The oleander plant is known for its toxicity. Despite this fact, many people have oleanders growing in their yards and gardens. Planting, growing, maintaining and pruning oleanders can be a challenge, if you do not know how to handle the plant. The oleander requires specific growing temperatures, watering requirements and particular caring and maintenance techniques.
Choose a planting site that can provide the oleander plant with full sun or light shade. The oleander thrives in partially shaded areas that provide plenty of warmth, like hot summer weather. If the temperature is low, the cooler temperatures will slow down the growth of the oleander. Keep the temperature warm and around 37.8 degrees Celsius, as this is the ideal growing temperature for the oleander. Plant your oleanders after they have bloomed. This often occurs during the late summer. Do not plant the oleander if it has not bloomed by September, according to the International Oleander Society.
Due to the hardiness of the oleander plant, the soil in which it grows is often irrelevant. The soil can be sandy and well-drained, and it can contain perlite, for example. If you do need to improve the potting soil, add compost with nutrients for the plant. The oleander will show light green leaves, lack of stem growth and sparse flowering, if the soil is not ideal.
The oleander is known for its resistance to droughty conditions. This does not mean that you should let the oleander go without water, as this will affect its growth rate and flower production. Supply the oleander with a few inches of water a week when the conditions are dry.
Prune the oleander to maintain its growth under control. Pruning helps promote plant growth, so it should be done at least once every season. Wear gloves when pruning oleander plants, as the sap from the plant can be irritating for hypersensitive skin.