Where to plant Oleanders

Janet(5 SE MI)May 21, 2001

I have recently purchased 5 Oleanders and have heard conficting stories. Are they trees or shrubs. I wanted to plant them against the house in a bed. Then I heard they can get to be 15 ft. tall. Should I plant them in the open so they have room to grow? or can you keep them trimmed to about 3ft? Any advice would be nice.

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Plant them where animals can't get to them if there's any possibility they will try to eat any part of it. Oleanders are very poisonous.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2001 at 1:05PM
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I will tell u this about oleanders....1.they seek out water and will get into your sewer lines, had this happen to someone twice here and what a mess...2.dont plant next to your house, their roots grow like crazy and once those oleanders are settled, u cant kill them..i had someone try to pull one out because it was on a property line, and he used a Bobcat and dug 2-3 feet to dig it up and couldnt.
have to say there very heat and drought resistant, i remember when i was younger my mom tried to kill these great big ones by pouring every chemical on them, and those things seemed to grow even more..lol they are all over the place, even the freeways...anyways just telling u what i know..

    Bookmark   May 24, 2001 at 1:48PM
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I live on Galveston Island. We have them all over the place. Yes, they are poisonous, but I grew up with them, crawled in them, whittled the branches and I am still walking. I just never ate any of the plant parts :)
You can grow them as a sort of a tree by taking three or four branches when they are small and twist them around each other. As they grow prune the side branches and you will end up with a tree like oleander.
Yes, once they get started you need nuclear weapons to get rid of them. If you want them as large bushes then when they get too tall, prune the tops. They can be pruned back severly and before long they are growning again. Last year the city pruned all the oleanders from the causeway over Galveston Bay to 61st street and I thought they were crazy. Folks wrote the newspaper complaining, but now they are getting big again. Before long the cars will start hitting the branches as they stick over the roadway.
The fragrance is great, almost as nice as plumeria.
You can control them so give it a try.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2001 at 10:21AM
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Find the reciept and return them, they don't seem to do well with age, get bigger than necessary, and are POISONESS!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2001 at 5:23PM
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In Sydney I live on the corner of Oleander Pde and
Buraneer Bay Rd (which is really busy). We used to have Oleander trees all
the way down the street but they've all been cut down now. I dont know
about the neighbours, but the reason we cut ours down was because it was a
b*gger trying to get your footy or tennis ball out of them as Oleanders have
a very complex branch and leaf system.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2001 at 9:32AM
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I agree with Monty above. It was the worst thing I ever did planting Oleanders. My kids were losing balls left, right and centre. It cost me a fortune in replacement tennis balls and footballs. My advice? Sell them for what you can and plant lemon scented gums, they are really nice in the spring.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2001 at 9:55AM
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Hi Janet I`m afraid I don`t agree with Anne-Marie, Monty, or Angus (unless you`re concerned about lost tennis balls or like to eat your shrubs ;-) They`re all over the place here in Tucson, Arizona, and I love them! Once established, need almost no watering (though will continue to flower for an extended period of time if you do - white, pink, red...) Here, they seem to do fine with age -and if they get bigger than necessary, cut them to where you want them. The house I owned for 7 yrs. had some that were probably already 20 yrs old when I moved in , and between my house and the neighbors, we kept them around 8 ft tall for privacy. Along the street, I kept those around 6 ft tall, and planted a few more to extend the screen. The guest house that I rent now is screened from the street by them. Sure, they`re poisonous, but so are a lot of things (I believe rhubarb leaves are poisonous, as well as some house plants). So if you want a low maintenance plant that flowers for a long time , is very fragrant, and makes a great screen, I`d say go for it. If still undecided, find some in your neighborhood and ask the owners. I expect they`ll tell you the same thing! Just don`t eat it, or use it for a tennis backboard! ;-)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2001 at 5:39AM
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Hi Janet,

