or dogs.

Neutral pokerboy On Jul 17, 2004, pokerboy from Canberra
Australia (Zone 8b) wrote:

Wonderful low-care plant!!! It requires very water once established. One drawback- all parts of this plant are poisonous. Does well in Coastal districts. Can grow in Saline and clay soils well. pokerboy.

Neutral punaheledp On Jul 4, 2004, punaheledp from Kailua, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

My parents had a hedge of this in their parking area, very near ocean, sandy dry soil, hot and sunny and no care except trimming. It did well, as did a neighbors hedge (his was much older and made an impenetrable barrier, had a lot of shade from a huge banyan). It can be pretty when blooming. I've seen pink and white used together nicely. But, I wouldn't plant it in my yard. I have been told it is VERY poisonous ... story of campers accidentally using it to roast hot dogs on ....

Neutral nadabigfarm On Jun 22, 2004, nadabigfarm from Gardena, CA wrote:

I have always considered it to only useful in locations where nothing else grows. I have seen it growing along highways in sandunes by Palm Springs area. My mother's house in BullheadCity, Arizona where the temps often exceed 120 and the lows dip to around 95-100, it grows everywhere. Never watered or fertilized. Her whole back fence is in constant bloom, always green and trimmed to about 6 or 7 feet high. I consider it a weed, however, in the desert, it has its place only as a barrier or property line. Much too poisonous to keep around children and animals. I heard one story about some boy scouts dying from using the stems to cook hotdogs over a fire.

Positive IslandJim On Jun 21, 2004, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

In many ways, I like this plant. It's used as a beautiful hedge and windbreak in Palm Springs. It's deadly poison to humans and horses dumb enough to eat it. Cuttings root in a week or two. Why it may not bloom in Texas, who knows. It blooms on new wood; if the owners are trying to shape it into balls and foot stools, they are probably cutting off the blooming wood. It blooms almost all year in south Florida. And some of the colors--such as a relatively new blood red--are stunning.

Negative FullertonCA On Jun 21, 2004, FullertonCA from Lake Arrowhead, CA wrote:

Although assumed to be indestructible in Southern California, thousands of oleanders have died in the last few years. I believe the cause is a viral infection, courtesy of the the glass-wing sharpshooter. Leaves wither and brown regardless of watering. Once a few leaves begin to brown, you can count the months until the entire plant is dead. The loss is devastating, as so many have been used to screen unattractive views. I am amazed that landscapers continue to plant these en masse, even though most soon die.

Positive WillowWasp On Jun 12, 2004, WillowWasp from Jones Creek, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I love this plant, it is a beautiful landscaping plant anywhere you need something fast-growing that will flower year after year. These are good to use as wind breaks in and around the coastal areas. Nice, pretty shrubs and functional, as well. Just remember they are toxic to people and animals.

Neutral foodiesleuth On May 25, 2004, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

The climate is a bit too wet on our side of the island for the oleander to do too well, but you do see some around in Hilo. They do better and bloom profusely on the drier Kona side (west side of the island).

Positive nobule On Apr 17, 2004, nobule wrote:

Oleanders are exceptionally tough and vigorous shrubs. They grow in central California along the roadways with no care or watering. They flourish in very dry conditions amidst exhaust fumes and heat radiating from the road. Oleanders make a great boundary along a property line if planted a few feet apart. Just as an example of how tough these plants are, we have a row of them along our driveway in Fresno CA, and our neighbor allowed a brush fire to get out control and it burned our 8 foot Oleander hedge clear to the ground. The plants all grew back from the roots the next year and are now over 8 feet high several years later. White oleander definitely grow the fastest and highest. Pink and red oleanders are supposed to be the hardiest to freezing.

I really like oleanders because they are such low maintenance. They really thrive in full sun and need very little water once established.

They are very poisonous as most people know, but having grown up around them on every corner, I never knew of anyone or any animal to eat them. I have heard stories of hungry livestock being killed by ingesting them. Apparently, 20-30 leaves can kill a horse. I have also heard stories of children dying from eating the leaves. Again, I never knew anybody killed by an oleander, however. They are reportedly very nasty to the taste which probably prevents a lot of potential ingestions. One real hazard is during pruning, because these plants put off a lot of sap that can spray in your face and mouth if you are trying to hack back the foliage of a large oleander shrub. Of course, oleander sap sprayed in your mouth is definitely hazardous.

Negative ruthiana On Apr 4, 2004, ruthiana wrote:

I agree with the user above from So CA. They are all over the place and widely over-used, especially given their highly toxic nature. My recent problem was buying a new house in CA where we had 8 huge bushes in the yard. What a performance to get rid of them all! Worse yet, my non-green-fingered husband, not realizing they were poisonous, mulched all eight, 12-foot high plants into our yard soil where I grow vegetables.

Took me days of research to get information on whether the oleander mulch transmits its poison to vegetables being grown. I contacted about 25 toxicologists on the net. Only 3 replied and they all sent me the same information. Some control tests have been done but are inconclusive. In short, no one knows. One leaf is enough to kill a full grown adult, since the poison attacks the heart--less than half a leaf for a child. The whole plant, leaves, flowers and branches contain the poison.

