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Common Name:

Common Oleander

Scientific Name:

Nerium oleander

Family Name:



Nerium oleander is a classic subtropical or warm temperate evergreen shrub. Useful in the southern half of Texas, the Common Oleander is a large suckering shrub or rarely multi-stem small tree. Common Oleander is valued for its dark green foliage, flamboyant late spring / early summer flowers, and tolerance to heat, drought, and salt spray. Caution, all portions of Nerium oleander are highly poisonous!!!

Plant Habit or Use:

Shrub, medium shrub, large shrub, tree, small tree, tropical


sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

White, pale yellow, pink, red, salmon

Blooming Period:

Spring, summer

Fruit Characteristics:

Two-valved cylindrical capsule with pubescent wind-distributed seeds


8 ft to 10 ft, rarely 20 ft


8 ft to 10 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: Medium Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

8, 9, 10, 11

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Common Oleander is a very adaptable shrub that can be grown on most any soil. It is tolerant of both soil and foliar salt exposure, hence it is frequently utilized in coastal landscapes. Cold temperatures are the primary limiting factors, but aphids, scale insects, and fastidious xylem inhabiting bacteria can also be damaging.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.