Gardening
in Tucson, Phoenix,
and Southern California

Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix, and Southern California

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Nerium oleander: Oleander

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Description
Form: A shrub or tree, depending on variety and pruning.
Leaf retention: Evergreen.
Growth rate: Moderate to rapid.
Mature Size: 3-20' high and 3-12' wide depending on variety.
Flowers: Red, pink, salmon, yellow, white, in terminal clusters, single or double bloom, some varieties fragrant.
Bloom: Spring into fall.
Fruit: Brown seed pod with airborne seeds.
Leaves: Lance-shaped, 3-5" long, dark green on top, lighter underneath. Provides medium shade.
Stems: No thorns. Gray.
Roots: Wide and deep.
Wildlife: Not known to support wildlife.
Toxic / Danger: All parts are toxic including pollen. Smoke from burning leaves and stems is toxic. Possible skin rash from sap.
Origin: Asia.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 8b-11.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun.
Water once established: Once or twice a month.
Soil: Tolerant, pH 5.1-8.5 (highly acidic to alkaline), best in alkaline soil.
Prune: In mid-winter, prune to shape. Do not shear.
Litter: Moderate. Blossom drop.
Propagation: Seed or cuttings.
Pests: Oleander Leaf Scorch disease, a bacterium, spread by sharpshooter insects, associated with irrigation, confined to small portion of Phoenix.
Uses: Ornamental, screen.

Comments
A tough plant. Will re-sprout from roots if cut to ground.



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