While the advice of John was interesting, it was also very misinformed. For starters John, the use of tennis balls is for a scaled down version of cricket to be played in any suburban back or front yard, not for an actual game of tennis (or as you said "tennis backboard" which I have never heard of). Just to enlighten you, a cricket ball is quite heavy and can break windows when used in a backyard cricket game. To avoid this, a tennis ball is used instead, often with half of it wrapped in electrical tape to create "swing" if bowled correctly. A glaring error I would like to point out is that Mr Parisi mentions that his oleanders were between six and eight feet tall. Now I ask you, whin did you last see a cricket game being played with the boundary fence between six and eight feet tall? Never. It's just plain ridiculous. Janet, cast your mind back to any match, limited or test, being played at the MCG and think how many sixes you can recall. While I don't know the exact figure I can tell you they are very thin on the ground due to the pure size of the place. And how big is the boundary fence at the MCG? Just over waist height. So as you can imagine, if the MCG had a boundary fence of eight feet Oleander shrubs, sixes would be nigh on impossible and it would be bad for cricket. The only way I could see six runs being scored in this scenario is when a boundary is hit but the batter manages to run six because the poor fielder is having so much trouble retrieving the ball from the oleanders, as previously stated they have an extremely complex branch system. Another possible negative which is more down to human social behaviour rather than cricket is the crowd behaviour. You don't need to think too hard to realise what might happen if you had a rowdy and extremely drunken Bay 13 getting frustrated because they can't see much of the game due to the eight foot high oleander tree boundary fences. It only takes one inebriated wahoo to set his cigarette lighter to a shrub and you've got a bit of an emergency on your hands. Think about it John - oleanders are a no no. Hope I've been of some help. Monty.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2001 at 6:45AM
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Another one from Tucson, great here and if too big plant the miniatures, top out at about 6 ft max

    Bookmark   July 27, 2001 at 11:34PM
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I live on the coast, not far from Galveston. Every year I look forward to the oleander sale held there by the international oleander society. They offer some very rare varieties which I always look forward to adding to my collection. Oleanders are beautiful, some fragrant, some not, and come in all sizes (some miniature and some very large).

Here is a link that might be useful: International Oleander Society

    Bookmark   July 29, 2001 at 10:42AM
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I live in Las Vegas and in our condominium complex oleanders are everywhere! In some areas they are used for privacy, other areas they block the noise from the highway. They flower beautifully most of the year and are virtually maintenance free. I have seen them quite tall and some owners have trimmed theirs down to bush size and they still look very attractive. Often on early morning walks I have to "duck" as they grow over block walls and the flowering branches cascade above the walkway! They don't seem to be bothered by pests as other plants are and I just love to look at them, they really are attractive. I would just keep the end result in mind when planting them, as they can grow quite large. Also,in my horticulture classes we root them from cuttings, and they root quite easily. So if you see a color or different variety you really like, you can be a plant thief(asI am) and take a few cuttings for your yard.:)

    Bookmark   August 6, 2001 at 7:20PM
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my oleanders are probably 30yrs old + and aging quite well. they are easy to cut back and I'm slowly trying to train them into a tree form. They are beautiful in bloom and always seem to try and bloom around here. as you can see, people either love them or hate them. i say they have their purpose, easy to maintain (unpruned - they grow too fast to be considered low maintance if you want the flat top or button shapes) and can form a thick privacy screen quickly. don't plant them near the house or sewer lines, roots will damage pipes and if they ever caught on fire, the smoke would be so toxic that the fire dept may refuse to put it out. They can take full sun and tolerate heavy pruning as well. you may want to use them as a shade screen for the summer.

there is also a yellow or apricot oleander (although not a true oleander, just looks similar) that isn't as toxic, but is still on the poisioness list. they have been overused, esp. in commercial landscapeing, but that's no reason to miss out on them when you have a need for them or enjoy them.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2001 at 11:57AM
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Cenizo(z8a - TX)

Janet, I've used oleanders as wind breaks for years. My oldest line is probably 25 years old and going strong. I wouldn't plant them close to a building 'cause they spread out. They're tough but a long, hard freeze will kill them back. And then, next spring, here they come. Another plus, the deer won't eat them. Neither should you. Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2001 at 7:15AM
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miSago(z9 Fl Island)

use the dwarf varieties, not as winter hardy, but they do stay small and seem bloom more IMO

    Bookmark   September 6, 2001 at 12:54PM
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mikeandsonya(z5 NY)

Where to plant Oleanders?

