Are you familiar with the expression “a silk glove concealing an iron fist”? Academics have debated the question of who first said it, with Napoleon being the most popular candidate.
If I had to argue anything, it would be that they may have meant oleander when they said that.
This evergreen shrub has a multitude of multicolored flowers and blade-shaped green, or variegated, leaves. It gives them a beautiful and luxurious appearance. Their appearance is reminiscent of fine cloth.
Nerium oleanders, on the other hand, are just as tough as iron fists.
This vertical photo shows a close-up of pink oleander blossoms in bright daylight. It is displayed against a blurred background. The text is printed in white and green at both the top and bottom.
To help you find the right product for you, we provide links to various sellers. We might earn a commission if you click on one of our links and make a purchase.
They can thrive in USDA Hardiness Zones 8–10 or 11, as well as as outdoor plants, despite extreme heat, drought, salty air, and even salty air. They also bloom endlessly while doing so.
They can be grown indoors or placed in containers so they can be brought inside when it gets below freezing. However, they may need a little more help if you live in colder regions.
A landscape photograph showing a beach scene in horizontal orientation. There are oleander bushes in the foreground, and there is a beach, an ocean, and blue sky in the background.
There are many varieties of neriums, especially if you’re willing to buy bare root stock or grow them from seeds. You will find a wider range of neriums if you are a member of this group.
It is possible to choose the flower color that you like best. These beautiful flowers are available in many colors, including pink, red, and salmon.
We won’t be talking about the yellow oleander (also known as Cascadella Thevetia) because it is a unique species with its own set of options and success regions.
There are several options available to you, including a dwarf, mid-size, or tall variety. This depends on how you plan to grow the plant.
A horizontal close-up of pink Nerium flowers, taken in bright sunlight against a background of blue sky or cloudless sky.
This caution should be taken seriously as you consider each option. The best choice is to not grow oleander in areas where it can be eaten by children, animals, or pets.
Because of the presence of cardiac glycoside in all parts of the evergreen shrub, any consumption could prove fatal.
Consuming it can cause gastrointestinal distress, shock, heart failure, and arrhythmias.
You should probably choose a different type of flowering shrub if you have children who live with you or have access to your garden.
You should also avoid planting oleanders in areas where animals such as cats, dogs, horses, stock, rabbits, and stock animals could possibly access them.
It is possible to have a lot of fun choosing from these attractive and hardy types if you take precautions to prevent poisoning yourself or others.
Let me give you the following options so you can make an informed decision:
1. An apple tree’s blossom
Such deliciousness! The two-to-three-inch pastel pink blooms that ‘Apple Blossom’ produces with five petals will make you want to look at them multiple times.
A horizontal close-up of bright pink flowers in the garden. The background is blurred and lit by bright sunlight.
Dinesh Valke is credited with this image, which can be found on Wikimedia Commons and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.
These evergreens are beautiful from late spring through early fall, so there will be many opportunities to do it.
It is well known that Apple Blossom is the most durable pink variety. It is “indestructible,” as I have heard it described many times. It can withstand the winter in Zones 8–11.
This tall oleander is a large, round shrub that can be used as a privacy screen or along the side of your driveway. It should not be planted near children who are curious.
This tree is great for training to become a tree with multiple trunks or one trunk with a crown of blossoming leaves at each top. It can grow to be a tall shrub or specimen tree, reaching 10-18 feet in height.
These light pink blossoms look great in a coastal windbreak, especially at dusk. The bushes can withstand salt and humidity in a warm beach area.
2. Austin ‘Pretty Limits’
Who says you can’t name a highly regarded ornamental shrub with a playful and lighthearted name?
Anyone who said anything about Austin Pretty Limits was obviously ignored by the people in charge.
The plant’s name is whimsical, but don’t let it distract you from its amazing beauty. It has beautiful pink blossoms throughout the year and dense evergreen foliage.
