Nerium Oleander

Oleander shrubs prefer full sun but tolerate some shade. More sun means more flowers. Plants grown in containers should have well-drained soil. Water your oleander regularly, but let the soil dry out between waterings. Keeping the soil damp can cause the leaves to turn yellow. Be particularly careful not to overwater in the winter, which promotes root rot. A truly beautiful addition to a patio or deck, it’s best to minimize the amount of time it spends indoors, so try to leave it out in the cold until the temperature goes below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, and bring it back out as soon as it warms up in spring.

There are multiple poisonous elements to oleander. All of its parts—the flowers, leaves, stems, sap, etc.—are toxic, even when they’re dried or burned. The plant is a potent source of cardiac glycosides, which can cause irregular heart activity. Even eating a single leaf or drinking water from a vase with an oleander flower can be lethal to a small child, though the mortality rate is generally low in humans.

Oleander can affect animals in the same way based on their size and how much they ingest. Poisonings typically occur in farm animals, such as cows and horses, when they are allowed to graze in areas where oleander is present. Plus, dogs and cats can be poisoned when they are allowed to investigate an oleander plant on someone’s property. Even wild birds succumb to the plant’s toxicity.

If you do choose to keep oleander on your property, make sure no children or pets can come in contact with it. Also, wear long sleeves, pants, and gloves when working with your shrub, and wash your hands afterward.



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