How to care for an oleander bush

Written by ann johnson | 13/05/2017
How to care for an oleander bush
Keep poisonous oleanders away from curious pets and children. (Noppharat05081977/iStock/Getty Images)

The oleander, or Nerium oleander, is a Mediterranean shrub that thrives in warmer regions. It is a hardy, drought-tolerant shrub that prefers well-draining soils. It will grow in acidic, alkaline, loam, clay or sandy soils and tolerates soil salt. The oleander is a good choice for the gardener seeking a quick-growing privacy screen that requires minimal maintenance. It grows to between 1.8 to 5.5 metres (6 to 18 feet) high. The oleander also provides colour from spring to autumn with its blossoms, which come in white, yellows, pinks or reds.

Water mature plants about once a week during the summer and about once a month during the winter. Younger plants will require more irrigation, yet allow the soil to dry out between watering. Direct water to the roots and don't overwater.

Fertilise the oleander once a year. Use a nitrogen, low or phosphorous-free fertiliser. Follow the fertiliser's instructions for application.

Prune the oleander during the spring. Remove suckers at the base of the plant. Shape the bush to look like a tree, rounded shrub or other shape.


Plant oleanders at least 1.8 metres (6 feet) apart when planting a row for a screen.


The oleander is extremely poisonous.

Tips and warnings

  • Plant oleanders at least 1.8 metres (6 feet) apart when planting a row for a screen.

Things you need

  • Fertiliser

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