A close-up square photograph of Nerium Austin Pretty Limits, a flowering plant in the garden. They are vibrant red.
“Austin Pretty Limits (APL).
Kevin Hurd, a well-known hybridizer, was the one who introduced Austin Pretty Limits to the market. It can grow up to six feet in height and can spread out up to five feet. It is able to survive winter in Zones 8–11.
Because of its density and height, it is compact in form but full of beautiful blossoms.
It is also container-ready. It can be brought indoors for overwintering if you live in an area where gardeners cannot imagine growing in Texas.
Burpee sells a variety of plants called “Austin Pretty Limits”.
The Calypso 3.
The beloved Calypso! I have great respect for Jacques Cousteau and his research vessels. It was the inspiration for John Denver’s song of the same title. I also appreciate the deep single Denver released under this name.
This horizontal photo shows the bright pink blooms of Nerium ‘Calypso’, a Nerium plant. The background blurs as the subject moves away from it.
Calypso, an oleander also known as Calypso, has a unique appeal. This is an evergreen plant that can produce profusions of magenta flowers on extremely robust plants.
It’s a cultivar that I have seen so often while driving through Florida. This cultivar brings back images of the Sunshine State’s coastal communities. It is a brightener for the landscape of Florida’s coasts and median strips, as well as the parking lots of strip malls.
But Floridians aren’t the only ones who can sing “Calypso” style. It will eventually grow to heights of 10–18 ft and spread to nearby regions, reaching a width of 10–15 ft.
This plant can survive outside in Zones 8–11a. It thrives in extremely hot temperatures and even thrives in extreme environments.
Many people admire them and encourage them to grow into multi-trunked trees with stunning blossoms at the tops of their stems.
If they are placed at a distance of five feet from the center, these “Calypso” specimens create a beautiful flowering privacy screen or windbreak in areas of the West Coast, South, or coasts where the average annual temperature exceeds 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Calypso vine, an Amazon seller of Calypso cultivars, can be ordered in a 3-gallon pot.
4. Red Dwarf
At first, I thought that this was “snack size,” but it is not. Oleander should never be eaten in any form, no matter what variety it is; dwarf bushes can only reach heights of five to six feet and widths of three feet.
They can cause serious illness if they are consumed.
A horizontal close-up of a flowering shrub in a decorative container of wicker placed on top of a wooden deck.
Let’s just say these are the “little mes” equivalents to the tall red ones.
Although there are many cultivars that can be considered dwarf reds, such as ‘Little Red’, most gardeners and seed distributors simply refer to the small varieties with dark green leaves or crayon-red blooms as “dwarf Red.”
They bloom in late spring, and then continue to bloom through the autumn. They may bloom all year in zones 8–10, but they will be more prolific during the warmer months. This applies only to plants that are hardy within those zones.
These miniatures make great patio performers (try saying it three times fast …)) and container ornamentals that can go indoors in the winter in Zones 4–11.
If you live in the West Coast, the sunny South, or certain coastal areas, you can also grow them as a low hedge or flowering border. If you are interested, this option is also available.
You can order seed packets of dwarf oleander at DIYLandscaping.com. Each packet contains 65 seeds.
Hardy Pink 5
Although I use the term “hardy” to describe an oleander cultivar’s name, it is not required. All of them are extremely tough and can withstand extremes in temperature and moisture as well as exposure to salt air.
This horizontal close-up photograph shows the Nerium “Hardy Pink” plant in the garden. The background is out of focus.
We are happy to overlook the monotonous moniker of “Hardy Pink” because it is so appealing to the eyes and undemanding.
This cultivar produces large clusters of pink flowers with a faint scent. It has five petals and is five-petaled. It is also known as “Pink Beauty” at Galveston’s Oleander Stronghold.
Its unusual buds look like they are enlarged, and it has the shape of a hot-air balloon.
Although it can tolerate temperatures down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, “Hardy Pink” is a unique plant that has been known for its ability to recover from any stem or leaf damage due to temps in the single digits.
