General Discussion:

how to take care of a "oleannder"

Messages posted to thread:

Andrew Negenman30-Jul-00 09:16 PM EST   
Wilma02-Aug-00 08:49 AM EST   
janis05-Aug-00 03:22 AM EST   

Subject: how to take care of a
From: Andrew Negenman
Date: 30-Jul-00 09:16 PM EST

I bought a beutifull grafted shrub from Loblaws garden center a month ago. It is about 4' high, has long slender leaves and blooms continuously with with large (3" diameter) pink flowers. A lady helping out the garden center from a local garden club told me that it was a "Oleander" (or something close to that). Normally I do not impulse shop, but this tree/shrub had no tag on it and since the garden center was closing in a few days, the clerk told me I could have it for $15. Anyway, I can't seem to find any information on the plant in any of my books. Can anyone shed any light on how to take care of the plant? Will I have to winter it indoors? If so do I treat it as any other house plant or put it into hybernation in the basement?.. Any help would be welcome.

Subject: RE: how to take care of a
From: Wilma
Date: 02-Aug-00 08:49 AM EST

Hi Andrew,

I wrote you a long reply on Sunday, but it disappeared into the electronic mists. So here it comes again.

The World Book of House Plants (ISBN0-308-10087-5) has the following to say about caring for oleanders (Nerium oleander). "Oleanders are easily kept to an appropriate size for indoors by pruning, either after flowering or in autumn. English references advise the prompt removal of any shoots which issue from the base of the flowers. The juice in the stems is poisonous, however, and clippings need to be discarded carefully, where children or pets cannot get to them. CULTURE: Light, sunny to semi-sunny. Temperature, cool in winter, average house at other times . Humidity, 30% or more. Soil, equal parts loam, sand, and peat moss; keep evenly moist, except on the dry side in late fall and early winter. Feed biweekly in spring and summer. Propagate by rooting cuttings of firm tip growth in spring or summer."

Now for my own experience... I've had a pink-flowering oleander for a couple of years. It lives happily in the garden (semi-shade) in summer and joins me in the house for the winter (in front of a sunny window). The only problem I've encountered is scale. The dastardly things love oleanders and you have to keep a close eye on them. They're fairly easy to control with a mixture of water, crushed garlic and dish detergent, but I have to repeat the treatment often. I can't seem to really get rid of them.

Oleanders are pretty tough and can withstand really brutal treatment. I traveled in Corsica this past spring. The people I was staying with have an oleander hedge. Whenever it gets too tall, they prune it way back, almost to the ground... with a chainsaw. The hedge doesn't seem to mind at all. If you decide to use a chainsaw to prune yours, I suggest doing it outside. Kind of stinks up the house if you use it inside.

Subject: RE: how to take care of a
From: janis
Date: 05-Aug-00 03:22 AM EST

i put my oleander outside on the front steps between my cedar trees. it gets enough sun and is protected from the wind. i put pieces of the cedar all over the earth in the pot and this helps control any infestation of bugs. i have never had any scale. the flowers are fuchia pink and when i bring it in in the fall they start to change into a lighter pink. they last a long time. i only trim my branches and never cut them back. i have had this plant for ten years. i usually work an anti bug powder into the soil when i transfer it to the house. the leaves are also very poisonous so be careful.

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