How to transplant an oleander

Written by annita lawson
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How to transplant an oleander
Transplant oleander in early spring. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

The evergreen shrub Oleander, also called rose bay, produces showy, fragrant flowers from the beginning of summer through mid-fall. Oleanders bloom in several colours, including pink, yellow, white and red. Some cultivars grow to only 3 feet tall and others reach heights of up to 30 feet. Oleander is not a fussy plant and is easy to transplant. It grows best in full sun and tolerates most soil conditions.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Gloves
  • Plant ties
  • Shovel
  • Pruning shears
  • Mulch

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  1. 1

    Water the plant thoroughly two or three days before you plan to move it.

  2. 2

    Put on protective gloves before handling oleander, as the foliage can irritate skin. Tie any low-growing branches up loosely with plant ties to prevent breakage.

  3. 3

    Dig a hole 12 to 15 inches deep around the oleander. Use the end of the shovel to gradually work the roots free, until you can lift them carefully from the ground.

  4. 4

    Examine the roots and use pruning shears to remove those that are damaged or growing in a circular shape.

  5. 5

    Prepare the new planting location by removing all weeds and grass. Dig a hole twice the width and the same depth as the oleander's roots.

  6. 6

    Place the root ball into the hole at the same level it was growing before. Backfill halfway and water until the soil settles around the roots. Return the remainder of the soil to the hole and water again.

  7. 7

    Add a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch around the shrub to seal in moisture. Keep the mulch 4 to 6 inches from the oleander's base.

  8. 8

    Remove the plant ties from the bottom branches.

  9. 9

    Water any time the top inch of soil feels dry during the first year after transplanting. Water only during dry conditions once the shrub becomes established.

Tips and warnings

  • Large oleander shrubs should be watered regularly for the first year after transplanting.
  • Do not allow the roots to dry out before replanting an oleander.
  • Oleander is toxic if ingested.

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