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How to Grow Oleander

By Hollan Johnson ; Updated September 21, 2017
Oleander in India

Oleander is a shrub or small tree that is native to Morocco, areas around the Mediterranean and Asia. As an evergreen, it will stay beautiful year-round. Known for its easy-to-care-for nature and enchanting, colorful blooms, oleanders make nice ornamental plants for those gardeners who don't want a lot of fuss. Oleander is only hardy between Zones 8 to 10, although it can handle a light frost now and then.

Choose a place to plant your oleander. It can be planted in full sun to partial shade and does well in poor soil.

Dig a hole for your oleander. Make sure the hole is about 1 to 2 feet deep and at least 2 feet in diameter. Place the oleander in the hole and cover with tightly packed soil. Compost or manure can be added to the root ball if you so desire.

Water your oleander about two to three times a week for 10 minutes each watering as it is getting established. Once it is a year old, water it only once every other week for 10 minutes each watering. Water it less If you live in a wet climate and more if you live in a dry climate.

Prune your oleander in the spring and winter. Cut off any dead, damaged or over-reaching branches at the base. Trim it back into a neat globular or square shape.

Fertilize your oleander in the spring with 1 cup of a water-soluble mixture of 10-10-10 plant formula for maximum blooms.



  • Oleander can grow to a height of about 20 feet with a spread of 30 feet.
  • Oleander grows well in desert environments and is very drought resistant.


  • All parts of the oleander are highly poisonous. Do no use it as mulch, and do not plant it if you have small children or outdoor pets. When you prune your oleander, be sure to thoroughly wash any part of your body that may have touched the plant.

About the Author


Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer and contributing editor for many online publications. She has been writing professionally since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. She has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.