Growing oleander bushes

Updated July 20, 2017

Oleander is a perennial, evergreen shrub featuring long-lasting and fragrant flowers that bloom through the summer and autumn seasons. The flowers on the oleander bush bloom in a variable array of colours including white, red, purple, coral and yellow. Oleander bushes can grow as tall as 6 m (20 feet) when growing conditions and proper maintenance routines are observed. Once established, oleander bushes offer the gardener a hardy and low-maintenance bush to line walkways or add into fragrant gardens.

Determine your local climate and select the type of oleander bush that thrives in your particular area.

Prepare the ground in autumn or spring. Oleanders produce the most blooms when planted in full sun. Full sun is defined as any area receiving a minimum of six hours of sunlight each day.

Dig a hole only as deep as the oleander's root ball and three times wider, using a shovel. Place the removed soil into a pile and add one-third peat moss. Mix the peat moss into the pile of soil with the shovel.

Remove all nursery packaging, such as burlap sacks, and place the oleander bush into the hole. Push the mixed soil into the hole so it fills halfway. Soak the hole with water. Backfill the hole with the remainder of the soil to plant the oleander bush at the same level as it was in its nursery package.

Cover the surrounding soil with a 5 to 7.5 cm (2 to 3 inch) layer of mulch, which can include pine needles and wood chips. Keep the mulch at least 7.5 cm (3 inches) away from the stem of the oleander bush.

Water the oleander bush a second time when the planting is filled and levelled. Water the oleander bush when the soil dries. During extremely hot and dry weather during summer, spray the blooms with a light mist in the early mornings to avoid flower wilting.

Prune the oleander bush with pruning shears after the flowers have bloomed. Lightly cut the branches back on the oleander bush to create ornamental form and encourage a flower surge for next season.


Space additional oleander bushes 1.8 to 3.6 m (6 to 12 feet) apart. The more sun the oleander bush receives the more blooms flowering in brighter shades of colour the shrub will produce. Ask local nurseries and garden centres which type of oleander will succeed in your local climate if are unsure.


Avoid growing oleander bushes if children or pets will be tempted to ingest any part of this plant since it is highly toxic.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Peat moss
  • Pruning shears
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About the Author

Dustin Alan began his writing career in 2000 where he was began writing for “Times Record." His work is featured in “Arkansas Home and Garden," “Green Thumb," Home Step Ahead and DIYImprove. Alan attended Arkansas State University and graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts in English.