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Nerium Oleander

MeomyeMeomye Posts: 770
I had always admired these when I visited Spain so when I saw it in my local GC I could not resist buying one. It wasn't until I got it home and looked up how to care for it that I learned that they are supposed to be toxic! Does anyone grow this please? 


  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 34,494
    Hello Meomye. Oleanders are very beautiful but very tender shrubs and can be grown indoors in a conservatory - put outside for the summer. All parts are poisonous and it is suggested that they should not be grown where there are children and pets.
    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,076
    They are very common here in both gardens and municipal plantings in public places such as beach fronts frequented by people who are on hols with children, dogs, boozey nights etc. where caution is not always at the forefront.

    Yes, they are poisonous but so are many garden plants - foxgloves, aconitum, daffodils, green potatoes - so just exercise common sense and don't let anyone in your family think it's OK to eat garden plants and wash your hands after touching when watering, feeding, dead-heading etc.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LG_LG_ SE LondonPosts: 3,925
    edited 24 July
    I have one in a pot on my doorstep, but behind other things. It has survived all winters here (not always protected on the doorstep, but always in a pot) - being in London winters can be mild but we did have the Beast from the East, and lots of time below 0° in the past few years. 

    Its toxicity is the reason I didn't plant it where passersby might touch it but tbh there are many in front gardens around here, often on the boundaries, I even passed a huge front hedge of it yesterday, spilling over onto the pavement.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • MeomyeMeomye Posts: 770
    @Ladybird4, @Obelixx, @LG_ thank you for your replies. Like you LG_ , I intend to keep it in a pot, may I ask how you care for it? for example how much water they like? how fast do they grow? tia
  • LG_LG_ SE LondonPosts: 3,925
    I'm probably not the best person to ask because I have found - not on purpose - that it seems to thrive on neglect!
    My front doorstep is very hot and sunny, I water it when it looks dry, and have often left it longer than I probably should... 
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,076
    They are good at surviving drought here and winds off the Atlantic too so I'd give it a good, loam based John Innes no 3 compost in a decent sized pot and water it well to get it established but make sure the pot is on feet and can drain well.  Give it a top dressing of rose or tomato feed granules every spring and protect it from heavy frosts in winter.  
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,961
    I wouldn’t worry about the toxicity, just take sensible precautions when handling and never get the sap on your skin. Oh and don’t use branches as barbecue skewers! Seriously, here there are several reported deaths every year of daft campers doing exactly that. They do hate winter cold though, I can’t grow them in my location for that reason.
    edited 24 July
    I’ve grown 2 oleanders for at least 10 years.  They are in pots against the south facing wall of a south facing house in East Anglia and stay there all year round.  They have withstood whatever the weather has thrown at them.

    they’re a bit straggly but that’s because I’m scared to cut them back apart from a couple of inches behind the flower when deadheading.
  • floraliesfloralies Haute-Garonne SW FrancePosts: 1,972
    I have them as a screen in front of my water meter and a tap, they have been in the ground for about thirteen years. We take sensible precautions when pruning and raking up dead leaves otherwise we do nothing with them. This year they are quite spectacular due to the hot sun. They can get badly affected in a very cold winter and need cutting right back and lose the flowers in the following summer, but bounce back.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 19,197
    I have one at the end of my house in Dordogne, in the ground. It was -7° when I moved here in January 2021 and it survived, although it had some scorched looking leaves. It doesn't seem to mind when I'm not here to water it. They are all over the place in the local town.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
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