Oleander plant

The oleander

The oleander plant is an evergreen shrub native to Asia, but which has spread spontaneously throughout the Mediterranean basin. The oleander has a shrubby habit, with the stem that has few branches, arched outwards. The leaves are as poisonous as the stem. The flowers are large pink or white in color. The fruit is a spindle-shaped follicle from which the seeds come out when the fruit reaches maturity. Oleanders are generally very widespread plants thanks to the particularity of having no specific needs for cultivation, surviving even in the scorching heat and drought. The oleander fears the cold, in fact in areas with a cooler climate it should be placed in sheltered and very sunny places. It is possible to grow it as a tree to create suggestive tree-lined avenues.

Oleander cultivation

The oleander is a plant suitable for growing in places with a mild winter climate, in fact the intense and lasting frost can ruin the ends of the branches. The oleander is able to resist only impromptu frosts, even if in spring an adequate pruning would be enough to guarantee a correct vegetative restart. In case of cultivation in pots, in areas with cold temperatures in winter, the plants should be covered with a special fabric to ensure adequate protection. The cultivation soil does not require particular characteristics, in fact it does not require a particularly rich soil. The ideal soil should be poor, but well drained, to prevent excess moisture from causing the development of mold or harmful fungi.

Oleander care

The oleander tolerates drought well, but to be able to have a perfect flowering it would be advisable to water the plant every time the soil is dry, especially in the hottest season. At the beginning of spring it would be advisable to fertilize the soil around the plants with a slow release granular fertilizer, in this way the correct supply of mineral salts will be guaranteed in the spring and summer. The oleander does not require obvious pruning, it is sufficient at the end of winter to remove the branches that are damaged by the frost, the apical parts that have withered flowers, or the branches that are weaker. The oleander being a highly poisonous plant, requires particular attention, in fact during pruning it would be advisable not to come into direct contact with the resin.

Oleander plant: Multiplication of the oleander

The oleander is a plant that can be grown by seed, but it is usually difficult, to be able to obtain new oleander plants you can proceed with a cutting. Cutting is a technique that can be done both in soil and in water. A specially cut branch is used to make the cutting, but remembering to maintain the correct polarity, distinguishing between the upper (apical) and lower (basal) extremities. To properly obtain the cutting, 2 or 3 apical branch segments of a length not exceeding 20 cm must be cut from a healthy plant and the leaves in the lower part removed. The branches will be placed in a container with water, then covered with aluminum paper and kept at a constant temperature around 20 degrees.

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