    Bookmark   September 12, 2001 at 1:41PM
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I agree with all that was said above, especially Monty -
We Baron Von Munchausen's have to stick together.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2001 at 10:38PM
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OK guys, now I'm scared, what did I do! My oleanders are right in the front of my house, that means I got them too close? How severe is the threat of them getting into the sewer line if they are watered regularly and don't need extra water? I didn't realize they had such bad roots! But they are so beautiful!HELP!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2002 at 7:33PM
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I just planted Oleanders alongside an 80ft. fence. I couldn't think of anything better to block the veiw of my neighbor's "yard". I love anything that blooms all summer in Houston,and it sure was alot cheaper than putting up a wooden fence. I have the same problem with the neighbor on the other side. This is a rental property of ours that is zoned commercial/residential. My problem is that on the other side, the old chain-link fence is shaded. I would much rather plant something to block the view of the "junk-pile", but I'm not quite sure what will do it. I am originally from Tennessee,and there we would plant privot hedge. Any ideas? I also planted dwarf oleander alongside the house (pier and beam foundation) Am I doomed?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2002 at 8:26PM
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prattw(z8b Sunset 11)

Oleanders are shrubs, but they are _big_ shrubs. Most of the varieties in cultivation top out at 8 to 12 feet tall and about the same width. The wild form, and some of the older cultivars used for windbreaks top out at 20 x 20 feet. Such a plant placed in close proximity to a house would be a major headache, but nurseries don't generally sell such plants. 12 x 12 feet can be a lot of work to keep trimmed into a smaller space, though.

Dwarf oleanders are about 6 x 6 feet at full growth and can kept to 3 or 4 feet by pruning a couple of times a year. They are prone to getting leggy if you aren't careful to prune correctly, with the _bottom_ of the pruned plant widest. They are also prone to forming a thicket of suckers at the base: pull, don't cut suckers, unless you really like the look.

My advice would be to plant the dwarfs at least four feet from the house wall, so pruning doesn't get to be a battle with the vegetation. Standard plants should have a clearance of about 6 or 7 feet, and allow at least 10 feet for the really big cultivars.

All parts of the plant are poisonous, but the same is true, e.g., of _Nicotiana_ and many other commonly cultivated plants. The active ingredient is oleandrin, a glycoside that has a digitalis-like action on the heart muscle. The effects are nausea, vomiting, irregular heart action, and convulsions. In fatal cases the convulsions pass into a coma, followed by cessation of the heart beat. The smoke of the burning wood is toxic, and has been reported to cause skin irritation. The known fatal dose is about 4 ounces, so getting a fatal dose is unlikely, but a subfatal dose doesn't sound like my idea of fun. You certainly shouldn't burn the wood in your barbeque pit, fireplace or trash burner, use the branches as skewers, or chew on the leaves. Pets have died from chewing the leaves on occasion: if yours are given to chewing plants, don't use oleander where they can get at it. And children have been made seriously ill by sucking the nectar from the flowers. It would be smart to wear long sleeved shirt and jeans, with long gloves and eye protection when doing major pruning, and wash the clothes before wearing them again.

What it comes down to in the end is: Are _your_ pets given to chewing leaves? Are _your_ children likely to suck the nectar, eat the flowers or chew on the leaves after being warned? The roots are no more invasive than those of eucalypts or willows, but it is inadviseable to plant any of those close to drains.

Will Pratt

    Bookmark   March 22, 2002 at 2:36PM
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debbysunshine(san diego)

I have always had Oleanders in every house cause they cause no troubles and never die. We have them way up on a hill near the fence line, minimal water and they flower. Bloom all summer in the heat. Many of our plants are poison but have never met anyone who got sick. Plant in well drained soil with plenty of space cause they spread.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2002 at 9:05PM
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MagicGarden(z8 Redding, CA)

Did this thread really start a year ago? LOL! We have them all over here... we call them freeway plants. Mostly they are used as fencing (and yes, freeway dividers) but I don't think I've much seen them by the house. The freeway ones are pruned down to about 4 feet tall every year and are 12 feet again in no time.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2002 at 8:38PM
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More reasons to hate oleanders: their blooms atract bugs, mainly ants, and then turn into a nasty, sticky brown mop and hang around forever. Once they finally dry out and fall off you end up having to rake them up several times a year, if you live in a warm climate.
Put them in containers, if you must have them, that way you don't have to try to dig them out when you realize the true horror of being an oleander owner.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2002 at 2:03PM
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itsame(Z 11)

