Oleanders are a staple of Mediterranean gardens, frequently utilized as screen planting on slopes and alongside roadways. Summer blooming, the enormous open clusters are available in a variety of colors, including white, pink, red, and peach. The upright stems are covered with evergreen leaves that are long, thin, and a lovely shade of silvery-green.
Because every component of the oleander plant is exceedingly dangerous and even a tiny amount can be lethal, it is prudent to avoid growing oleanders in areas with children or pets. The foliage may irritate the skin. After handling or pruning, properly wash your hands and, if possible, wear gloves.
How to plant oleander
Oleander, Nerium oleander, is a delicate shrub that must be cultivated in locations where temperatures never fall below freezing, making it only suited for outdoor growth in the mildest sections of the UK. Oleanders are typically grown in containers in a covered location like as a conservatory, porch, or greenhouse, however they are not suited for centrally heated rooms. Oleanders can be left outside during the summer.
In the spring or summer, purchase and plant oleander shrubs. Plant in a large pot filled with soil-based compost and place in a bright, protected location away from central heating, or plant outside in a sunny, sheltered location in warm climates only, since oleanders will not withstand frost. Summer requires constant watering and feeding. Repot or top-dress yearly in the spring.
Where to grow oleander
Oleanders require adequate light to blossom. Indoors, place your oleander in a bright conservatory, porch, or cool room, or outside, in a shaded position that receives sun for the most of the day.
Plant oleander in a large pot filled with a soil-based potting compost (such as John Innes no. 3) and a third coarse grit or perlite to guarantee enough drainage. Place the pot in an area that is not at risk of flooding – indoors, this can be on a big saucer of stones to protect the surfaces, while outdoors, the pot should be lifted slightly off the ground if it is standing on pavement.
How to care for oleander
Oleanders require frequent watering from spring through autumn to keep the soil properly moist, and it is especially critical that plants do not grow dry during the spring flowering period. Reduce watering frequently over the winter as development slows. From late spring to early autumn, feed with a liquid fertilizer every two weeks or so.
While pruning oleander bushes is not required, it is frequently necessary to limit the plant’s size, particularly when transferring from the outdoors to overwinter under cover. Pruning is best done in late winter or early spring, but autumn pruning is acceptable if necessary. Remove any dead or damaged growth first, followed by thinning out crowded sprouts. Reduce the number of flowering shoots by half and cut a few centimetres of unflowered shoot tips to promote bushy growth.
Each spring, repot oleanders in containers, transplanting them to the next larger container size. If plants are already in big pots, gently scrape away the top 3-5 cm of compost and replace with new soil-based potting compost.
How to propagate oleander
Mid- to late-summer is the best time to take cuttings. Take cuttings around 10 cm long from leafy non-flowering shoots, cutting slightly below a leaf junction with a sharp knife. Dip the base in hormone rooting powder and plant in pots of seed & cuttings compost mixed with equal parts perlite or sharp sand. Cuttings also root rapidly when submerged in water and can be potted into soil after the roots have matured sufficiently.
Oleanders may be produced from seed as well. Harvest the ripe seed in fall and immediately put it into moist compost as described above.
Growing oleander: problem solving
Oleander plants grown in containers are more susceptible to pests than those grown outdoors. Be cautious and do frequent checks for pests such as scale insects, spider mites, and mealybugs: treat pests with a biological control while they are hidden.
If there is insufficient excellent light, plants are likely to be reluctant to blossom. Relocate to a sunny location to increase the likelihood of blossoming.
Bloom buds that drop before opening are the result of the oleander drying out during the flower formation process. Assure that your oleander does not suffer from a lack of water throughout the growing season.
Yellowing leaves indicates that plants are receiving an excessive amount of water.