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Nerium oleander L.

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© RHS 1972

Characteristics

Plant type

Conservatory/Greenhouse or Shrub

Habit

Bushy

Toxicity

All parts are highly toxic if ingested. Contact with foliage may irritate skin

Resilience

Hardiness

H3 (half hardy - unheated greenhouse/mild winter)

Colour

Flower

Pink, Red or White in Summer

Foliage

Green and Dark Grey/Silver in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Size

Ultimate height

1.5-2.5 metres

Ultimate spread

1-1.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

10-20 years


Preferred common name

oleander

Family

Apocynaceae


Nerium are evergreen shrubs with linear or narrowly oblong leaves and terminal clusters of salver- or funnel-shaped flowers, followed by long, bean-like seed-pods

N. oleander is an evergreen shrub with narrowly lance-shaped grey-green leaves and terminal clusters of salver-shaped, pink, white or red flowers 3-4cm across, in summer

Other common names

  • East Indian oleander
  • Jamaica South Sea rose
  • laurier rose
  • rose bay
  • sweet-scented oleander

Synonym(s)

  • Nerium odorum
  • Nerium oleander 'Laurier Rose'

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun

Aspect

  • South-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Grow outdoors in moist but well-drained soil in full sun in sheltered frost-free conditions. Grow under glass in loam-based compost in full light, ventilate well

Soil

  • Moist but well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Chalk, Clay, Sand or Loam

Propagation

Propagate by seed, semi-hardwood cuttings or by air layering in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Drought Resistant, City/Courtyard Gardens, Cottage/Informal Garden, Hedging/Screens, Low Maintenance, Mediterranean Climate Plants, Patio/Container Plants or Wall-side Borders


How to care

Pruning

Pruning group 9. May need restrictive pruning under glass in late winter. Will tolerate hard pruning

Pests

May be attacked by glasshouse red spider mite, scale insects and mealybugs under glass

Diseases

Generally disease free