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Member of :

GWAA

The Garden Writers Association


Last Update 06/03/08

Plant of the Month

Nerium Oleander

 Oleander, Rose Bay

Nerium Oleander is an excellent fast growing low care shrub that will reward you with colorful flowers galore!Nerium oleander is native to northern Africa, the eastern Mediterranean basin and southeast Asia. Oleander prefers dry, warm climates and may naturalize in such areas. This plant is very drought tolerant once established and produces a profusion of flowers with little care or feeding. Supplemental watering and fertilization is discouraged as it encourages the shrub to grow and produce leaves at the expense of the colorful blooms.

Hardy Red Nerium Oleander. Click to Enlarge Image
Hardy Red Nerium Oleander. Click to Enlarge Image

White Nerium Oleander. Click to Enlarge Image
White Nerium Oleander. Click to Enlarge Image

Pink Nerium Oleander. Click to Enlarge Image
Pink Nerium Oleander. Click to Enlarge Image

 

Oleander Seed Pods. Click to Enlarge.
Oleander Seed Pods. Click to Enlarge.

Oleander Leaves. Click to Enlarge.
Oleander Leaves. Click to Enlarge.

Oleander Hedge. Click to Enlarge.
Oleander Hedge. Click to Enlarge.

Oleander Close-up. Click to Enlarge.
Oleander Close-up. Click to Enlarge.
Oleander can grow to 20'. Click to Enlarge.
Oleander can grow to 20'. Click to Enlarge.

Plant Facts:

Common Name:   Oleander, Rose Bay

Botanical Name:   Nerium Oleander

Family:  Apocynaceae

Plant Type:  Large perennial shrub

Origin: Northern Africa, the eastern Mediterranean basin and southeast Asia

Zones: 8 - 10

Height:  20', but usually maintained at 10'

Rate of Growth: Fast, spreading to 10' wide

Salt Tolerance: High

 

Soil Requirements:  Average, well-drained soil

Water Requirements: Drought tolerant

Nutritional Requirements: Low, do not fertilize, overfeeding and watering will grow leaves at the expense of blooms

Light Requirements: Full sun

Form:  Tend to become leggy and overgrown, must be regularly pruned to keep a presentable shape

Leaves:  Leathery, lance shaped, gray-green, 4-10"

Flowers: Mostly in Summer, available in white, red, pink, salmon and light yellow

Fruits: Seed pods 6-10" long

Pests or diseases:  Scale, spider mites, aphids, gall and die-back. Syntomeida epilais Walker (Oleander caterpillar or "Christmas bee") infestation can defoliate shrubs in a short amount of time, however plants often recover quickly.

Uses:  Screens, informal hedges, colorful accents, beach plantings, and cityscapes. Used in highway medians from Central Florida south. Popular shrub in Las Vegas, NV which proves how hardy this plant is.

Bad Habits: All parts are toxic -- do not ingest. Contact with skin may cause dermatitis. Do not burn cuttings. Do not use in playgrounds or other areas frequented by young children and pets.

Cost:  $$ -- Very reasonable

Propagation:  Semi-ripe cuttings are best rooted in summer. Also by seed, but selected cultivars may not grow true to form.

 

Source: AMERICAN HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY A-Z ENCYCLOPEDIA OF GARDEN PLANTS

 
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