Oleander is one of the most popular potted plants for the terrace or balcony. The reason for this is that it adds a touch of Mediterranean flair to any outdoor area in summer, while also producing beautiful flowers in a variety of colors. Whether as an accent in the form of a solitary plant or in a combination of several varieties to frame the seating area nicely – with the shrub you make a great choice in any case and even without complicated care measures. Would you like to add a few specimens to your collection? How about propagating the oleander yourself instead of buying new ones? We would like to explain how this works.
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What methods are suitable for propagating the plant?
As with most plants, you have a choice. Not only can you grow oleander from seed , but you can also use cuttings or offshoots or simply divide the adult plant to grow new plants. We present each of these methods below, explaining the advantages and disadvantages for each, as well as how to proceed step by step.
Propagating oleander by seed
Some people prefer to remove the faded flowers to preserve the beautiful appearance of the shrub. However, if you omit this step, pods will develop on the oleander, in which seeds will also ripen . You can then use these for propagation. While the ideal time is spring, you can safely try at other times as well.
- Once the seeds are ripe (the pods will open on their own), you can cut off the oleander seed pods and remove the seeds.
- After you cut off the oleander seeds , soak them in warm water and let them swell.
- Plant them in potting soil and keep it moist. You can also stretch plastic wrap over the container to prevent drying out.
However, keep in mind that shrubs nowadays are hybrids, so the new plant might be different from the mother plant. In addition, it will take a while before it produces its first flowers, up to three years. However, germination occurs quite quickly after a few weeks.
Propagating oleander by cuttings/slips
To maintain the bushy shape of the shrub, regular pruning is necessary. And if you already cut the oleander anyway, you can use the cut off parts for propagation right away . The ideal time is between April and May, when you propagate oleander by cuttings, but if necessary, you can choose another time. Are all branches suitable for this purpose or only the woody ones?
Even the younger branches are perfectly suitable. More importantly, the parts used should be long enough (about 30 centimeters) and have no buds. Leave a few of the leaves at the top and remove only the lower ones (leaves would rot over time and ruin your cuttings). Now use the prepared cuttings as follows:
- Place them in a jar with water and this in turn in a warm place. If you want, you can wrap the jar with an opaque material to prevent algae from forming in the water. Aluminum foil, cardboard or similar is best for this purpose. After a few weeks, the cutting should form roots, which you can then allow to grow well before planting the young plant in a pot with soil.
- The cuttings can also be stuck directly into soil. But then make sure that the soil is always moist to encourage root formation.
This method is simple and takes little time, which is why it is one of the preferred.
Tip: If you put the cuttings directly into soil, you can also use willow water to promote root development. For this purpose, chop green willow twigs and boil them for about 5 minutes (only enough water to barely cover the pieces). Now let the obtained decoction infuse for about 24 hours, after which you can use it as watering water for the cuttings to keep the soil moist at all times.
Divide the plant
In the case of already large plants, it is also possible to simply divide them – from 1 make 2, so to speak. However, before you decide to use this method, take a good look at your plant first. Would you ruin its beautiful appearance and growth habit too much by dividing it? Each new plant part should also have several shoots available, but you will shorten some of them. This is necessary so that the plant does not have to take care of too many leaves and shoots, and instead can grow enough new roots. Once you have divided the root ball, plant the two new plants in pots and take care of them as usual.
The advantage of this method is that you get two already large plants and do not have to wait years until they are large enough to form flowers. After a relatively short recovery period, each “new” plant will delight you with beautiful greenery and flowers.