How often should you water Oleander Trees that are about a year old?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2002 at 12:53PM
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hummer_858(z8 AZ)

This is kind of an old post...but I'm only getting to it today. We just moved here to Arizona almost a year ago. During summer I bought and planted 3 oleanders!! Love the looks of them myself. I knew they were poisonous....but had no idea about all the rest of this stuff!!! Man I hope I'm not doomed!! lol

    Bookmark   October 16, 2002 at 3:12PM
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We've just had an ordinance passed in our city, "The Horse Capital of the World" that out-laws every oleander plant in the entire city. We've had too many of our beloved horses die from this nightmarish plant. Some of the older ones have been "grandfathered" from the new law but folks around here who love their horses have dug them up anyway. What a mess they are and definitely not worth the planting. There are so many beautiful flowering shrubs, why deal with such a headache?

    Bookmark   December 5, 2002 at 12:10AM
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Oleanders are a trash plant.
Water them well with every kind of weed killer you can obtain.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2002 at 11:45PM
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I'm surprised that no body mentioned that alot of people are alergic to oleanders. When they are in bloom (which seems like all year!) they make everybody sneeze and cough.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2002 at 11:34PM
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Oh well, I'm still alive with my oleanders, the ones you scared me about last year! They thrive, my sewer lines are untouched(yet)and oleanders are getting ready to bloom! Frost smudged them a bit but they are coming back after I severely pruned them. I can't help it, I just like 'em a lot!

1 Like    Bookmark   March 18, 2003 at 7:38AM
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Wow, what a lot of information. I just planted two oleanders next to my confederate jasmine. I did not know that these plants are poisonous. Great website. That information just might be of some help. I know now not to try to lick on these leaves. I am very happy though. I wanted a flowering plant that grows like crazy and I like the hard work of pruning. I am very excited now to see what these little plants will do. I hate not loving something that has such a passion for life like this little plant seems to have.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2003 at 12:14AM
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harleylady(PNW/USDA 8b/Sunset 6)

I used to hate them before I built a house in the desert. Now I love anything that gives me greenery and flowers with minimal water since we don't have any water system and I have to buy all my water by the tanker truckload. My Northwest garden can get 3" of rain in a few hours, here we are lucky to get 3" a year! It is very precious...

    Bookmark   April 16, 2003 at 7:37PM
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eileenaz(9, Sunset 12)

I doubt if I'll bring anything new to this thread, but here's my $.02 anyhow.
As long as it's not the &$*%@#^ Florida, or yellow oleander, which is always dropping blooms, leaves, branches, and something or other and rots the second it hits the ground and draws snails and slugs and all sorts of gross stuff, oleanders can be a real salvation in an arid climate. They are poisonous, and more problematic to folks who are allergic, which is CLINICALLY TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM POISONING. My mother tells the story about when we'd first moved to Tucson, she'd been told that oleanders were poison and not to be eaten, and she walked out back one day to see my sis and me (ages 4 & 6) chewing on oleander leaves. We didn't have a reaction to it, fortunately, probably didn't swallow any of it either. I've not had any ill effects from trimming them back, never thought to use gloves. Most plants that green and yet drought-tolerant shouldn't be planted too closely to buildings- probably has invasive roots, which is how it manages to survive. When they get all leggy, cut 'em back and they come back, they have pretty blooms, and they can cover a multitude of butt-ugly neighbors' yards. They're good sound blocks, too. They also help keep buildings and yards cooler because of the shade they provide, which can be important in hot climates.
BTW- Thanks, Monty and Angus, for setting the record straight about the tennis backstops. ;-)
One more thing- firefighters will too put out burning oleanders- that's part of their job, for crying out loud! If they'll put out a burning building full of materials that crank out tons of toxic smoke and fumes they aren't going to pull up short and let an oleander hedge burn.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2003 at 11:23AM
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Garnet150, oleander DO NOT put out airborne pollen. Plants that have large, colorful flowers are polinated through beas, butterflies, ect and have heavy sticky pollen-not the kind that is airborne. The reason many people think they pollinate is that they sneeze when they get near them. Oleanders get so big and have such big leaves that pollen from other airborn pollinating trees lands on the oleanders. When you walk by you become sensative to the other plants pollen, not the oleander.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2003 at 7:02PM
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farmerjohn7(z10 AZ)

Is there another suitable hedge besides Oleander to provide a screen and sound barrier? My neighbor has horses that may reach over the fence and eat them. What is the best distance from a fence to plant Oleander?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2004 at 9:43PM
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angeles13(z9 Phx dtwn)

I have to say Oleanders should never be planted in neighborhoods. 45 feet of sewer line is completely destroyed by their roots. I am digging up roots 14" down from the surface that are 2 inches in diameter.

