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Nerium oleander - L.

Common Name Oleander, Rose Bay
Family Apocynaceae
USDA hardiness 9-11
Known Hazards The whole plant is very poisonous[1, 19, 65]. Skin contact with the plant can cause irritation whilst ingestion of only one leaf has led to death in children[200, 274]. Death has been known to follow the use of the wood of this plant as a meat skewer[200].
Habitats River banks and river gravels in Europe[50].
Range S.W. Europe to E. Asia.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Frost Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Nerium oleander Oleander, Rose Bay

Nerium oleander Oleander, Rose Bay


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Bloom Color: Orange, Pink, Red, White, Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Early fall, Early spring, Early winter, Late summer, Late fall, Late spring, Late winter, Mid summer, Mid fall, Mid spring, Mid winter. Form: Rounded, Vase.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Nerium oleander is an evergreen Shrub growing to 4 m (13ft) by 4 m (13ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 8. It is in leaf all year, in flower from June to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


N. indica. N. odorum.

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Hedge;

Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Cancer  Cardiotonic  Diaphoretic  Diuretic  Emetic  Expectorant  Leprosy  Parasiticide  
Resolvent  Skin  Sternutatory

The leaves and the flowers are cardiotonic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, expectorant and sternutatory[7, 147, 218]. A decoction of the leaves has been applied externally in the treatment of scabies[7], and to reduce swellings[240]. This is a very poisonous plant, containing a powerful cardiac toxin[240], and should only be used with extreme caution[7, 147]. The root is powerfully resolvent. Because of its poisonous nature it is only used externally. It is beaten into a paste with water and applied to chancres and ulcers on the penis[240]. An oil prepared from the root bark is used in the treatment of leprosy and skin diseases of a scaly nature[240]. The whole plant is said to have anticancer properties[218].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

The Bookshop: Edible Plant Books

Our Latest books on Perennial Plants For Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens in paperback or digital formats.

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Other Uses

Dye  Hedge  Hedge  Insecticide  Latex  Parasiticide  Soil stabilization

The plant is used as a rat poison[46], a parasiticide[7] and an insecticide[100]. The pounded leaves and bark are used as an insecticide[272]. A green dye is obtained from the flowers[168]. The plant is commonly used for informal hedging in the Mediterranean[89, 200], though it is too tender for this use in Britain[K]. The leaves contain small amounts of latex that can be used to make rubber[227], though the amount is too small for commercial utilization[K]. The plants have an extensive root system and are often used to stabilize soil in warmer areas[148].

Special Uses

Food Forest  Hedge  Hedge  Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Hedge, Massing, Screen, Standard, Seashore, Specimen, Street tree. Prefers a heavy soil[49]. Prefers a light soil according to another report[202]. Requires a position in full sun[49, 184]. Prefers a fertile well-drained soil[200]. Lime tolerant[200, 202]. Plants are very tolerant of heat and also of drought once they are established[166]. Grows well in maritime gardens, tolerating salt-laden winds[200]. This species is not very hardy in Britain, though plants tolerate temperatures down to -5°c and short periods of temperatures down to -10°c[184, 200, 260]. A popular greenhouse pot plant that can be grown outdoors in the summer, it can be grown outdoors all year round in the milder areas such as Cornwall[1, 260]. A very ornamental plant[1], there are many named varieties[200, 260]. Plants are shy to flower when grown outdoors[49, 59]. The flowers have a soft sweet perfume[245]. Special Features: Not North American native, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Fragrant flowers, Blooms are very showy. In garden design, as well as the above-ground architecture of a plant, root structure considerations help in choosing plants that work together for their optimal soil requirements including nutrients and water. The root pattern is branching: a heart root, dividing from the crown into several primary roots going down and out [2-1].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plant Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse[113]. Do not use seed from pods infected with the bacterial disease 'oleander knot'[113]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter before planting them out in early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe side shoots, August/September in a frame. Good percentage[78]. Cuttings of mature leading shoots[1].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Native Plant Search

Search over 900 plants ideal for food forests and permaculture gardens. Filter to search native plants to your area. The plants selected are the plants in our book 'Plants For Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens, as well as plants chosen for our forthcoming related books for Tropical/Hot Wet Climates and Mediterranean/Hot Dry Climates. Native Plant Search

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Gynerium sagittatumUva GrassPerennial4.0 10-12 FLMHNMWeWa023

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


Links / References

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Readers comment

Marie Roberts   Sat May 06 13:41:22 2000

We live in Lake Havasu Az. and have alot of Oleander bushes around the yard of the house we just bought... I have never heard of this problem before we moved here, but just about every one is telling us to keep the dog away from the bushes because they are loaded with ticks..These bushes are all over town... Why would people plant a bush that draws ticks...??

Vincent Martinez   Sat Dec 7 22:44:17 2002

Link: Botanical http://www.botanical-online.com/fotosneriumoleander.htm

Mary Sisson   Sun Sep 26 21:21:35 2004

Do you have any names or numbers of people in the US that sell Oleander Bushes, my brother would like to ask some questions regarding them, he has been selling a few and wanted more info on other sellers. Thank You

Dolores williams   Sat Sep 23 2006

I've had 3 nerium oleander mini-bushes and for some reason they have not bloomed for the past 18 mos. the leaves are green and small shoots appear, but never color. I would appreciate any information or help you could give me. D. WILLIAMS -

claudia   Thu Jun 14 2007

have u tried feeding it and giving it enough water? also make sure its get a lot of sun. maybe it needs also to get itself established. if not try miving to another location.hope this helps let me know otherwise

   Thu Jul 19 2007

Ive also got one tree that has not bloomed this year but the leafs are turning green and falling off any help would be great thanks

s.k.raja   Thu Sep 20 2007

hai every body, my name is s.k.raja. i am living in india. i would like to sell nerium oleander leafes. if you wanted , please contact.

google selling oleander

Karint KorngKar NymPh - Ms.   Fri Oct 12 2007

I need more cost and some people to join to develope my products " LunarCot's Mice Beater " which made from Nerium Oleander. This product is well known, popular and be talk of the town in Thailand, Japan, and the SEA. Please see : http//www.LunarCot.org

LunarCot: Mice Beater : products made from Oleander

Rupak   Sat Jan 5 2008

hi, dear S.K. Raja i'm realy intrested in your offer of nerium oleander leafes. i am living in India only, so please contact [email protected] or 09822038434

frances swan   Tue Apr 8 2008

How do you prune the nerium oleander plant. I bought it last year and most of the leaves have come off and it does not look very well. Do I cut it back like a budlia bush as there are no care instructions on the label.

Rupak Patil   Wed Apr 9 2008

Need Oleander Leaves urgently for processing. Suppliers please contact [email protected] or 09822038434

priya bhardwaj   Tue Jul 8 2008

do nerium indicum shows anti-carcinogenic properties? what are the components responsible for its anti- carcinogenic property.

kulkarni   Mon Oct 5 2009

I have neriums and they are infected with some disease.i am not able to cure it. the leaves older as well as new shoots are getting spoiled. the stem turns brown and the leaves have spots on it.i tried using fungal and insect sprays but did not help. tried watering less . observed for stem borr. but could not find any. also i am watring recycled water.does it affect to them by any means?

nadeem ansari   Tue Oct 27 2009

yahoo.com nerium indicum

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