DEAR CARIANNE – What are some native alternatives to oleander?
Posted Oct 28, 2021
Charlie asks: Is there anything I can plant instead of oleander to provide some screening privacy for my yard? Thanks, Charlie
Oleander grows naturally in the Middle East, Mediterranean, and Asia in habitats that look quite a lot like our intermittent rocky washes! I have been thinking a lot about oleander lately, and why it is such an attractive plant for people throughout the southwest, and it has many desirable attributes as an ornamental. It is evergreen, grows quickly, has attractive flowers, and is widely available. On the flip side, it is not native to our region, can become invasive in the right habitats, and it is very difficult to remove. Its ubiquitous use has dramatically diminished the potential for our urban areas to support birds, pollinators, and other wildlife that native plants provide resources for.
Below I am going to list native plants that might fill your need, and you may consider using several of them together to provide a diverse hedgerow effect instead of using a single species. This is a great way to weave in some diversity to your landscape!
- Hopbush (Dodonaea viscosa)
- Arizona rosewood (Vauquelinia californica)
- Quailbush (Atriplex lentiformis)
- Desert hackberry (Celtis pallida/ehrenbergiana)
- Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)
- Creosote (Larrea tridentata)
- Whitebush (Aloysia gratissima)
- Yellow bells (Tecoma stans)
- Wolfberry (Lycium spp.)
- Shrubby senna (Senna wislizeni)
Ask Carianne questions about native gardening in your garden.
Email your questions to Carianne@strategichabitats.com