Definately not a plant that is very good. Very poisenous, toxic, and very destructive!!!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2004 at 2:14AM
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what about zone7.. will that kill them?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2004 at 9:52AM
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I live in Spain and we also get them everywhere including along motorways! I think it is the staple plant of the region.

I have just recently planted 22 large specimens to try and get a quicker hedge to hide my neighbour's garden. Also last year I planted a few small ones in various parts of the garden.

Unfortunately when I fed them with a general fertilizer last month (the small ones that I planted last year), as the weather was becoming springlike, they all went brown and blotchy and now over half are dead! I think the lesson to be learnt here is just leave them alone unless they look starved of nutrients.

I have seen some examples in Spain which are yellowing which is what initially prompted me to feed them as a preventative measure. As I am only a new resident to Spain coming from England (where we never see them) I am still learning by trial and error.

Another symptom I seem to be getting on a small number of plants is a pale yellowing in the middle of the leaves. I think it is either the heavy and prolonged rains that we have had recently or the compost is too rich. I'm not sure but obviously less intervention rather than more appears to suit these plants best.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2004 at 12:20PM
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Oleanders are a native of Anatolia, now known as Turkey. Although some horses may have eaten oleanders, there have been oleanders and horses in Turkey far longer than the US and they haven't had much of a problem with them. I live in Florida and never water my oleanders, even during drought season which can be harsh and they always look good. Do people really go around licking leaves in the yard? Hey, if you want a good hedge plant that isn't poisonous, go for a bamboo. Heck, you can even get some that are quite edible if you must snack on your yard.

Yes, I do believe oleanders will die in zone 7.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2004 at 9:10PM
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Harley Lady those lovely plants were MEANT for serious desert landscaping.Freeway dividers too. I have this neighbor who acquired his house form his late mother. He obviously got the house cheap and didn't care to care for it....I have oleanders between he and I.Alot of people use them for fences that have lots of acreage. I would not plant then with my goofy dogs/curious kids in the back yard however.PJ

    Bookmark   July 9, 2004 at 7:47PM
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FrFTT(Montreal, Canad)

I have an ooeander plant I keep outside during the summer.
However, we get extremly cold weather and piles of snow
in Montreal, Canada.We have to take them indoors during the winter because of severe frost. Can they just stay in an ordinary room with daylight and withn electric light during the evening? Or, should I, as I have been told, put them in a cool dark place until the spring.

I hope someone can help me with this.


    Bookmark   November 30, 2004 at 7:07PM
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I myself have never grown them indoors but they are used as house plants in some parts of the US ..."The House Plant Epert" by Dr. DG Hessayon also suggest an unheated room for winter ( 45 F minimum ) ... I would think keeping it in a warmer room would require adequate light and water ... but to illuminate the whole canopy may require more light then you think in your area of the world.

Good Day ...

    Bookmark   December 3, 2004 at 9:48PM
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roo2000(AZ 13 PhxMetro)

And just to throw a wrench in the whole thing, we're starting to see oleander scorch in Phoenix.

Here is a link that might be useful: Oleander Scorch

    Bookmark   December 4, 2004 at 7:44PM
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Hello roo ..

Thats interesting ... I don't believe it has been reported in Southern Nevada ... I will have to keep my eyes open for it.

Good Day ...

    Bookmark   December 4, 2004 at 9:07PM
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mesquiteent(z6b WestTX)

I'm in Zone 7B, and oleanders are mostly hardy here. The red ones do fine, so those are the only ones that we bother with. Somtimes the other colors will come back, but it seems to take them a lot longer. I don't know how hardy they are in 7A, though...

