Oleander care tips and interesting facts about the beauty of the Mediterranean
Oleander is one of the most popular flowering shrubs for the garden, balcony, winter garden or home. It is still known as rose laurel and is a perennial evergreen plant of the genus Nerium, which enchants with rich flowers and intoxicates with its strong, sweet aroma. The oleander blooms from late spring to late summer in white, yellow and various pink-red hues. It is typical of the regions around the Mediterranean, where it can be found almost everywhere and often competes with the olive tree – in parks, gardens, balconies and even along streets and highways. Unfortunately, since our climate is not quite as warm and tropical, oleander is mainly grown in greenhouses or large pots that are brought into the house in winter. You can find out more about the special features of oleander care in the next few lines. Just read on!
There are over 300 varieties of oleander with different flower shapes and colors
For such a color combination, simply plant different varieties in one pot
Safety measures when caring for the oleander
Before we get into the needs of this wonderful exotic ornamental plant, the first thing you should know is that oleander is not suitable for households with children or pets. This is due to the fact that all of its plant parts (leaves, flowers, roots and milky sap) are highly toxic and should not be composted or even burned in the fireplace.
Gloves should always be worn during repotting, trimming and general handling, which are then washed well with soap. Even the sweet aroma of the flowers could trigger allergies and headaches if inhaled. Oleander should therefore not be placed in the bedroom. Think carefully about whether the insidious beauty of the oleander is appropriate for your lifestyle.
The unique beauty of the oleander can be deceiving, because it is actually one of the most poisonous plants on earth
Oleander care tips for hobby and landscape gardeners
The right location
In order to successfully grow oleanders, you need to make sure that you find the right place for them. Similar to the olive tree, it is one of the most warm and light-loving ornamental plants. It is therefore very important to choose a location that is exposed to the blazing sun for several hours a day. South-facing balconies or windows usually offer him the best living conditions. Once the temperatures reach 18 degrees or more, it’s best to take the oleander outside. If the temperature drops below that, bring it back inside.
With ideal oleander care conditions, the ornamental plant reaches a height of between 1 and 6 meters
The right watering
Oleander must be watered and sprayed regularly and abundantly in the warm months. In winter you then have to reduce the amount considerably, because at this time the oleander, like most other ornamental plants, keeps its beauty sleep. Only water when the top soil layer is completely dry.
It is extremely important not to water with cold or hard tap water, as this puts a lot of strain on the plant. Instead, use soft, boiled, or room temperature rainwater. You can also treat it for chlorine and other contaminants.
Depending on the temperature and humidity, your oleander will need less or more water
Soil and repotting
For optimal oleander care, choose a heavy soil that is rich in nutrients and has a neutral acidity of 6.5 to 7.5. Most large flower shops have ready-made soil mixes for oleander, which will save you a lot of time and effort. Repot young plants annually and older plants every three years.
During the entire growing season, feeding should be done twice a month with liquid fertilizer for flowering plants. If your oleander is not blooming or its buds are falling off, you can use a special fertilizer that is high in potassium and phosphorus. Fertilizing should be stopped about a month before the first frost.
Choose a container that is decorative and large enough at the same time
If the pot is too small, it can easily fall over in strong winds
Trimming the oleander
Trimming plays an important role in making the oleander a real eye-catcher. This always takes place after flowering in late summer. The next buds form in autumn. So, trim the branches that had flowers on this year, leaving only a bud or two. From there, new branches grow, which then form increasingly magnificent flowers in the next summer. In addition to more abundant flowering, trimming will also result in a better-shaped and branched crown. Of course, always use gardening gloves and sharp tools, which you must wash afterwards.
With proper trimming, the oleander will grow about 30 cm per year
Propagation by cuttings
The propagation of oleander takes place quite simply in early summer with a woody shoot. It is treated with rooting powder and planted directly in a pot of peat. Fast growth and strong rooting require high temperatures and humidity, which you can easily achieve with a mini greenhouse.
The flexible young stems are easy to braid into a braid like this one
As a rule, oleander is rarely a victim of pests due to its toxicity. Aphids, mites, and various fungal infections are the main problem. Fortunately, they are usually very easy to fight. There are a number of natural insecticides and fungicides that you can make at home.
The oleander is so poisonous that even most pests don’t get close to it
Decoration with oleander
Under ideal conditions and with proper trimming, the oleander quickly forms a dense crown that could function as an ideal privacy screen on the balcony. It also serves as an amazing accent of color in any garden, conservatory, greenhouse, patio and especially near fountains, ponds and other water elements. These closely mimic its natural habitat on the Mediterranean coast.
The blaze of color, abundance of enchanting flowers, as well as its wonderful aroma and lush green make the oleander a favorite of many professional landscapers. This Mediterranean beauty brings oriental exoticism and mysticism to every home.
You can also grow other smaller flowering plants around the trunk
The International Oleander Society holds an annual festival in Texas
Oleander is the official flower of Hiroshima as it was the first to bloom after the disaster
Van Gogh viewed oleanders as joyful, life-affirming flowers
The oleander is one of the most common plants depicted on ancient Roman murals
Oleander care is not that easy
Living ideas and decoration –