Oleander – Nerium oleander – Nerium oleander – Garden plants – Oleander – Nerium oleander – Shrubs

Coming from the Mediterranean, oleanders belong to a kind of evergreen shrubs, cultivated mainly for flowering and foliage.

Title: Nerium Oleander, oleander

Family: aponyacee

It is a woody plant with a bushy habit which can go from 2 to 6 metres in height. The stem is erect and branched from the base.

The leaves in ideal climatic conditions are persistent: simple, leathery and lanceolate. The upper page is glossy, while the lower one is grey and opaque.

The funnel-shaped flowers form corymbs and usually have 5 petals (in the simple form), but there is also a double form. The colours range from white to carmine, pink, salmon and yellow.

Since mid summer, it produces brown follicles, similar to pods, of about 10-15 cm, which contain (when ripe) feathery seeds.


The plant in brief

Scientific name

Nerium Oleander




Middle East, Mediterranean

Type of plant

Evergreen shrub


Full sun





Resistance to cold



Cuttings in summer

  • fiore oleandro The oleander is a shrub typical of Mediterranean vegetation, is widespread throughout Italy in cultivation, in southern areas is also present in its natural state, plant well known to fans of the…
  • Oleandro The oleander is a shrub typical of Mediterranean vegetation, is widespread throughout Italy in cultivation, in southern areas is also present in its natural state, plant well known to fans of the…

  • oleandro veto alt.300m have advised me to have x abundant blooms, to prune the oleanders in autumn, is true? in my area I have always seen them prune in spring …….
  • oleandro at which time should be removed the stem of the flower.cordial greetings carlo…




Protect from frost


Protect from frost


Pruning, fertilization




Flowering, fertilization


Flowering, fertilization


Flowering, fertilization, cuttings


Flowering, cuttings


Flowering, Fertilization




Protect from frost


Protect from frost

The cultivation of oleander is not very difficult as it is a very resistant species.

It can be planted in the ground or in pots.

If it is young, it is better, during the summer, to put it on often to get a thick bush and to repot it at least every year. If it is old, it is better to thin it from time to time and prune it at the base, in autumn or at the end of winter, in order to allow in spring to have new jets.

Cultivation techniques

OleandroOleander are sensitive to cold, prefer mild climates, requiring a minimum temperature of 5 degrees. In temperate climate zones it can therefore be grown outdoors, without needing any protection. On the other hand, in the northern regions, it should be repaired during the winter.

Flowers and fruits

Oleandro The oleander flowers, which vary from pink to white, from red to yellow, bloom practically from early spring to late autumn. Numerous double-flowered cultivars have been selected.

Oleander produces showy, reddish-brown fruits with upright pods between 10 and 15 centimetres long.

Exposure, soil and fertilization

Oleandro The oleander plant adapts well to any type of terrain. In order to obtain abundant flowering it is important to provide abundant irrigation during the summer period. During the winter period, watering will have to be very reduced, especially in the northern regions. It is recommended to have a bright and warm exposure in full sun. This will ensure excellent growth and flowering.

It is not very demanding as far as the land is concerned. It is better, if possible, to place it in soils rich in organic matter, but does not disdain poor ones. It is also important to avoid waterlogging.

Fertilisation should be regular to support intense flowering. Long release granular fertilisers or liquid fertilisers with a high potassium content should be used every ten days.

Better still if we can dilute the liquid fertilizer and administer it regularly with watering. The plant will benefit in particular from the constancy in the administration of nutrients.

Repotting and pruning

If the plant is grown in a pot, it is a good idea to repot it every two years, fertilizing it with granular fertilizer and occasionally adding ox blood.

It is also advisable to prune the young plants to obtain a thickening of the canopy.


oleandro They multiply by seed or by seed during the summer period.

Warning: it is a very poisonous plant, in all its parts, containing glycosides active on the heart, which, precisely for this reason, are used in medicine. It is always advisable to wash your hands after touching it.

Pests and diseases

The most common parasite is the ivy aspidiotus (Aspidiotus hederae), a parasite that is very common in Mediterranean countries. It is a particular type of cochineal, which mainly attacks the bottom page of the leaf. Another very frequent parasite is the floccose cochineal (Chloropulvinaria floccifera), which invades the plant and reproduces practically throughout the year. Countermeasures must therefore be timely, as the parasite can lead to serious decay and even death of the plant.

The honeydew produced ends up dirtying the plant, often creating soot.

Oleander is resistant, however it can be attacked by some pests.

Among the most frequent we remember:

– Cotton cochineal: can be seen on the underside of the leaves. SI shows brown or white (cotton-like) growths. It is necessary to eliminate them with cloth soaked in alcohol (if the problem is not widespread) or with specific products such as mineral oils and insecticides (possibly systemic).

– Soot: can be caused by aphids (but also by cochineal, metcalfa puinosa, white fly). If their presence is massive, a blackish-brown layer (consisting of a fungus) will be produced on the leaves, which will lead to deterioration of the leaves. In this case, the parasites must be eliminated with specific insecticides and then proceed with the washing of the leaves and with a curative fungicide treatment.

