Maybe you’re tired of seeing that crazy neighbor who mows his lawn in a speedo, or maybe you just want to make your yard feel like a cozy, sacred space miles away from the neighbors in general. Either way, an oleander hedge might be exactly what you need. Continue reading to learn about planting oleander as a privacy hedge.
Oleander Bushes for Privacy
Oleander, Nerium oleander, is a tall bushy evergreen shrub in zones 8-10. Growing 3-20 feet (6-9 m.) tall depending on the variety. Oleander’s dense, upright growth makes it an excellent screening plant. As a tidy hedge or privacy wall, oleander is tolerant of salt, pollution, and drought. Add in the beautiful, fragrant clusters of blooms and oleander sounds too good to be true. There is a downfall, however. Oleander is toxic to humans and animals if eaten.
Using Oleander as Hedges
The first step to planting oleander as a hedge is to decide what kind of hedge you want so that you can select the right variety of oleander. For a tall, natural privacy hedge or windbreak, use tall varieties of oleander with prolific blooms.
If you just want a low-growing formal hedge, look for dwarf varieties. A formal oleander hedge will require trimming 2-3 times a year. Though oleander blooms on new wood, you will end up with fewer flowers on a neatly groomed oleander hedge.
Oleander hedge spacing should be at least 4 feet (1 m.) apart. This plant’s quick growth rate will fill in the gaps soon enough. Although oleander is drought-tolerant when established, water it regularly during the first season. Oleander tends to grow in poor conditions where other plants struggle and require very little fertilizer. When planting, however, use a low dose of root stimulant and then only fertilize in spring.
Note: reconsider using oleander as a hedge if you have small children or pets.