Oleander Nerium oleander

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care


Oleander is a flowering shrub that can grow up to 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide in its native Mediterranean climate. In other regions, it usually reaches a more modest height of 6 to 12 feet.
The leaves are long and narrow, around 4 to 10 inches in length, and the flowers are typically 1 to 4 inches in diameter.
Oleander's stems are thick and woody, and the plant is drought-resistant and easy to care for, making it a popular choice for landscaping in warm climates.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Oleander, Nerium, East Indian oleande, Jamaica South Sea rose, Laurier rose, Rose bay, Sweet-scented oleander

    • Common names

      Nerium oleander, Numerous, Nerion oleandrum, Nerium carneum, Nerium flavescens, Nerium floridum, Nerium grandiflorum, Nerium indicum, Nerium japonicum, Nerium kotschyi, Nerium latifolium, Nerium lauriforme, Nerium luteum, Nerium madonii, Nerium mascatense, Nerium odoratissimum, Nerium odoratum, Nerium odorum, Nerium splendens, Nerium thyrsiflorum, Nerium verecundum, Oleander indica, Oleander vulgaris

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Oleander is highly toxic to humans. All parts of the plant, including the leaves, flowers, and sap, contain toxic chemicals called cardiac glycosides. These chemicals can cause a range of severe symptoms, including gastrointestinal distress, irregular heartbeat, seizures, and even death if ingested in significant amounts. Exposure to oleander can also cause skin irritation or allergic reactions, so it's essential to avoid contact with the plant if possible. Oleander is not safe for consumption or use as an herbal remedy, and any exposure to the plant should be taken seriously.

    • To pets

      Oleander is also highly toxic to animals, including dogs, cats, horses, and livestock. The cardiac glycosides in oleander can cause a range of severe symptoms in animals, including vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and even death. Ingesting just a few leaves or flowers can be enough to cause toxicity, so it's essential to keep pets and livestock away from oleander plants. Contact with the plant can also cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in animals, so it's essential to handle the plant with care and wear gloves when pruning or handling. If you suspect that an animal has ingested oleander, seek veterinary care immediately.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color

      Pink, red, white

    • Height

      Up to 20 feet

    • Spread

      Up to 10 feet

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North Africa, Mediterranean, southern Europe


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    Ornamental use: Oleander is a popular ornamental plant for landscaping and can add beauty and color to gardens and outdoor spaces.

    Drought tolerance: Oleander is a hardy plant that is well adapted to dry and hot climates and can tolerate drought conditions.

    Low maintenance: Oleander is relatively easy to care for and can thrive with minimal attention, making it a low-maintenance landscaping option.

    Fast growth: Oleander is a fast-growing plant that can quickly establish itself in a new location and reach its full size within a few years.

    Attracts wildlife: Oleander's fragrant flowers can attract butterflies and hummingbirds, adding to the beauty of outdoor spaces and supporting local wildlife populations.

    Soil erosion control: Oleander's extensive root system can help stabilize soil and prevent erosion, making it a useful plant for landscaping hillsides or other areas prone to erosion.

    Pest resistance: Oleander is relatively resistant to pests and diseases and can often be grown without the need for pesticides or other chemical treatments.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    That being said, some researchers have studied the potential medical properties of certain compounds found in oleander, particularly its cardiac glycosides. These compounds have been investigated for their potential use in treating certain types of cancer and heart conditions, but more research is needed to fully understand their effectiveness and potential risks.
    It is important to reiterate that self-treatment or the use of oleander as an herbal remedy can be extremely dangerous and should never be attempted without medical supervision.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    Oleander is not known for its air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    Insecticide: In some cultures, oleander has been used as an insecticide to repel or kill insects, such as mosquitoes, flies, and ants.

    Fish poison: In certain parts of the world, oleander has been used as a poison to catch fish. The crushed leaves or seeds of the plant are added to the water to stun or kill the fish, which can then be easily collected.

    Poisoning: Unfortunately, oleander has been used in some cases as a means of poisoning people or animals, either intentionally or accidentally. It is important to handle the plant with extreme care and to avoid any contact or ingestion of its toxic parts.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Oleander is not commonly associated with feng shui.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Oleander is not commonly associated with astrology.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    In some cultures, Oleander is associated with qualities such as beauty, strength, and resilience, due to its vibrant flowers and ability to thrive in harsh conditions. However, it is important to remember that Oleander is also known for its toxicity and can be dangerous if not handled properly.

