Thevetia nereifolia, or Yellow Oleander, is a large shrub or small tree native to Central America. It may reach 10-20 ft in height. This attractive and ethnobotanical plant is great for those who want to add an interesting and useful tree to the yard.
Thevetia nereifolia prefers full sun or semi-shade and moderate water, although it is drought tolerant. Its glossy, dark green leaves form a pleasing backdrop for the yellow, orange flowers that appear in late summer. The fruit of the tree is angular, smooth, and contains two large, oily seeds. All parts of the plant are very poisonous so it is important to take care when using it for any traditional uses.
Thevetia nereifolia will tolerate a small amount of salt in the soil, which makes it great for seaside gardens. It is also cold hardy to the mid-20s F for a short period of time, making it suitable for growing in USDA Zone 8-10. For regions with colder temperatures, Thevetia nereifolia can be grown in a pot and brought indoors during the winter.
In order to keep Thevetia nereifolia healthy and growing, it is important to provide plenty of sunlight, and water regularly. Make sure to fertilize the plant to give it a good boost of nutrients. Pruning can help to maintain its shape and size, as well as prevent damage from winter temperatures. Finally, be sure to watch for any signs of pests or disease in order to address it promptly. With some care, Thevetia nereifolia will bring years of beauty and interest to your garden.