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When you want to add a lot of flash to your landscape, you can count on Pink Oleander (Nerium oleander) to deliver. Held at the tips of evergreen branches, showy Pink Oleander flowers wave in the breeze for a floral display that's simply breathtaking. What you'll love even as much as these beautiful flowers is how easy it is to care for Pink Oleander. This is not a fussy plant that needs a lot of maintenance, and its tolerance to drought means that you won't run up your water bill and spend time in the hot sun with a garden hose to keep it thriving! Nonstop Blooms Throughout Its Growing Season Some summer-blooming flowers bloom profusely for a short period ?… and then they're done. But not Pink Oleander! When you see the first flowers in summer, you'll know that's only the beginning of a long bloom season that lasts through autumn. Pink Oleander grows as a perennial throughout USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 8 through 11, and if your garden is in a frost-free area within these zones you may actually enjoy year-round flowers! Individual blooms are showy enough '– a delicious shade of pink covers funnel-shaped flowers. But it's the collective impact of how the flowers are produced in clusters that magnify Pink Oleander's eye appeal. Withstands Even Adverse Conditions To say that Pink Oleander "holds up well" to environmental challenges is an understatement. It is unfazed during the heat of summer when other flowering perennials are struggling. It's adaptable to many types of soils, which simply cannot sustain other types of plants. And it even tolerates salt spray, which makes it a sound choice for coastal conditions that are too harsh for most plants. In the face of all these adverse conditions, Pink Oleander not only muddles through but also flourishes and continues to bloom! Low Water Needs After you've cared for your newly transplanted Pink Oleander shrub by keeping it thoroughly watered during its first year in your garden, you can relax. Established plants typically need no more water than natural rainfall supplies them! But don't let your plant suffer during times of extended drought '– plants can't prosper indefinitely without water, and long periods without rainfall can stress your plant and reduce its flowering potential. So help your Pink Oleander through inordinately dry periods by keeping it hydrated with 1 to 2 inches of water each week. Fast and Vigorous Growth Pink Oleander grows so fast that even if frost damages its foliage and stems, it will quickly regenerate by producing new growth from its roots. And because it's a multi-stemmed shrub, the new growth will be lush and full '– no spindly, single trunk with a few leaves on it! As long as your garden is within Pink Oleander's hardiness range, you won't have to worry if freezing winter temperatures kill its top growth. The root system will stay intact and new stems and foliage won't be far behind! Even Works as a Container Plant! No '– in fact, it's a superb potted plant! Although Pink Oleander grows to a mature height of 6 to 10 feet when planted in the ground, it'll stay more compact in a large container. Choose a large container '– at least 18 inches '– so that its multi-stemmed growth habit has room to spread and your plant will be thick and full. If you live outside Pink Oleander's perennial range, it won't survive the winter if you try to grow it outdoors year-round. But if you grow it in a large container, you can move it indoors during the winter, which will protect it from freeze damage, and move it back outside in spring. An unheated but lighted basement or daylight garage works well; just don't forget to keep your plant watered. When you set your potted Pink Oleander back outside, let it stay in full sun for only 1 hour the first day, and then move it to a shady spot. Each subsequent day for a week, increase its time in the sun by a half-hour each day. By the end of a week, your plant should be acclimated to full-sun conditions! Watering tip: Although established Pink Oleander shrubs are drought-tolerant when planted in the ground, container plants will need more watering ?… sometimes every day during extremely hot weather. Landscape Design Versatility Pink Oleander isn't just an evergreen placeholder in your landscape '– a shrub that provides greenery year-round. You'll want to capitalize on its signature feature '– the spectacular flowers that are even more magnificently featured when you plant a row of Pink Oleander shrubs. But even if you only plant one Pink Oleander, it's a stellar specimen plant that can't help but steal glances away from your other landscape plants. Plant it in a sunny flower bed or perennial border where it's a larger complement to smaller perennials around it. Enjoy it as a living fence that defines your property lines or as a flowering screen that enhances your favorite outdoor sitting area. Designing living art: Think of the windows in your home as picture frames that showcase your plants as viewed from inside your home. With that in mind, plant Pink Oleander where it's the focal point in one of your living pictures, which you'll enjoy each time you look outside a window! Easy to Care For! Low Maintenance! In a word, no '– you don't have to prune it to keep it flowering. But if you make a few cuts here and there, you can prompt your Pink Oleander into producing even more flowers. Each time you cut an oleander stem just above a node, which is a little bump on the stem where branches form, your plant will branch out to form two or three new branches. And since oleander flowers are produced at the tips of each stem, you can do the math to see that you can double or even triple the flower potential of your shrub simply by making a few cuts! (You can trim your plant back as much as you want without damaging it.) Pruning tip: The best time to prune your Pink Oleander is from September to October, but you can also prune it in early spring. Disease and Pest-Resistant Because of its toxicity, Pink Oleander is nearly pest-free, which carries the benefit of not having to use chemical dusts or sprays to keep it looking its best. It does have one pest that is not bothered by the toxic sap '– the oleander caterpillar. These pests are ravenous, often stripping oleander shrubs of their leaves almost overnight. These caterpillars don't damage all oleanders, but we wanted to give you a heads-up just in case you notice lots of missing leaves in a short period of time. If so, check the undersides of the leaves. You'll likely find caterpillars there and they are easy to spot because of their bright-orange color with black tufts of hair. The easiest way to get rid of them is to cut off the caterpillar-infested leaves and discard them. You can also handpick these insects '– they will not sting you. The black hairs are only a defense mechanism to frighten predators! Our 3 Top Growing Tips for Maximum Flowers 1. Lots of sun. Your Pink Oleander can handle a little shade, but it will grow leggy and not produce as many flowers in a shady spot as it will in a sunny location. 2. Soil that drains well. This is a deal-breaker. Oleander shrubs are susceptible to root rot, which is caused by a fungal pathogen that thrives in wet soil. If drainage is a problem in your yard, plant your Pink Oleander in a raised bed to keep its roots from becoming waterlogged. 3. Fertilizer. If you use a fertilizer that's high in phosphorus (the middle number of the three numbers on a bag of fertilizer) and lower in nitrogen (the first number of the three numbers listed), you'll encourage it to produce more flowers instead of leggy stems.
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