Negative TerriFlorida On Jan 18, 2004, TerriFlorida from Plant City, FL wrote:

I have great respect for Oleander because not only is it very drought tolerant, it is also quite tolerant of salt spray. Full sun is no joke in Florida, but that is what Oleander thrives on.

However, many years ago, Tampa had to rearrange the Bay access to the plant along its shores, because unsuspecting tourists used the stems to roast hot dogs, and it killed them.

If you are stuck with these and don't want them, my sympathy. If you are considering planting one or more, give serious thought to where and why. A friend of mine nearly lost her father when he burned pruned Oleander and inhaled the smoke. Minor complaints are common, such as dermatitis.

All in all, yes it's pretty. But it should be used where few other plants will grow, preferably an inaccessable site like the edge of a freeway where erosion control is needed or a screen is desired. Tamer plants should be used close to houses.

Neutral Logsburn On Jan 18, 2004, Logsburn wrote:

I live in Ireland. In the western suburbs of Dublin, the most popular Nerium is the 'Sister Agnes'-- very showy with fragrant white flowers from end of April to mid September.

Ireland has a microclimate equal to USDA zone 9. We don't get winters, and the lowest over-night temperature is usually -2C. If the wind blows in from England, then -5C. Our winter average temperature is +8C--no problem for any type of Nerium to grow here. A good spring time feed is potash with a monthly dose of 10-10-20 fertilizer.

Negative TexasLady On Jan 5, 2004, TexasLady wrote:

I have four in front of a fence in the front yard. They are HUGE and the more we prune, the bigger they get. The only problem is they do not bloom at all.

Neutral mrsmitty On Dec 31, 2003, mrsmitty from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

There is a caterpillar that is orange and black that attacks my oleanders. They are easy to pluck off, however I have seen oleanders in Jacksonville, Florida that are totally stripped of leaves. This year the plant put out 2 inch seed pods that look like a black half moon shape. These split open and the seeds were furry like dandilion puffballs... possibly also wind driven. I'll see if they sprout.

Positive Michaelp On Dec 30, 2003, Michaelp from Glendale, UT (Zone 5a) wrote:

Crushed up and mixed with grain and molasses, it makes a fair rat poison

Positive sassytiger On Dec 29, 2003, sassytiger from Lakeland, FL wrote:

When the leaves turn yellow, they are not getting enough sun. Mine started to do that and I put them out in more sun; now they are doing very well. I think that they are beautiful plants, but I cannot find that many down here in Florida.

Negative azhenri On Dec 29, 2003, azhenri wrote:

My dog ate some (not sure how many). I do not have this plant, but my neighbor does and does not seem to want to trim them as needed. They fly everywhere and land in my yard and in my pool. Attractive? Yes, very, but I wish that those who have them would try to respect other people's property and keep them trimmed.

Positive vagardener On Dec 10, 2003, vagardener from Springfield, VA wrote:

This is a beautiful plant that flowers profusely. We had several in our garden when we lived in Southern Spain. They were almost tree-like and are also used as hedges in that part of Spain. They are highly toxic, and we were warned not to burn the wood.

Negative palmbob On Oct 7, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I would be more positive about this plant if there weren't so many of them around here in So Cal... all the highways are lined with them, and they are way overplanted in the local landscape. Here in So Cal they are nearly impossible to kill- you gotta dig up the roots, and that is an incredible chore. Some people are violently reactive to just touching the plant, and it can cause some very serious dermatitis.

Though they do flower profusely, the colors are not all that varied (maybe 6 different varieties) and too pastel for me. And, the plants quickly grow way out of proportions (20'-30' tall) and grow so fast they need to be pruned twice a year. I planted this in my garden 9 years ago when I first got interested in plants, and have regretted it ever since.

At least they require NO water of any kind here in So Cal (unless it's planted in extremely well-drained soil far inland... then it can die). I have never watered mine, even as a seedling, and it's grown like a weed... oh, it IS a weed.

As a veterinarian, I am not fond of this plant, either, since it is so incredibly toxic, possibly the world's most toxic plant. There is enough Oleander growing along a single California highway to kill the entire population of planet earth. Fortunately it is supposed to taste horrible. Unfortunately, cows don't care, and often eat it along with whatever else, suffering the consequences. On several plant lists on the internet which discuss the top 5-15 toxic plants around the world, this is usually number one. It has multiple toxic properties, and even burning dead plants can cause serious toxicty if the smoke is ingested. If you have children or animals that might experimentally or accidently nibble on plant leaves, this is one to avoid.

Negative kimilee On Oct 7, 2003, kimilee wrote:

I am having problems growing mine in Texas (U.S.), and the leaves are turning yellow and falling off. I have two in shade (they are great) but those in full sun are awful.

