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How to Care For Dwarf Oleander

Last Updated on October 28, 2022 by Plant Mom Care

The dwarf oleander, a beautiful rounded or upright flowering shrub, is much smaller than its regular counterpart. Originally from the Mediterranean region these plants are cultivated almost everywhere these days particularly in zones 8 through 11.

The long leaves are dark green with single or double 5-petaled flowers in shades of pink, red, white, or yellow. The plant’s height and width vary from 3 – 6 but can easily be kept down around 3 feet. 

The “fruit” is like a long finger- bean containing tufted seeds. They grow in pairs in summer and autumn, turning brown when mature and split open to release small seeds that can germinate in the right conditions. Don’t deadhead flowers if you want to harvest them for planting. 

Can you keep oleander small

They are frequently planted in landscapes and gardens as they don’t need much care or maintenance to produce a colorful display of flowers throughout the year. It is planted by many gardeners for its colorful abundant flowers. Plant these shrubs around 3 feet away from each other. 


Dwarf Oleander Light Requirements

These plants like to be grown under full sun. They will tolerate partial shade if they can be exposed to direct sun for a little while. When they grow under partial shade they won’t produce many flowers compared to plants growing in full sun.


Dwarf Oleander Watering

Young plants need to be watered 2 to 3 times every week until their roots penetrate deep into the soil and they get established. After they get established they become drought-tolerant and need very little water. 

Watering established plants too often can lead to fungal infections. The best option is to water it thoroughly when there is not enough rainfall and don’t water it again until the soil dries out. Underwatering could also cause disease, stressing the plant and damaging the foliage. 

Potted plants can dry out faster, depending on weather conditions, and might need more frequent watering than plants growing outdoors in the garden. 

Check the soil moisture with your finger. If 2 – 4 inches of topsoil is dry or plants are wilting it’s time to give the plants a drink.

Always pour water directly on the soil and don’t wet the foliage to avoid fungal problems. 


Dwarf Oleander Humidity

They prefer a relative humidity level of around 40%.


Dwarf Oleander Temperature

They will suffer damage at low temperatures below 20°F and will die in temperatures less than 15°F. They will prefer temperatures of 60°F or more and thrive in hot temperatures. They produce more brightly colored flowers when in hot weather.


Dwarf Oleander Soil

They are very tolerant of different soil types, from clay to well-draining sand. The plants can also endure rather high levels of chloride, sodium, and other salts in their soil, including sea salt, spray on their foliage. Compost can enrich poor soil. They can also thrive in high pH and alkaline soils.


Dwarf Oleander Repotting

Repot these plants every spring, moving up to a larger container. If the plants are now growing in large pots gently scrape off 1 – 2 inches of soil and replace it with more compost.


Dwarf Oleander Propagation

First, use protective glasses and gloves because the sap is toxic. Take cuttings during mid or late summer from shoots without flowers and take 4 – 5-inch cuttings just under a leaf joint.

How fast do dwarf oleanders grow

Dip the ends of the cuttings in rooting powder and place them in pots filled with compost mixed with perlite or sand. Cuttings can also root in water and transfer to the soil when the roots have developed well.

Avoid covering seeds with soil when using them for propagation since they need light for the germination process.

Additional Care

Feed the plants in spring, summer, and autumn with balanced or granular fertilizer.

Prune to remove dead or damaged branches, encourage a thicker growth, encourage more flowers, or maintain size or shape. Larger shrubs can be pruned regularly to be shaped as hedges or borders.

Potted plants can be trimmed anytime to maintain a desired size and shape and keep the plants looking tidy. This boosts the plant to grow more side shoots, and flowers and reduces the need for a larger root system, particularly since the roots are confined in the pot.

how to care for Dwarf Oleander

When you’re pruning to control the size or shape of the plant, cuts are best made at an angle above a leaf bud. New growth will emerge from this bud. 

Deadheading old flowers helps new flower production, keeps the plant healthy, and prevents the plant from producing seeds, diverting the plant’s energy from growing new foliage and flowers.

Remember to always use gloves and eye protection to prevent sap from getting on your hands or eyes. 

Dwarf Oleander Common Problems

These plants growing indoors are more susceptible to pests than those growing outdoors. Perform regular checks for pests such as scale, spider mites, and mealybugs. These pests can be removed and eliminated by spraying the plants with a diluted solution of neem oil or insecticidal soap. 

Plants usually produce fewer flowers if they grow under insufficient light. Move them to a sunnier area for more profuse flowering.

Underwatering can make flower buds fall off the plant. Water the plants as necessary, making sure it gets enough water but is not over-watered during their growing season. Over-watering will make the foliage turn yellow.

How big do dwarf oleanders get?

These plants can grow from 3 – 5 feet tall and as wide. Regular pruning can easily keep their size down to 3 feet.

How far from the house should you plant oleander?

These plants grow wider as they grow taller and should be planted about 4 feet or more from your house at the very least. In addition, they need lots of light so planting them too near your house might bring them too much shade as well.

Can you grow oleander in pots?

They can certainly grow well as potted plants. Use larger pots filled with well-draining soil and keep them away from heating vents or air conditioning vents. Keep the pots where the plants get lots of light, and regular watering and provide them with sufficient nutrients. Repot them annually or add compost every spring.

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