Oleander Privacy Hedge: Tips On Planting Oleander As A Hedge

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By Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer

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 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 less flowers on a neatly groomed oleander hedge.

Oleander hedge spacing should be at least 4 feet apart. This plant’s quick growth rate will fill in the gaps soon enough. While oleander is drought tolerant when established, water it regularly the first season. Oleander tends to grow in poor conditions where other plants struggle and requires 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.

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