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Nerium oleander is a shrub or small tree in the dogbane family Apocynaceae, toxic in all its parts. It is most commonly known as nerium or oleander, from its superficial resemblance to the unrelated olive Olea. Oleander is one of the most poisonous commonly grown garden plants.
Oleander grows to 2–6 m (6.6–19.7 ft) tall, with erect stems that splay outward as they mature. The leaves are in pairs or whorls of three, thick and leathery. The flowers grow in clusters at the end of each branch. They are often, but not always, sweet-scented. Flower color can include reds, pinks and whites.
Beyond the traditional Mediterranean and subtropical range of oleander, the plant can also be cultivated in mild oceanic climates with the appropriate precautions. It is grown without protection in southern England and can reach great sizes in London and to a lesser extent in Paris due to the urban heat island effect. This is also the case with North American cities in the Pacific Northwest like Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. Plants may suffer damage or die back in such marginal climates during severe winter cold, but will rebound from the roots.
Oleander is a vigorous grower in warm subtropical regions, where it is extensively used as an ornamental plant in parks, along roadsides and in private gardens. It is most commonly grown in its natural shrub form, but can be trained into a small tree with a single trunk. Hardy versions will tolerate occasional light frost down to −10 °C (14 °F). The toxicity of oleander renders it deer-resistant and its large size makes for a good windbreak – as such it is frequently planted as a hedge along property lines and in agricultural settings. The plant is tolerant of poor soils, intense heat, salt spray, and sustained drought – although it will flower and grow more vigorously with regular water.
In Mediterranean climates oleanders can be expected to bloom from April through October, with the heaviest bloom usually occurring between May and June. Free-flowering varieties like 'Petite Salmon' or 'Mont Blanc' require no period of rest and can flower continuously throughout the year if the weather remains warm.
In cold winter climates, oleander is a popular summer potted plant. Oleander is an ideal flowering shrub for patios and other spaces with hot sunshine. During the winter they should be moved indoors, ideally into an unheated greenhouse or basement where they can be allowed to go dormant. Once they are dormant they require little light and only occasional watering.
Oleander flowers are showy, profuse, and often which makes them very attractive in many contexts.
Seeds per pack: 10
Germination: These seeds are easy to germinate. Place the seeds just below the surface of the soil, and water in. Keep moist until germination, and until plants are established. We have grown these seeds ourselves with great success!
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