Cultivation of oleander
HOW TO GROW OLEANDER
Characteristics of the plant
The oleander (Nerium Oleander) is a plant of the Dogbane family - Apocynaceae - family reaching up till 4 m. It shows erect stems, plenty of latex. Lanceolate leaves, similar to those of the sweet bay, opposed, hard to the tact, with short petiole. It produces rosy flowers till 4 cm. Its fruits remember those of the beans, but they are much bigger dark brown. Inside these pods they contain seeds provided with feathery plumes.
It is usually used like an outdoor plant, although it can also be cultivated indoors. In the first case, if it is planted directly on the soil, it can attain 5 m tall, being its habitual height about 1 meter and half. When planted in a pot, it doesn't usually reach more than half a meter.
Along the whole summer it can produce very showy flowers that, in very mild climates can continue until mid autumn. The flowers are very big, funnel shaped, with colors that can vary from the red or rose to the violet, the salmon or the pure white. They usually have a single line of petals, generally having eight, but we have other species that present two lines.
Being a plant of Mediterranean origin, it is very resistant to the drought. In its natural atmosphere, it appears in ravines that are practically dry during the summer months. If cultivated outdoors and directly on the floor, except in very dry years, it will have enough with the rain water.
If we plant it in the garden, the ideal place is to place it in a sunny place, with preferable orientation toward the south. We will try that the place do not become flooded because it is a plant that doesn't tolerate overflowing. In the event of being a place with cold climate, subjected to strong freezes, it will be better not to plant it directly in the floor but in a container that can be taken indoors. In spite of this, we can say that it is a plant very resistant to frost and we have varieties like the 'Little red' that can tolerate constant temperatures well below between -6 and -12 ºC.
Cultivated indoors, it requires a lot of light, so that we should place it next to a window. It would be necessary to offer it a fresh location, far from the heating that dries up the atmosphere and doesn't cause it any benefit. One would also have to keep in mind that the sun doesn't hit it directly in summer, because the glass, acting as magnifying glass, can burn its leaves. The rest of the year can be located directly behind a glass.
The best way to spread the oleander is by means of cuttings. They can be planted either in spring or in summer. The best way to do it is cutting a branch without flowers of about 15 cm and put it in the water until it produces new roots about 3 cm long. Then, we will plant it in a pot. When the plant is well rooted, what will take place in one or two seasons, we can transplant it to its definitive place. The new plants will grow very quickly, up to a point that samples propagated by means of cuttings in spring can already produce flowers in the same season.
It doesn't require any special soil and it can grow perfectly with a normal garden compost with the condition that it presents a good drainage.
It is a very poisonous plant that should be manipulated with care. We should take into account where to place it in case children may access to it (For more information)
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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.