Neutral Monocromatico On Apr 27, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

Keep this plant away from kids and animals, since its latex is very poisonous. And keep an eye open for pests: like many Apocynaceae, its vulnerable to aphids.

Positive oleanderguy On Apr 26, 2003, oleanderguy wrote:

Frost Hardiness: I have just been to a website - which says the Oleander Nerium requires a night temperature of +10deg C. This compares unfavourably to your ratings above and my own experience and goes to show you can't believe all you read on other sites.

I live near London UK with occasional night temperatures in winter of MINUS 8deg C, and day temperatures of far less than 10 deg. I have had an oleander bush outside in all weathers for 3 years and there has been no frost damage. Sure the leaves will droop a little after a very cold snap but it soon perks up.

Great blooms and scent too!

Positive Lavanda On Jan 21, 2003, Lavanda from Mcallen, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

The blooms of this plant are attractive to hummingbirds, and have a marvelously candy-sweet fragrance. On a dark night, the white blooms seem to glow in the dark. This plant is easily propagated by putting cuttings into a jar with water. Roots will quickly form. It warmer zones, nine and above, it will easily make a tall living fence after a few years.

Positive whitebear On Nov 24, 2002, whitebear from Pensacola, FL wrote:

Oleander is a beautiful shrub, excellent for many purposes. In my particular area, it is often used to shield the view of unsightly utility connections sprinkler pipes etc. One thing to be aware of is the Oleander Moth. The orange bodied black-spined children (caterpillars) will decimate a plant in no time. It will generally regenerate itself but it goes through an ugly defoliated stage in the interim.

Positive jkom51 On Nov 23, 2002, jkom51 from Oakland, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

You can occasionally find these plants trained as a tree. It is an excellent small-garden, urban tree -- evergreen, blooming, pest-free (occasionally aphids will attack it). A very good street tree.

Positive AustinBarbie On Jun 9, 2002, AustinBarbie from Harker Heights, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I love my oleanders. They haven't stopped flowering yet, and are a fast grower, excellent as a hedge or screen. WARNING: Oleander is toxic -- do not ingest. Contact with skin may cause reaction. Avoid smoke when burning cuttings. Do not use in playgrounds or other areas frequented by young children and pets.

This fast growing evergreen shrub can reach up to 20' tall but is usually seen trimmed at 6'-10'. It forms a rounded mound to about 10' wide. It is a tough, versatile plant with showy summertime flowers in white, red, pink, salmon and light yellow. Leathery, lance shaped leaves range from about 4" to 10" long, depending on variety and are a bright green. Oleanders have a tendency to become leggy - overgrown individuals should be pruned as needed to maintain a nice shape. A popular new variety is 'Petit Salmon' which is a dwarf that grows to only 4'.

Neutral Floridian On Oct 24, 2001, Floridian from Lutz, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Native to the eastern Mediterrean, oleander prefers dry, warm areas. Easily grown in warm humid climates, like Florida and the Gulf coast.

This fast growing evergreen shrub can reach up to 20' tall. It forms a rounded mound to about 10' wide. It is a tough, versatile plant with showy summertime flowers in white, red, pink, salmon and light yellow. Leaves range from about 4" to 10" long, depending on variety and are a bright green.
It will survive some frost and temperatures to 15-20 F but foliage will be damaged. Some varieties are hardier than others. It is a tough, durable shrub that is inexpensive and easy to grow in most situations.

The abundant, beautiful flowers are delightfully fragrant in some cultivars. Use for screens, informal hedges and colorful accents. It can be trimmed into a small tree.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)
Anniston, Alabama
Dothan, Alabama
Fairhope, Alabama
Midland City, Alabama
Cottonwood, Arizona
Goodyear, Arizona
Peoria, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona (2 reports)
Queen Creek, Arizona
Scottsdale, Arizona
Lonoke, Arkansas
Canoga Park, California
Chowchilla, California
Clovis, California
Elk Grove, California
Fullerton, California
Lincoln, California
Martinez, California
Merced, California
Montrose, California
Oak View, California
Palm Springs, California
Rancho Cucamonga, California
Rocklin, California
Sacramento, California
San Diego, California
San Pedro, California
Spring Valley, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Bartow, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida (2 reports)
Boca Raton, Florida
Bradenton Beach, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Dunnellon, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)
Kissimmee, Florida
Lutz, Florida
Merritt Island, Florida
New Port Richey, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Palm Harbor, Florida
Pensacola, Florida (3 reports)
Sarasota, Florida
Sebastian, Florida
Sebring, Florida
Valrico, Florida
Venice, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida
Alpharetta, Georgia
Clarkston, Georgia
Patterson, Georgia
Statesboro, Georgia
Willacoochee, Georgia
Hilo, Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii
Gonzales, Louisiana
Longstreet, Louisiana
Metairie, Louisiana
New Iberia, Louisiana
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Dallas, Texas (2 reports)
Deer Park, Texas
El Paso, Texas
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Rowlett, Texas
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Tyler, Texas
Wichita Falls, Texas
Saint George, Utah
Chesapeake, Virginia
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