Is Oleander hardy? So bring it well through the cold

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When the first strong frost hits the house, it's time for the oleander to move to winter quarters. The plant feels at different places during the cold season:
  • in a cold house
  • in the unheated stairwell
  • in the greenhouse
  • in unheated adjoining rooms
  • in the wintering tent
  • in the cold conservatory
  • in the basement
  • in the garage
In the choice of the winter quarters it is important to consider the location factors; so the plant should get a bright place even in winter. This criterion is fulfilled especially during wintering in the cold house or in the cold conservatory. If the unheated stairwell is chosen as winter quarters, it is important to be close to a window. If one has to dodge the cellar or the garage, the lighting conditions are usually less favorable; then it is necessary to adjust the hibernation temperature accordingly.
Tip: Basically, the darker the winter quarters, the lower the temperatures have to be.
The plant should be placed at temperatures between two and ten degrees Celsius during the cold season. If the temperatures are higher, there is a risk of pest infestation.
Alternatively, the lighting in winter quarters can be optimized. With the help of a cold-white fluorescent tube, the oleander is optimally supplied with light. Anyone considering artificial lighting should also consider using a lux meter to control the light energy. If the plant is wintered at temperatures between 5 and 10° C, 1500 lx are optimal.
At higher temperatures, a more intense lighting is required, which can be up to 3000 lx. However, it is necessary to do without constant lighting; The plant should be exposed to artificial light for a maximum of 10 hours daily. In addition, the day-night change is observed.

Dangers of hibernation indoors

Anyone who removes the oleander into the interior of the house during the cold season must think of certain dangers - both for the plant itself and for its roommates. Key threats to overwintering the crop include pest infestation, mold and certain diseases; In particular, the following burdens make the oleander in winter:
  • aphids
  • spider mites
  • Scale insects
  • Oleander cancer
In addition to the choice of the optimal location, measures for good ventilation of the winter quarters as well as the weekly check for pest infestation also help prevent this. If the plant is already affected, countermeasures should be taken quickly; For the control of pests, products based on potash or rapeseed oil are available. The oleander cancer caused by a bacterium can only be controlled by cutting out the affected areas.
Who winters his oleander indoors, should also remember that it is a poisonous plant. All plant parts contain the glycoside oleandrin, which is counted among the toxic cardiac glycosides and must not be consumed. Animals and small children should therefore not get near the plant.

Oleander hibernate outdoors - possible in selected regions


Oleander is conditionally hardy, but not completely winterized. However, since it easily withstands light frosts, the winter can also be done outdoors; However, this only works in winter-mild areas, where no strong frosts are to be expected. In Germany the following regions belong to it:
  • the Ruhr region
  • the coastal regions of the North Sea (including islands)
  • the Lower Rhine
  • the Mosel valley
  • the Rhine-Main area

Winter outdoor - protection for oleander plants

The wintering outdoors can be done in different locations; Especially popular is the balcony or the terrace, which are sufficiently protected. The oleander is placed in a large planter and then isolated. To achieve optimum soil isolation, the vessel can be placed, for example, on a polystyrene plate. However, the terrace is often a popular lodging for other plants that are either hardy or winter proof; In order to save space, it has been proven to bind the branches of the oleander with a sisal cord.
The entire bucket is then wrapped with a bubble wrap; Alternatively, a thick coconut mat can be used. The leaves and shoots must also be protected; It works best with an air-permeable hood, which consists of plastic fleece. Also burlap have proven themselves. However, completely air-tight films should not be used as they can lead to infestation with mold fungi and rot.
Basically, it has been proven to first attach the bucket guard and only a few weeks later to make the leaves and shoots winter proof; This prevents an early humid and warm climate in this area, which promotes the development of mold. The plant is still "winter hardy" in time.
When wintering the oleander outdoors, it should also be noted that the plant receives a sheltered location as possible; ideally is a place directly at the house wall; The balcony or the terrace offers the advantage of an additional roofing. Then the plant is optimally protected not only from cold, but also from moisture.
Tip: It proved to be useful to place several containers next to each other, so that the plants can heat each other. If very heavy frosts announce, the bucket is temporarily relocated to the garage.

Winter care of the oleander - undemanding outdoors

If the oleander overwinters outdoors, it falls into a hibernation. Then the nursing claims are low overall. However, it is important that the winter protection is removed from time to time to ensure regular ventilation. Mold and moisture retention should then no longer be a problem. Otherwise the following aspects have to be considered:
  • Do not pour
  • Protect from moisture
  • Do not add nutrients
  • Check winter protection in bucket area weekly

Higher care requirements indoors indoor winter quarters


If the Mediterranean greenhouse is wintered indoors, the care measures must be extended. Above all, the regular control of the plant for pests is important, since there are favorable living conditions for scale insects, spider mites and Co. in winter quarters. Due to the dry air, they can multiply explosively. As a preventative measure, the plant should be sprayed more often with water.
Because the temperatures in the winter quarters are higher than in the outdoor area, the oleander must be supplied with water from time to time. To determine if the plant needs moisture, the top half of the earth must be checked; if this is dry, it can be poured. This check works especially well with the aid of a moisture meter whose long probe can be inserted deep into the earth.

The wintering time optimally complete

When the winter phase ends for the Mediterranean plant depends on several factors:
  • from the weather conditions
  • on the type of wintering
  • from the individual space requirement
If the oleander was allowed to spend the winter outdoors, ending the wintering time is particularly easy; In this case - depending on the weather - only protective fleeces, coconut mats and polystyrene panels must be removed. If the plant has stood in the interior of the house during the cold season with temperatures of up to 10° C, it can already be released back in April.
Then it is sometimes hardy, so it easily tolerates light night frosts and low temperatures. However, if the Mediterranean plant has been wintered in a warm room, the move may be made only after the ice saint. Such plants have already formed new shoots in winter quarters, which are then highly prone to frost.
It is important to gradually adapt the plants to the conditions in the field. It has proven to be a shady place in the first few days and only gradually increase the incidence of light. Subsequently, there are also further care measures; so should both the repotting and a pruning. Now there is also sufficient irrigation, because the changed climatic conditions let the pots of the oleander dry out quickly. The winter time finally ends when the plant is fertilized again in early spring for the first time.
A successful wintering of the oleander is not complicated. Anyone who observes site conditions and care measures can bring the plant well through the winter and look forward to the colorful flowers again next year.


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