If you want to know how to propagate oleander, you can choose between two methods. One shouldn’t feel intimidated in starting oleander plants themselves because they should germinate or root readily. You can also grow in the greenhouse to ensure the faster establishment of vigorous transplants.
Even though oleander itself is easy to care for, you still want to create the ideal growing environment for the seeds or cuttings. This will ensure germination or root development compared to starting them outdoors with challenging climates. Once you have the seedlings or rooted cuttings, you should be ready to transplant oleander outdoors.
How To Grow Oleander
Method #1. Seeds
Seed collection and preparation
You can make use of your oleander plants after the blooming period and collect seedpods. However, the emphasis is necessary on wearing gloves and handling the plants correctly when you gather the pods because the plant can be toxic and irritating. And once you have the seedpods, let them dry up to split open on their own.
You should end up with fluffy-looking seeds, which you have to rub against a screen to get rid of the feather-like parts. This is a faster way to collect the seeds, but you can also pick the fluffy parts yourself. Once you have removed the feather-like parts, you should be ready to sow oleander seeds.
Sowing and germination
The best way to guarantee success in growing oleander from seeds is by starting them indoors. Remember that temperatures below freezing will damage the seeds, so those in regions with true winters are better off sowing in the greenhouse instead. Once the danger of frost has passed, you can transplant your seedlings or start the seeds in the garden.
To start oleander seeds, use a seed tray with moist peat and then press them on the surface. You don’t need to cover the seeds with soil, but you want a humid environment to encourage germination. You can achieve this by covering the container with plastic wrap and maintaining the greenhouse temperature around 68°F.
It would also be advantageous to use grow lights to help the seeds further. At this point, your maintenance would be spraying the medium to keep it moist, and your seeds should sprout after a month. You can then remove the plastic cover and transplant them outdoors once your oleander plants have grown true leaves.
Method #2. Cuttings
Cutting collection and preparation
If you want a quicker way to ensure copies of your favorite oleander plants, you can propagate them from cuttings instead of seeds. Select a healthy oleander plant and take new growth tips any time during the growing season for faster rooting. However, some gardeners also take cuttings in fall, but instead of green growth, you’ll be getting semi-woody ones, which will root slower than green wood.
Take a 6-inch section below a leaf node, but don’t forget to wear gloves when handling your plants. Prepare the cutting for rooting by removing the lower leaves to ensure that they won’t contact the soil and cause rot. You can also dip the end in rooting hormone before planting for faster root development.
Stick the cutting in moist potting mix and then place the container in a heat mat. It’s also advantageous to have them in the greenhouse to guarantee stable conditions ideal for rooting. And to create a humid environment, cover the pot with clear plastic and regularly check the medium’s moisture until the cuttings develop roots.
You should be ready to transplant outdoors in the fall if you used greenwood cuttings. On the other hand, semi-woody cuttings would make ideal transplants in spring. These timings are crucial so that you’re confident that the oleanders have already established themselves to survive the outdoor conditions.
Growing And Caring For Oleander
The most important consideration
As discussed earlier, it’s crucial to wear protective clothing when handling oleander plants. Wear gloves and long sleeves to avoid direct skin contact. Remember that these plants are poisonous and irritating that even burning their debris is dangerous since inhaling the resulting smoke is toxic.
Be mindful of pets and children as well because ingesting any plant of the part is also fatal.
The ideal location for growing oleander is somewhere with full sun and in neutral, fertile, and well-draining soil. Besides propagation, the greenhouse is also excellent for maintaining oleander plants because it will protect them from challenging climates. After all, frost will damage the plants.
Oleander plants can tolerate drought, but if you want eye-catching blooms, you want to keep them well-watered. You can also feed them with balanced fertilizer occasionally for additional boosts. Finally, like most shrubs, oleanders will benefit from pruning, especially when you see many damaged parts or if the plants are overgrowing the area.
With proper safety in handling, one shouldn’t be intimidated in working with oleander plants. You have two methods to choose from to learn how to propagate oleander. They are sowing seeds and rooting cuttings.
You can do either technique in the greenhouse so that the conditions are stable. This should guarantee germination or root development, which should help you get established transplants. Afterward, maintaining oleander is smooth sailing.