One of the basic shrubs for the desert and hot interior valleys. Ordinarily broad and bulky, but easily grown to a handsome single or many stemmed tree. Oleander has dark green leathery glossy narrow leaves and bright red flowers clustered at the branch ends.
Not at all particular about soil, Nerium oleander withstands considerable drought, poor drainage and soil with high salt content. This will also thrive best in heat and strong light. Plants will be weak and lack flowers when exposed to shade or ocean fog. Must be pruned in the early spring to control size and form. Pull unwanted suckers to prevent bushiness at the base and to restrict height, pinch tip or prune lightly.
The Nerium oleander can be best used as screenings. Along a fence for privacy screening or to create boarders with roadways or driveways. Can also be used in tubs and planted against walls to provide more color. Mixing the many other color varieties will create a vibrant display for background planting.
Because the Nerium oleander is in the dogbane family, all parts are poisonous. Avoid contact for children and pets. Keep caution when handling leaves or prunings but you don’t need to overreact to its toxic reputation.