It could also thrive in Zones 7a and 7b.
However, I am not suggesting that you should place yourself in such danger. It’s probably better to bring “Hardy Pink” indoors when it’s cold. This way, it doesn’t have to prove that it deserves the name.
Although there are many cultivars, like ‘Hardy Red’, the term “red oiler” is more commonly used to describe seeds and living plants.
A horizontal close-up of bright red flowers in the garden. The background was blurred into focus.
According to the Clemson Cooperative Extension, the red standards may be the most resilient of all the Nerium varieties. They can tolerate temperatures as low as Zone 7b.
Their height will reach between 8 and 12 feet when fully mature, and their spread will be almost as wide.
This variety produces single, large blooms in a colour I love to call “plain old red.” It is similar to the color of the United States flag or Vivian Ward’s “Pretty Woman” dress.
These corals are more subtle than some of the brighter pinks and corals, but they are still very attractive.
7. Agnes, Sister
Although the European type, known as Sister Agnes, has been around for almost 150 years, it is still strong and expanding rapidly.
A horizontal close-up of tiny white flowers displayed against a background that’s out of focus and is green.
Oleander Haus, an Austrian authority, says that this tall (or quite tall) oleander was developed by Felix Sahut, a Frenchman.
Its distinctive aroma is complemented by the unique white blossoms with yellowish “throats” at the center of each flower. Even though I might be making this up, the flowers remind me of the old summer clothes that European nuns used to wear.
Moreover, the name of the cultivar makes me think of Elvis Presley singing “Little Sister,” so maybe we shouldn’t trust my hypotheses about this name.
You may be interested in how a single-trunk tree will look in a landscape. However, “Sister Agnes,” which can be trained by home gardeners and arborists to grow this type of tree, is possible. Her height will range from 10 to 18 feet, and her wingspan between 10 and 15 feet.
You can purchase the plant known as “Sister Agnes” as a live bareroot stock at CaliHome Garden or Amazon.
8th. pink twist
This scenario is rearranged by the leaves. The leaves have a blade shape and are cream-colored with green variegation. The lighter streaks run vertically along their length.
Close-up vertical photo of the double blooms of the Nerium “Twist of Pink” plant. The background is out of focus.
They are ruffled and deep pink, with a double pink hue.
Its mature height is six to eight feet. This shrub is a medium-sized shrub that can be used for privacy fencing, hedges, mounds, and other purposes.
The background is blurred and a close-up square photo of the Nerium “Twist of Pink” plant is shown.
“Twist of Pink” is the phrase.
This shrub is not a member of the Southern Living Plant Collection. It can still survive temperatures as low as 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is resilient to drought and can withstand prolonged exposure to high temperatures.
Home Depot sells “Twist Of Pink” in pots that hold two gallons.
White Sands (Number 9).
Nature Hills Nursery sells a living plant they call “white oleander.” This plant can reach heights of up to five to eight feet and can spread out to four to five feet in width.
There are other varieties, however, that are smaller, have dwarfish heights, and are white. This is the most common of all.
A horizontal, up-close photograph of the Nerium White Sands plant in the garden. The background has been blurred to enhance the effect.
It produces numerous single-blooming white flowers that bloom in spring. This continues through October. It blooms continuously in areas with warm weather.
This white, fragrant shrub is hardy only in Zones 10 and 11, so it’s less frost-resistant than other varieties.
It retains the incredible quality of other Nerium species, which is the ability to bloom more abundantly without any fertilizer being required as the temperature rises.
It matures at a height of between 4 and 6 feet and can spread out approximately the same distance. This makes it an ideal choice for pots that will spend the winter indoors, or as a low-growing flowering hedge in areas that have warm weather.
You can choose your favorite without using your hands.
It’s fun to think about these beautiful, hardy, and fast-growing plants. However, it’s important to take a moment to evaluate whether it’s safe to grow these attractive plants in your area.