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Oleander, Nerium oleander

Go to - Landscape Trees
Landscape Shrubs

Family - Apocynaceae

Oleander can grow as a shrub or small tree to around 20 feet in height, there are many varieties available in a range of colors from salmon to reds, pinks and white.

Widely used in landscape, almost to the point of overkill, Oleander is used as a screen, specimen plant, in group plantings and for borders.

Tolerant of most soils and drought resistant, this plant is fairly fast growing under ideal conditions, with dark green foliage as a backdrop the flowers are eye catching in any landscape.

USDA zones 8-10, will survive freezing temperatures though with leaf damage. A native of the Mediterranean region, Oleander prefers a warm, dry climate and needs full sun for best flower production and a dense habit of growth but will take partial shade.

Common pests in Florida are scale, witches broom and root rot (from too much water) the Oleander caterpillar can defoliate a plant in short order and over time make the plant more susceptible to other pests.

These caterpillars, orange with black "hairs" arranged in clumps are the larvae of the Polka-dot wasp moth, an iridescent blue moth with white dots and orange tipped abdomen.

Caution - All parts of the Oleander are extremely poisonous, use gloves when handling this plant, wash hands afterward, avoid skin contact with the plant and sap. Smoke from burning Oleander is also toxic!

Image - Oleander shrub

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