Once a week
20000 - 50000 Lux
Every 2 - 3 years
Spring - summer
Once a year
  • water dropWater

    Oleander requires regular watering, especially during the growing season (spring to fall).
    The frequency of watering will depend on factors such as the temperature, humidity, and soil type. In general, it is recommended to water the plant deeply once a week, allowing the top inch of soil to dry out between watering.
    However, if the weather is particularly hot and dry, the plant may require more frequent watering.

  • sunLight

    Oleander prefers full sun to partial shade and should be placed in a location that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. If grown indoors, it should be placed near a south-facing window or under artificial grow lights to ensure it receives adequate light.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Oleander is native to warm subtropical regions and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. In general, it prefers warm temperatures between 60-85°F (15-29°C) and can tolerate occasional brief periods of colder temperatures as low as 20°F (-7°C).
    However, prolonged exposure to frost or freezing temperatures can damage or kill the plant. If grown indoors, it should be placed in a location with consistent temperatures and protected from cold drafts.

  • scissorsPruning

    Oleander benefits from regular pruning to maintain a desirable shape and promote healthy growth and flowering. Pruning should be done in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Dead or damaged branches should be removed, and the plant can be shaped as desired by trimming back the tips of branches. It is important to wear gloves and protective clothing when pruning Oleander, as all parts of the plant are toxic and can cause skin irritation or more serious health problems if ingested.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Oleander grows best in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. A mixture of equal parts sand, peat moss, and perlite is a good choice.
    The pH of the soil should be slightly acidic to neutral, ideally between 6.0 and 7.0.
    Avoid using heavy or clay soils, as these can cause water to accumulate around the roots and lead to root rot.

  • plantRepotting

    Oleander should be repotted every 2-3 years, or when the plant outgrows its current container. Repotting should be done in the spring before new growth begins.
    Choose a pot that is slightly larger than the current one and fill it with fresh potting soil. Carefully remove the plant from its current container and gently loosen any tangled roots. Place the plant in the new container and fill in with soil, pressing down lightly to eliminate any air pockets. Water the plant thoroughly after repotting.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Oleander can tolerate a wide range of humidity levels, but prefers moderate to high humidity. If the air is very dry, the plant may benefit from occasional misting with a fine spray of water.
    Alternatively, a humidity tray can be created by placing the plant on a tray filled with pebbles and water. As the water evaporates, it will create a humid microclimate around the plant.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      All year round

    • Outdoor

      Can be grown as an outdoor plant in a suitable climate

    • Hardiness zone

      8-10 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Oleander is an evergreen shrub that can live for many years. Here are the stages of its life cycle:

    Seed germination: Oleander seeds can be planted in the spring, after the last frost date in your area. The seeds require warmth and moisture to germinate, so they can be started indoors in pots or sown directly in the ground outside. Germination can take 2-4 weeks.

    Seedling stage: Once the seeds have germinated, they will grow into small seedlings that will require regular watering and fertilization. The seedlings can be transplanted into larger pots or the ground once they have developed a few sets of true leaves.

    Vegetative growth: During the first few years of its life, Oleander will focus on vegetative growth, producing new stems and leaves each year. It will require regular watering, fertilization, and pruning to promote healthy growth.

    Flowering: Oleander typically blooms in the summer, with the peak bloom time depending on the climate and growing conditions. The flowers can be white, pink, red, or yellow, and are often fragrant. The plant will continue to produce flowers throughout the summer and into the fall.

    Seed production: After the flowers have been pollinated, they will produce seed pods that will ripen and split open to release the seeds. The seeds can be harvested in the fall and planted the following spring to start the cycle again.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring - summer

    • Oleander can be propagated by several methods, including cuttings, layering, and division. Here are the details of each method:

      Cuttings: Oleander cuttings can be taken in the spring or summer, when the plant is actively growing. Choose a stem that is 6-8 inches long and has several sets of leaves. Remove the lower leaves and dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone powder. Plant the cutting in a well-draining potting mix and keep it moist and in a warm, bright location until roots develop, which can take 4-6 weeks.

      Layering: This method involves bending a lower branch of the Oleander plant down to the ground and covering a section of it with soil, leaving the tip exposed. Roots will form where the covered section of stem makes contact with the soil. Once the layer has rooted, it can be cut from the main plant and transplanted into a new location.

      Division: Oleander can be divided in the early spring, before new growth begins. Dig up the entire plant and use a sharp knife to separate the root ball into sections, making sure each section has at least one stem and a healthy root system. Replant each section in a new location, and water thoroughly.

  • insectPests

    Spider mite, Scale insects, Mealybug, Aphid

  • microbeDiseases

    Bacterial leaf streak, Anthracnose, Root Rot, Powdery mildew, Leaf spot