in Tucson, Phoenix,
Arizona and California

Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix, Arizona and California

       Back to Plant List

Growing Nerium oleander: Oleander

social icons Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram

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, or white, in terminal clusters, with a single or double row of petals. Some varieties are fragrant. These flowers produce no nectar.
Bloom: Spring into fall.
Fruit: Brown seed pod with airborne seeds.
Leaves: Lance-shaped, 3-5" long, dark green on top, lighter underneath. Oleander provides medium shade.
Stems: No thorns. Gray.
Roots: Wide and deep.
Wildlife: A few insect larvae feed on this plant. It generally does not attract wildlife.
Toxic / Danger: All parts of this plant are toxic including its pollen. The smoke from burning leaves and stems is toxic. The sap may cause a skin rash. No part of this plant should be composted because the toxins are not broken down by composting and will harm other plants. It should not be browsed by domesticated animals and pets.
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: Oleander is tolerant of soil types in the pH range of 5.1-8.5 (highly acidic to alkaline). It performs best in alkaline soil.
Prune: In mid-winter, prune to shape. Do not shear. The clippings must not be composted.
Litter: Moderate. Blossom drop.
Propagation: Seed or cuttings.
Pests: Oleander Leaf Scorch disease, a bacterium spread by sharpshooter insects, and associated with irrigation, can be a problem in a few location.
Uses: Ornamental, screen, hedge.

Oleander is a member of the Dogbane family (Apocynaceae). It is a tough plant and will re-sprout from its roots if cut to the ground.

Do you have additional information or a different experience for this plant that you would like to share?
Email All contributions are welcome and appreciated.

copyright ©
Latest update: January, 2019.

Nerium oleander: Oleander - red flowers

Nerium oleander: Oleander - pink flowers

Nerium oleander: Oleander - white flowers

Nerium oleander: Oleander - shrub

Nerium oleander: Oleander - tree