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Nerium oleander
Nerium oleander

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Zones 8-16, 18-31, H1, H2
Full Sun
Regular WaterMinimal Water
Moderate, Minimal
All parts are poisonous if ingested. Don’t burn prunings: smoke can cause severe irritation.
Nerium oleander
Nerium oleander

Nerium oleander

Evergreen, Shrubs, Trees

Mediterranean native. Moderate to fast growth to 3–20 ft. tall and 4–12 ft. wide, depending on the variety. Larger types can be easily trained into a single trunk or multitrunked tree. Narrow, 4–12-in.-long leaves are dark green, leathery, and semiglossy; attractive in all seasons. Blooms from late spring to fall, bearing 2–3-in.-wide, often fragrant flowers clustered at twig or branch ends.

Forms with double and single flowers are sold, in colors ranging from white to shades of yellow, pink, salmon, and red. Oleanders need little water once established, but they can take moderate amounts. They tolerate poorly drained and relatively salty soils. In shade or ocean fog, they produce weak or leggy growth and few flowers. Routine pruning isn’t necessary, but you may need to prune to guide growth. To control size and form, cut the oldest stems to the ground before spring growth begins; shorten remaining stems to restrict height.

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