Oleander (Nеrium) refers to evergreen shrubs or small trees from the relatively large family of Kurtovy (Apocynaceae) and is represented by three species: ordinary oleander, aromatic oleander and Indian oleander. Oleander is well known in many countries as a decorative bush or tree grown in flower pots or tubs.
Botanical description of oleander
The oleander's homeland is the Mediterranean, therefore its botanical description and requirements for growing conditions allow its cultivation in open ground on the Black Sea coast, in Asia and South America, as well as in territories with similar soil and climatic conditions. The most commonly cultivated Nerium oleander.
In nature, this oleander is often found in Italy and Algeria. This shrub reaches a height of five meters, so it looks very impressive. Tallness allows you to plant this species in the garden for the purpose of landscape design. The plant has lanceolate-pointed leathery leaves up to fifteen centimeters long. The leaves have a well-developed middle vein, from which lateral, less noticeable veins extend in a parallel direction. The leaf base narrows and passes into the petiole.
The whorls may include three to four leaves, but also the leaves are sometimes arranged in pairs, opposite. The leaf edge is most often tucked. Attractive appearance of the flowers are collected in umbrella-shaped panicle inflorescences located on the crown of the head. The calyx is funnel-shaped, deep and five-lobed. Corolla pink, red, yellow or white, plate-shaped. Flowering is relatively plentiful. Culture is usuallyblooms in the summer. The foliate leaflet contains a significant amount of seed. All seeds have a hairy tuft on the end. Other species are less common in culture.
The cultivation of oleander in the garden (video)
Care and growing rules
In vivo, oleanders are fairly thin and slightly branched shrubs or small trees. Only in culture, subject to care technology and competent pruning, it turns out to grow the most lush and well-leafy plant.Care for the oleander is necessary according to the following growing technology:
- the soil in the growing area should include turf and leafy soil, humus, fibrous-peat substrate and medium-sized sand;
- to plant plants in open ground on the territory of regions with warm climatic conditions is necessary in April;
- when grown in areas with colder climatic conditions, a potted culture from April to October can be placed outdoors on a terrace or balcony, and in winter, the plant needs to be planted in a cool, but fairly well-lit room;
- oleander needs to be placed in a sunny place, which minimizes the risk of blanching of foliage and a decrease in decorativeness;
- indicators of intensity and frequency of irrigation measures are directly dependent on the temperature regime;
- in a hot and arid period, a decorative culture is recommended to be watered about three times a week, quite abundantly;
- the plant should be regularly examined for damage by diseases and pests, and if necessary, carry out therapeutic treatment with insect-fungicidal agents.
In order to stimulate the active growth of shoots and to give the aerial part of the culture a beautiful and compact form, the plant should be heavily pruned in the last decade of summer or before bringing the flower pot to the room for wintering. Flower-bearing shoots must be shortened to 20-30 cm. Side shoots are trimmed up to 10 cm from the branching area. Strong pruning required plant every three to four years. Easy annual pruning is done in the early spring or before transplanting.
How to root an oleander
The most convenient and easy way to propagate a decorative culture is the cuttings of plants. Rooting oleander cuttings is not a difficult undertaking and does not require special knowledge or efforts even from beginner growers. Cut the plant in the spring or autumn, which allows you to root the culture in the optimal time for the growth and development of the oleander.
A cut of the handle should be sprinkled with chopped charcoal and driedthen the planting material needs to be placed in expanded clay crumb, perlite or a mixture based on charcoal and medium-grained pure sand. The planting substrate should be moderately moist, which will not allow the cuttings to rot. The temperature should be maintained between 20-22 ° C. The plant needs to provide enough lighting. It is allowed to root in water with the addition of charcoal. Cuttings with formed roots must be transplanted into a flower pot filled with a nutritious substrate based on sand, humus, turf land and peat.
How to fertilize an oleander (video)
Types and varieties of oleander
Florists know several varietieswho have established themselves very well as a highly decorative garden culture. To grow these varieties is not too difficult, and competent care allows you to maintain the attractiveness of the plant for many years.
Oleander transplant to a new place
With the constant cultivation of oleander in open ground, replanting the plant is not particularly necessary. If the culture is grown in flower pots and placed outdoors only in the warm season, but transplantation should be carried out from March to April, before you take the plant outside. It is advisable to transplant a young plant in the early spring every year. Adult specimens need to be transplanted every two to three years. A new flower pot should have a larger volume than the previous one.
At the bottom of the flower pot you need to fill up a layer of drainage, in which you can use washed sand or crushed brick fight. During transplantation, trimming of a portion of the root system may be required. Transplanting too large specimens is not necessary. It is enough to replace the top layer of the soil mixture with a new nutrient composition.
Oleander in the design of the garden
Comfortable conditions for the cultivation of oleander in open ground can be provided to the plant in regions where temperature indicators in winter do not fall below minus 10aboutC. It is in such areas that the decorative culture in landscape design can be used as widely as possible. Amazingly beautiful plant can be grown as an independent ornamental plant or used in the arrangement of decorative floral garden compositions.
Oleander is used in street and park gardening on the southern coast of Crimea, the Caucasus and Transcaucasia, and the south of Central Asia. Decorative culture is able to easily tolerate the negative effects of exhaust transport gases, and also contributes to the effective purification of air from harmful components and compounds. The flowering oleander branch is a symbol and mascot of Yalta.
How the oleander reproduces (video)
The culture is grown not only as a highly decorative landscape plant. Oleander flowers and foliage are characterized by the content of oleandrin, digitalin, flavonoids, ursolic acid and carobin saponin, and medicines based on oleander can normalize the liver and heart rhythm, increase immunity and lower blood pressure, which is widely used in modern medicine.