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Oleander Not Blooming — What’s Happening?

Oleander Not Blooming  — What’s Happening?

Oleander is a common garden plant native to North America loved for its blooms.

One of the most famous paintings of Vincent Van Gogh painted in 1888 features pink flowers of oleander in a vase.

Different varieties have different blooms of white, yellow, red, violet, and pink.

When oleander blooms, its flowers are fascinating and can give a breath-taking wonder to behold.

However, sometimes your oleander plant may decide not to open its buds to reveal its flowers.


Oleander Not Blooming

The most common reasons why oleander is not blooming are overwatering, underwatering, and applying too much fertilizer. Inadequate sunlight, competition for nutrients, improper pruning, pests, and plant diseases can also lead to oleander not blooming.


Causes of Oleander Not Blooming

We all want, after months of hard work and patience, to see our oleander finally bloom into a beautiful shrub of fascinating flowers.

However, this is not the case most of the time, especially if you are a first-time gardener or not keen to take care of the plant.

The following are reasons why oleander can fail to bloom:


Inadequate Sunlight

As other plants and trees mature around the oleander, they may begin to block out the sun.

However, oleander is a fan of good bright sunlight and may not bloom or bloom poorly based on sunlight.


Competition for Nutrients and Water

When you inter-plant your garden plants and oleander, they may have roots spreading to the oleander root area and compete for nutrients.

This can cause a low blooming or no blooming at all.

All oleander requires adequate watering during blooming, even though they are considered drought survivalists.

Ensure you water your oleander with the correct frequency and amount.

Do not interplant with plants that are competitive or plants that spread their roots too wide.

If branches from a different tree overshadow the oleander, trim them down to enable sunlight to reach your plant.


Control Runoff Fertilizer

When you add fertilizer to your garden, some of it may run off into the oleander roots.

This will cause the plant to focus most of its energy on the growth of leaves, stems, and branches instead of promoting the blooms.


Improper Pruning

When it is close to summer, it is essential to reduce the rate of trimming your plant.

Flowers bloom at the end of stems, and you may cut off the bud-forming zones of these flowers as you prune your oleander.

Pruning helps to aerate the foliage, enhance sunlight reach to most parts of the plant, increase blooming frequency and quality and shape the plant.

However, it causes the plant to focus its resources on healing and regrowth instead of blooming when done too often.

You may also avoid cutting the branches when it’s too late into the season so that the new growth can establish itself before summer.


Pests or Diseases

The most common pests affecting oleander shrubs are mealybugs, scale, and aphids.

You can control them through the use of insecticidal soap or a pesticide. But, better consult an arborist first before purchasing one.

The oleander caterpillar defoliates the plant, while the leafhopper spreads a fatal oleander disease.

Oleander leaf scorch is a bacteria that causes yellowing and drying of leaves which can delay the blooming of flowers.


How Do Oleanders Bloom

Oleander flower from spring through fall. The flowers grow in large agglomerations and come in white, yellow, red, violet, and pink shades.

Each flower has an average of five petals that look like the blades of a fan. The slender leaves have a smooth and hide-like feel.

Although Oleanders are expected to bloom from spring, they may sometimes bloom all year, especially in frost-free areas classified as zones 8 through 10 by the U.S Department of Agriculture.

Oleander blooms more profusely in full sun and more petite in shaded areas.


Common Oleander Varieties

There are many Oleander types, and you could base your reference based on the bloom color.

The lovely flowers have shades of pink, salmon, red, purple, and even cream.

The species type plays a vital role in the thriving of the oleander when planting, growth and flowering.

  • Apple blossom: Has five-petaled pastel-pink blooms that are two to three inches. They bloom from spring to early autumn and are evergreen. It is one of the sturdiest survivors in the Oleander family.
  • Austin Pretty Limits: Has dense evergreen foliage and bright pink flowers
  • Calypso: Has magenta blooms covering the stem tops.
  • Dwarf Red: The dwarf red grows to just five feet tall and spreads to around four feet wide. They bloom around late spring until early autumn. More flowers can be observed during warm months. It has dark green leaves and crayon-red flowers.
  • Hardy Pink: Has elongated hot air balloon-shaped buds with a swollen look. The flowers are light-pink and occur in large clusters.
  • Hardy Red: Has large single flowers in red flowers
  • Sister Agnes: Has pure white blooms
  • Twist of Pink: Has deep pink double flowers
  • White Sands: Has white flowers


Importance of Oleander Blooming

The following are reasons why you should look forward to your oleander blooming:

  • Some oleander varieties give a sweet fragrance that can change the garden air scent when they bloom
  • The colors of the flowers increase the aesthetics of your garden or home. In addition, the flowers can be used to form letterings when different varieties are combined.
  • Oleanders cannot reproduce unless they bloom
  • It is a good reward for all the resources, time, and energy you have put into caring for the plant.
  • The flowers create a calm and relaxing environment. However, sometimes you may miss these benefits when your plant fails to bloom as expected.


Frequently Asked Questions About Oleander Not Blooming


How can I make the blooms last longer?

Light and frequent pruning can help blooms last longer. Ensure there is also a balanced supply of water and nutrients to the plant. Expose the oleander to direct sunlight which also increases the color of the blooms.


What happens if my oleander blooms past its season?

If the blooms last past their recommended season, prune off the flowers to prevent the plant from taking most of its nutrients to support old flowers rather than growth. Pruning also refreshes the stems and foliage.


Can interplanting oleander varieties affect their flowering or growth?

You can interplant oleander varieties; however, ensure you give each plant adequate space to avoid competition for nutrients and blockage from sunlight.



The blooming process of the oleander can begin right from when you plant the seedling to when the flowers fall off.

Oleander requires great care if it is to survive.

Adequate watering, ensuring good drainage soils, and pruning will improve the bloom color, quantity, and quality.