Oleander

Oleander
Oleander

Nerium oleander

Oleander

  • Position: full sun
  • Soil: moist but well-drained soil
  • Flowering period: July to September
  • Height: 2-3m
  • Foliage: evergreen
  • Hardiness: needs winter protection

Nerium oleander. Throughout the summer this lovely fast-growing, evergreen shrub produces flowers in shades that range from pink, red, yellow to white. It has attractive green, leathery, lance-shaped leaves. The plant is ideal for growing in large containers but can also be grown in a sunny border. Oleander is native to the Mediterranean region, so it will do best in a sunny position in well-drained soil.

Pruning

Pruning oleander (Nerium oleander) grown in the ground. If necessary, cut back dead, weak or frost-damaged stems to approximately 20cm above the ground, pruning to just above a set of leaves in early spring. Wear gloves when pruning oleander. The sap can cause skin irritation. Pruning oleander grown in a pot. If you want to reduce the size of the plant, cut back the flowered stems by half, pruning to just above a set of leaves in autumn.

Nerium oleander
Nerium oleander tolerates -5 degrees Celsius                  Nerium oleander in summer

Overwinter

Oleander can withstand about -5 degrees Celsius. So the plant needs protection in cold areas. In areas prone to frost move potted oleander indoors. Overwinter at temperatures of 3-10 degrees Celsius. Water sparingly during the winter months. In spring when the plant starts to put on new growth, it needs more water. Alternatively, if you can’t move the oleander because the container is too heavy, keep the plant outdoors for the winter. If sharp frost is forecast, cover the plant with a winter fleece plant cover. And cover the outside of the pot with bubble wrap to protect the roots from freezing.

Repotting oleander

The best time to repot oleander is in spring. Put the plant in a slightly bigger pot. If repotting is difficult because you have reached the maximum pot size, remove the top 5cm layer from the surface of the rootball. Add fresh, new compost to the surface.

Plant problems

All parts of oleander are poisonous. Wear gloves when handling the plant.