    Bookmark   January 17, 2005 at 8:27PM
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God I wish they only grew 15 feet tall! When we bought our house last fall, they were 15 feet wide! We gained easily 12 feet of yard by cutting cutting cutting like we were bushwacking in the jungle. These plants are by all accounts 60+ years old, dating back to the original subdivision in the 1930s. Most trunks are 6 to 9 inches in diameter (not circumference), and they are easily 25 feet tall, and the top half of that growth that just in the last 5 years (the former owner kept them trimmed to 12-15 feet high, before he got to frail to do so). Of course, they were planted not only parallel to the sewer line, but along the "trough" on the side of the yard where the canal irrigation flows -- basically water was the least of their concerns!

As a result, we've had the same sewer problems noted -- paid $200+ after moving in when the sewer stopped running, and already it's slowing down again.

Worst problem, though, was the trash in the interior. I didn't find any cricket balls :) but there was 4+ feet of dead leaves, fallen branches, etc. crammed into the core of the plants -- a major fire hazard, but also a haven for rats, roaches, termites, etc. Our neighbor was complaining when we cleared out the trash -- "I'm losing my privacy!" (the plants are entirely on our property) -- and I asked whether he'd rather have 4 feet of fire fuel and termite food left along his property line, near his house and garage. He's been mum since.

Bottom line -- they look great on other people's property.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2005 at 4:29PM
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I have come to really dislike Oleanders. We bought a 1960's house with 4 very established white oleanders. Aside from them being poisonous, they are also messy, grow back way too fast, and leak sticky white poisonous sap every time you prune. Unless you like to prune year round and sweep and rake and get rid of countless branches, leaves and spent flowers all of which are sticky, oh and unless you have no allergies too, don't get an Oleander! On a scale of one to ten, they are a 6 for allergies. Not too bad, but they get huge and unruly. My husband spent all day cutting one down, and it took five separate exhausting yard waste bins to get rid of most of the waste from it (one per week). It's already grown back to 5' x 5' in those five weeks. So annoying. I usually like drought tolerant plants. I think theyre great for freeways, but suck for backyards unless you have an acre to spare.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 10:40PM
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maybe a silly question but can the roots travel to a swimming pool and crash through the plaster walls?

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 11:40AM
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I was planning on planting oleanders next to may house and letting them grow to about 10 feet but i beleive everyones conversation has changed my mind. (For one, my septic tank is actually inside where I marked off for onr of my flowerbed). I like that they are evergreen, they get fairly tall, and they have a very long blooming season. I live in east alabama (zone 7) and the front side of my house does not get a lot of sun. What could I use as an alternative to oleanders?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 4:06PM
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sweet_betsy No AL Z7


On the north side of my house I am able to grow hydrangea macrophylla, abelia, oakleaf hydrangea, azaleas, aucuba and
nandina. Perhaps one of these will work for you. After reading this thread I believe that I will plant the red oleander that I've always wanted further from my house.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 7:19AM
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Hi-my boyfriend just arrived at my California desert home from eastern Canada for a visit. I have huge oleander bushes that border my property. He has been coughing and sniffing since he came here-I was wondering if this is an allergy from the oleanders-Robbie

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 9:26PM
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Does anyone know if it is safe to plant veggies and herbs near oleanders?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 10:42PM
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I am new to Oleanders and I am glad I read the forum before I planted my oleander. I put it in a large pot to keep it from taking over the area that I planted it in and if I decide I don't like it I won't have to worry about killing it. I put it on my patio and it gets sun during the hottest part of the day. That is the afternoon and evening sun. The plant lost its blooms about a week after I planted it and has not bloomed again (that was about 2-3 weeks ago). Although, there are small buds that look like it might bloom again. Is there something I need to do to that will help it bloom again? This year is one of the hottest years on record, up to 108 degrees so far and no hint of cooling down. Could the heat be affecting it? Althought, the crape myrtles are blooming very pretty this year they are wilting because of the heat. How often should I water the Oleander? I am worried that I am watering it to much because it has been so hot this year. I have been watering it almost every morning. It is in a pot so I am going to only water it every other day and see if it is OK. Are Oleanders as hearty as Crape Myrtles? I love the Crape Myrtles because the hotter it gets the better they bloom. How do Oleanders compare to Crape Myrtles, as Crape Myrtles are difficult to kill, love the sun, and can be cut up like a tree? How is the care different, besides Oleanders being poisonous? Thanks for any info about how to get my Oleander to grow strong.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 12:50AM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Robbie, unlikely it was the oleander. They do not produce that much pollen. It was probably something else.

