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What are the Best Tips for Planting Oleanders?

By Amanda R. Bell
Updated May 16, 2024
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Some of the best tips for planting oleanders are planning where and when to plant the shrubs. Depending on the type of soil in the location, it can be helpful to add organic matter to the hole before planting oleanders. As with most plants, watering the oleanders well both during and after planting them can help the plants to thrive; root-bound plants may need additional care.

Picking a location when planting oleanders is extremely important. In order to grow, most varieties of this plant require full sun or very light shade. Noting what parts of the yard get the most sunlight during the day can be helpful. Well-drained soil is also a must.

Once a few sites have been chosen, it is a good idea for planters to determine the safety of the locations. Oleander plants are one of the most toxic to humans and some animals, especially small children. When deciding where to plant oleanders, it may be a good idea for individuals to keep the plants away from where any small children may routinely pass or play. Once the shrubs have been planted, installing a garden fence around them can make it difficult for any pets or children to get near the oleanders.

Depending on the climate, an oleander can be planted any time between spring and early fall. Younger plants tend to do best with a spring planting, as this gives them time to strengthen before winter; spring shrubs should always be planted after frost is no longer a risk. Older, more established plants can do well with an early fall planting, although the warmer the soil is, the better the plant will do.

If at all possible, gardeners should plant oleanders in the same or similar soil that they are used to. If the soil at the site is different than the soil the oleander is currently in, it can be helpful to add some of the soil from the oleander's container to the hole. This will help the oleander get acclimated to its new home more easily, as well as aid in developing strong roots. If the soil is sandy, adding a small amount of peat moss to the plant hole can be helpful; soil lacking nutrients should be mixed with a high-quality garden soil before planting oleanders.

Moving any plant from a container to the ground can cause some damage to the plant. When planting oleanders, watering the shrub well can help to prevent some of this and encourage strong root growth. Once the plant is in the hole in the garden, individuals can water it halfway through planting and after it is covered in soil. This helps the dirt to compact around the plant, lessening the shock of transplanting.

If the oleander is not root-bound in the container, it can be placed in the garden without breaking the roots. Breaking roots of a plant that is not root-bound can hinder its growth or even kill it. If the roots have begun growing into the container, gently splitting the roots from the bottom to approximately a third the way up the base of the plant can help to encourage root growth.

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