– Red dog: it is a mite and can be seen on the underside of the leaves (tiny red or brown spots). The leaves are yellowed and have a dehydrated appearance. Its presence is felt especially when the temperatures are very high. It is capable of debilitating a beautiful plant in a very short time.

To remedy this, it is necessary to increase the ambient humidity by vaporising the leaves with water, not to keep the plants on very reflective floors that can overheat (balconies, terraces) and to intervene with specific products (acaricides).

– Other drawbacks are leaf spotting and anthracnose. They can be prevented with copper fungicides or, if necessary, treated with specific products.


In Italy the greatest difficulties can be given by the cold because the plant is not particularly rustic. The most serious damages are suffered by the specimens grown in small pots as the soil could freeze completely. The advice is therefore to put them in large pots, especially deep, to withdraw them in a cold greenhouse (or place them next to a wall) and protect them by covering them with special sheets.

If they are grown in the open land we will certainly have fewer drawbacks, but, if in winter we reach really cold temperatures (-10/-15 °), it is better to plant them in sheltered areas, where at least they are not swept by the icy wind. Currently there are cultivars that are particularly resistant to the cold. If you live in a particularly rigid area, it might be a good idea to consider orienting yourself towards these varieties.


oleandro Oleander is a plant that resists very well to drought (and for this reason is widely grown in low maintenance gardens or along the roads).

In fact, some modifications of the foliar stomata allow it to limit the loss of hydration.

This does not mean that the plant does not need to be watered regularly.

Even its name Nerium (from the Greek “neros” or “water”) indicates that to have a plant at its peak of splendor, irrigation must not be missing. In fact, in nature we find it right in the vicinity of waterways.

Obviously, potted plants suffer more. In winter they can be kept fairly dry, but from spring to autumn they need a lot of moisture.

If you want to get the best from them it is even advisable, in the hottest months, to fill the saucer daily with water.

This attention is less important if the plant is grown in the ground. Having very deep roots (sometimes almost as long as the aerial part) does not require frequent irrigation. This does not prevent us, especially if we live in particularly dry areas, to intervene a little more during the summer.


Propagation may be by cutting, layering, offshoot, seed or grafting.

Reproduction by sowing is feasible, but given the long time it takes to obtain a good size plant, it is only used if new varieties are to be obtained. The most used method, because it is simple and fast, is the cuttings, to be made in late spring.

It can be done by inserting a semi-woody branch into the sand. In a few weeks we will see the roots grow. An alternative, also this rapid, consists in putting a branch in a bottle of water and exposing it to the sun. When we see well developed roots, it will be time to transfer the new plant to a pot.


oleandro Oleander is a widespread and beloved plant. For this reason you can find many different cultivars and over the years have been introduced new colors and shapes of the flower.

For example, today it is easy to find in nurseries specimens with double flowers or bright yellow or salmon.

However, many still prefer simple flowers. This is because full-flowered varieties have the disadvantage of not being self-cleaning. This means that the flower usually dries or rots on the branch forcing the gardener to intervene periodically. Plants with a simple flower, on the other hand, drop their petals and therefore the specimens always look clean.

Hybridizers have not only focused on aesthetic qualities. More cold-resistant varieties have been created, some of which are particularly small in size.

Some cultivars particularly resistant to cold are: Blanc, Provence, Villa Romaine, Italy, Pink beauty, Luteum plenum, Madame de Billy, Margaritha, Osiris, grandiflorum, cheyenne, navajo. Dr. Attilio Ragioneri.

And here are some dwarf varieties, more suitable for pot cultivation. The maximum height they reach is 1.50 m:

Petite Salmon, Moshav, Hardy Red, Oasis, Red Beauty, Angiolo Pucci, Caro, Fiesta Pienk, Fiesta Rodi.

Some particularly fragrant varieties have also been selected, especially during the hottest hours of the day

Agnes Campbell, album plenum, Eugenia Fowler, grandiflorum, Luteum plenum, Madame Allen, Magnolia Willis Sealy, Navajo, Mont Blanc, Mrs Burton.

Oleander – Nerium oleander: Medicinal properties

Oleander is an entirely poisonous plant. The poison is found in all its parts, but especially in the leaves and bark. Poisoning causes gastroenteritis, vomiting, fever, diarrhoea, irregular heartbeat and death.

Care must therefore be taken when touching the leaves, cutting branches or repotting. Also pay attention when children or animals are present.

There are many legends about the poisonousness of oleander.

It is already present in the Metamorphoses of Apuleius. The protagonist, turned into a donkey, mistakes him for a rose and is about to eat it, but, fortunately, at the last minute he notices the difference and desists from his intent.

It is also said that sleeping on a bed of oleander leaves was the cause of death or serious poisoning for an entire brigade of French soldiers during the Algerian war.

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