Steishii, I not only plant near my oleanders, I plant vegetables in dirt that oleander mulch has been added to. No ill effects, and the squash and tomatoes don't taste like oleander sap (don't ask).

Okieplants, I have never seen an oleander grown in a pot. Their roots need space. If you purchased a dwarf variety, it might live in the pot, but I don't think it would do well. Oleanders bloom once a year, but they have an extended period of bloom. Oleanders are tougher than Crape Myrtles, I believe, but they are subject to a blight introduced by a sucking insect. Once they get this blight, called Oleander Leaf Scorch, that's it- they die.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 8:54PM
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I have a big beautiful oleander in the back corner of the yard. I don't have a problem with it nor a question about it exactly. I always thought lantana would grow anywhere so I planted some near this oleander. The lantana did not grow. I kept the oleander clipped so the lantana had full sun. I just wondered if the oleander is the reason the lantana did not grow.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 7:54PM
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jkom51(Z9 CA/Sunset 17)

Jorjie, it's difficult for other plants to become established when competing against a plant that has 'greedy' surface roots. I've actually had more success planting near - not right up against the trunk, but close by - oleanders than I've had planting close to liquidambers (sweetgums). It's probably a combination of allelopathy and lack of water.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 12:37PM
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I just purchased a few oleanders from a local nursery. The owner told me they were called Christmas Cheer, but I cannot find any information about such a variety. Is there such a variety and what are the characteristics? I want to make sure I don't plant them in a place where they will cause problems later. He said they are a dwarf variety and will only get 6-8 feet tall. Also, will I be able to take cuttings from these? He didn't have any more and I need to make a long hedge for a screen. Also, is this variety hardy here in central AL?
Great blog-Thx!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 8:38PM
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I have four oleander bushes in a row and they are approx. 6-8 years old, and about 7-8 feet tall +/- Only (1) of the bushes the stems are sagging. The others have the same height, but are not sagging. It appears that the flowers are weighing this bush down. Is that a serious thing to worry about or can I just cut off the flowers and not thwart anymore growth?


    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 12:21PM
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Lady Harley - The sagging will not hurt the plant.

Cutting off the flowers will slow the growth down. The flowers are produced on the growing tip of the plant.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 2:34PM
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I live in the Charleston SC area. We have Oleanders all over the place here. They are down along the Battery where you walk, just all over the place. I noticed them when I first moved here and fell in love with them. The flowers are blooming forever, the smell is amazing as are the different colors. There are so many things in life to be worried about and I do not think this is one of them. Like someone said in one of the earlier messages, leaves on rubarb plants are poisenious. As a little girl, I grew up picking Rubarb and I am almost 50 and still alive and going strong. It is like everything else in life, education...We just added another section to our front porch and there just happens to be an oleander right at the end. It is small only about 3' but we are planning to keep it right where it is, close to the porch and house. I have already trimmed it back and we are probably going to take one large branch off the back. It really is no big deal to keep these pruned to where you want them. Just think of it as therapy. lol....If it is a plant that you enjoy, go ahead and ask questions and do your homework, but like I said if you like it than run with it.....just don't eat it or play ball around it. lolol....I was shocked to read a couple of responses where people actually were getting angry over a game or loosing things... PEOPLE, PICK AND CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES.....this is just a plant for goodness sake...ENJOY the OLEANDER....

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 12:04PM
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I notice Oleanders by pools, but after reading some of the post I am wondering why people plant them so close to pools, if their roots somehow find their way to sewers.(?)
Does anyone have any suggestions. I planted four about 3-4 feet from our pool next to our fence...for privacy.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 11:28AM
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Interesting thread, 11 years old! I planted a tree-like oleander in a big huge pot this past summer and also got a bush-like one which I brought in for winter. The tree doesn't looks so happy right now but it's been through some blizzards and cold weather. It loved its sunny spot this past summer. The bush seems to be hanging tight. Only place I had to put it is by a west-facing window.

