Oleander cutting

Oleander cutting


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Oleander cutting


The oleander is a plant that can easily be multiplied by cuttings, just follow a simple procedure. First of all, it is important to know that to handle this plant it is always better to wear rubber or latex gloves, because every part of the plant contains a poisonous and toxic substance. The multiplication by cuttings should be done between June and July, on healthy and luxuriant plants. Here is the procedure: after wearing the gloves and having a sharp and sterilized blade, you need to cut two or three apical segments of the branch from the plant, with a length between 15 and 20 centimeters. Then you have to remove the leaves at the bottom of the cut branches. Afterwards, cover with aluminum foil jars full of water: each branch must be inserted, through a hole, into the aluminum foil and then into the water. Vases with cuttings should be left in a bright space at a constant temperature of 18-20 °. The oleander roots in water, so as soon as the cuttings have formed the roots in the jars they can be planted in larger pots with soil or directly in the ground.

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Features



The oleander is an evergreen shrub that is part of the Apocynaceae family, the only species of the genus Nerium. Probably its origins are Asian, but it has always been a plant that grows spontaneously in all Mediterranean regions. It is cultivated and used everywhere for ornamental purposes, even as a divider for highway lanes and state roads. The use of the plant as urban furniture is possible thanks to the fact that this plant does not need particular care, on the contrary, it can live without being watered even for months, even in areas affected by strong heat and drought, always maintaining the flowering in the summer period and surviving only with rainwater. Throughout the hot season this plant produces beautiful fragrant flowers, gathered in bunches on top of flexible branches. The typical flower is pink in color, but there are hybrid species of red, white or shaded color. In autumn the flowers are followed by fruits, formed by long woody capsules containing seeds from the feathery layers. The leaves are rough and dark green, oval and elongated.

Cultivation



Oleanders are plants that can be grown anywhere, as long as it is an area with mild winters. The intense and prolonged frost, in fact, can damage the ends of the branches: in reality, it is difficult for a bush in good health to be irreparably ruined by the cold, usually recovering in a short time without consequences. In areas with harsh climate it is better to cultivate it in pots, so that it can be sheltered during the winter, in an enclosed place or behind a wall or under a terrace, so that it is not totally exposed to the elements. In April the plant can again be moved to a more open area. It prefers not very rich but well drained soils, because when they are too wet they favor the birth of mold and fungus; only when the soil is dry it is necessary to water the plant in abundance, otherwise it should not be watered, also because it tolerates drought well. At the beginning of spring it should be fed with slow release granular fertilizer; at the end of winter it must be pruned but only the branches ruined by the cold, the weak branches or the dry ones must be removed.

Information on poison



The oleander is a poisonous plant, that is it contains in the leaves, in the branches and in the roots a strongly toxic alkaloid substance that acts by ingestion. However, we must know that the leaves do not smell good and the whole plant, including the flowers, have a bitter taste, so there is no need to worry if pets such as dogs and cats are kept at home: they find it unpleasant and for the oleander is not palatable, so they will never eat it. When we handle the shrub to prune it, water it and fertilize it, we must always wear gloves: the toxic substance does not irritate the skin, but if after touching the plant we rub our eyes we could irritate them, so as we might accidentally ingest the poison by touching food with dirty hands. Every time we touch the plant we must therefore wash our hands well and also sterilize the instruments used, such as shears or scissors. Furthermore, after pruning the plant in autumn or in late winter, you should never burn the oleander weeds because the fumes emanating from the fumes could be highly toxic.