If you have an eye for exotic plants that can add a scenic view to your garden or landscape, you must have heard of Nerium oleanders, better known as oleanders.
These flowering shrubs bloom striking flowers when given the right conditions.
A warm climate, lots of sunshine, fresh air, and adequate water is what you need to fill your garden with hues of white, pink, red, violet, and yellow oleanders.
Given that these plants are known for their blooms, it can be worrisome when you don’t see any flowers, which can leave you wondering, why does my oleander not bloom?
Most of the time, the lack of blooming is due to gaps and errors in the care routine. Other times, it could be a seasonal change.
If you have been dealing with the same issue for a while, keep reading till the end!
There could be several causes for your oleanders not churning out gorgeous flowers.
One of the top reasons is inadequate sunlight and warmth.
Followed by it are other reasons like lack of water or overwatering, adding too much fertilizer, and a few more.
However, before you begin to sort out what could be causing your oleander to not bloom, you must eliminate seasonal changes as a potential reason.
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Following are the scenarios perfect for oleanders to bloom:
- Oleanders are spring and summer shrubs to the core.
- They grow best in areas with a warm climate, and you will see the first bursts of flowers in the early spring from March-April as soon as the temperatures start to rise.
- This flowering of oleanders keeps up the pace throughout the spring and summer seasons, and the growth will stagnate or begin to fade soon after the weather turns cold.
- Oleanders are highly resistant to changes, so they may sometimes bear the cold as well.
- But even light frost or snow can damage the blooms on the shrub.
- This change is purely seasonal, as oleander flowers don’t do well in colder temperatures.
- They will bloom again once the weather is more temperate. So, there is not much you can control here except wait.
Let us look at the answers to your question!
Oleander flowers love sunlight.
Keeping this in mind, if your shrubs are not getting enough sunlight, their blooms will not mature or grow, and those already on the bush may start dying.
The lack of sunlight mainly occurs because of the location of the plants. You could have planted the shrub in a place with overhead things like buildings casting a shadow.
Other plants and oleanders in your garden may have grown up, so now they could also be the reason for blocking the sunlight.
Ensure your oleander shrubs get plenty of sunlight without hindrance for at least 5–6 hours a day.
Adequate sunlight will ensure the flowers start to bloom again.
Oleanders are famously resistant to drought and mostly live through conditions with little water.
However, this does not mean they don’t need water. The watering needs are pretty high during the growth periods, i.e., from early spring to autumn.
Giving adequate water to the plant is also necessary during the dry seasons.
- The optimal amount is adding 1–2 inches of water per week during warm and dry weather conditions.
- Be careful with the amount of water so you may not overwater or underwater the shrubs.
If you neglect the watering needs of oleanders, the flower growth could become stunted or completely stop for a while.
On the other hand, overwatering can cause root rot.
They can survive just fine through extremely high temperatures, but if it’s below 15–18°F, you must make alternate arrangements to shield them from the weather.
4. Unnecessary Fertilizing
A significant advantage of the oleanders is that most of the time, these shrubs don’t need any fertilizers.
The nutrients already present in the soil are usually enough for the growth of plants. So, you don’t need to add fertilizers constantly without seeing signs of a lack of nutrients.
If you see thin, yellow stems and yellowing leaves, you can add a good fertilizer in an adequate amount.
The fertilizer should be a mix of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Ensure to control the amount of fertilizer as an excess of this can lead to stunted flower growth or no blooming on the oleander shrub. The best time to add fertilizer is at the start of spring and fall.
Pruning is necessary for the better growth of any plant.
When you trim the excess growth, all the parts of the plant can receive ample sunlight and air.
However, when pruning is done too often, and without considering the plant’s life cycle, the oleanders may not bloom.
Pruning the edges or the stems has a chance of cutting off the buds that are still in their pre-growth stage.
You can accidentally end up cutting the stems.
Moreover, pruning will redirect the energy and focus of the plant. Instead of putting resources towards flowering, it will focus on healing and protecting the trimmed parts.
So, excess pruning, especially when done right before the flowering season of summer or spring, can end up stopping buds’ growth.
Watch this video to get a visual guide on pruning oleanders:
Let us head to the conclusion.
I hope this clarifies your question—why does my oleander not bloom?
There are several factors you need to consider.
Some of the most important ones include ensuring the shrub gets enough sunlight, not adding too much fertilizer to the garden, giving adequate water, and being careful with pruning.
Remember that oleanders thrive in warm seasons, so plan to keep them warm when the temperature drops. Also, check for diseases and pest attacks to ensure blockage in flowering is not caused by that.
You don’t need to overdo anything, as oleander can thrive on little maintenance.
Keep checking on the shrub and taking proper care.
You will soon see the bright flowers on the plant again.
If you have any questions or experiences, share them with us in the comment section below.