Just to clarify some spelling: POISONOUS, DEFINITELY, CREPE MYRTLE. Also folks watch your possessives and your plurals! Please forgive . . . couldn't help it . . . Pat

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 4:54PM
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I am new at planting and have tried several types of perennials and annuals throughout my 5 years of homeownership. I planted a Dwarf Holly Burford which was only less than a foot tall about 3 years ago and it grew 5 feet high and wide. I just transplanted it a week ago and it died. Therefore, I went and purchased some Orleanders today and got them for 1/2 price due to a pricing error (yeay me). I planted two about 4 feet away from my japanese boxwoods and 6 feet away from my garden but only 2 feet away from my house. After planting, I came online to do some research on caring for them and found this thread. I'm concerned about the distance now from my house and from my other shrubs and the fact that I planted 2 about 1 foot apart. Should I dig them up? They are currently 2-3 feet tall now. I also planted 1 at the back of my yard about 3 feet away from my fence and about 15 feet away from my children's playset. Should I worry? My children are 8 and know not to eat plants or go near these as they are poisonous (didn't know at time of purchase). How long do they take to get as big as the ones you all speak of? They appear to be the reddish/pinkish colored type.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 11:02PM
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west_texas_peg(8a West Cen TX)

I have grown oleanders for many years in zone 7b...have white, red, and pink. A really cold Winter will kill them back but I trim back and before long they are just as tall as the previous years. Great plant.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 12:22AM
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This thread is very interesting to me. I have an oleander that is minimum 40 years old.

I live in the northwest corner of IL. My wife says zone 5...4. We inherited this plant that is now in about a 5 gallon pot.

Came from my mother who got it from my grandmother who came from Italy. I don't know where she got the plant.

It is beautiful...about 6' tall and 2-3' wide. My wife brings it in every fall before freezing and leaves it by a sunny window.

She has pruned it and given it plant food on occasion. She is going to replant it in a bigger pot soon...says it is root bound.

I am interested in how old these plants can live to. The leaves have been used as alternative medicine to alleviate cancer and various other terminal illnesses.

Any other info would be appreciated.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 5:53PM
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Oleander can live for 100's of years. Many early settlers brought small plants or cutting with them when they came to the new world.
The very old type of oleander seem to be the hardiest ones but sadly many have been lost because of WW1 and WW2. A friend just discovered one several years ago at a neighbors house. It was in a pot like yours. He had gotten a cutting from a relative. No one was able to fine out what oleander it was so he got to name it Firestarter. It is now for sale all over Europe and traded by collectors here.
Do you know the name of your plant? If it is one I don't have I would love to buy a few cuttings from you.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 4:17PM
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If oleanders are what you people say they are, we should plant them along the Mexico-USA border. We can eliminate the Border Patrol in that area. I have six that I have had for 6 or 7 years and have no problem other than leaves falling but they look rather good against a deep
green St. Augustine

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 3:56PM
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Whatsup, I like your Border Patrol idea. Might work if planted thick enough ;o). I'm new to any kind of forum so hope I get a response. I've just purchased 5 red oleanders to plant along property line after neighbors had to cut all trees down. Sounds like the perfect spot for these oleanders as they'll get plenty of sunshine. I purchased these from a nurseryman roadside but did not get the variety name. Should I want to get more of these, I'd like to find out what variety I have. Do I have any hope should the nurseryman be unavailable or of no use information-wise?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 11:37AM
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Whatsup, I like your Border Patrol idea. Might work if planted thick enough ;o). I'm new to any kind of forum so hope I get a response. I've just purchased 5 red oleanders to plant along property line after neighbors had to cut all trees down. Sounds like the perfect spot for these oleanders as they'll get plenty of sunshine. I purchased these from a nurseryman roadside but did not get the variety name. Should I want to get more of these, I'd like to find out what variety I have. Do I have any hope should the nurseryman be unavailable or of no use information-wise?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 11:38AM
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I am growing Oleanders since 2000 and I dunno, I heard of all the horror stories with invading sewers etc. They might be true, I just did not have any trouble yet and I have two very large oleanders at the front of the house and two dividing my lot from the neighbor's. They are extremely beautiful, hardy plants, resistant to most pest and all I do is prune them back halfway once blooms are done. They basically bloom from May to late summer here. Can be pruned earlier if they overgrow the boundaries. I like them, really, they are very pretty and I don't plan on eating any of the plant to poison myself. Yet. :D

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 9:26PM
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