The oleander cuttings is a method of propagation that tends to give excellent successes, even in not entirely favorable climatic conditions. Proceed by spring picking the tips of the most robust and vigorous branches, when they have already started to develop again after the external pause. The branches are cut obliquely, at a length of about ten centimeters. Then they dip in the powder of rooting hormone and then in a soil made up of a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts, previously well watered. The jar containing the cuttings should be kept in a place sheltered from direct sunlight, and watered regularly, to prevent the substrate from drying completely. When the cuttings have some new leaves they can be repotted individually. Over the course of a couple of years they will be large enough to be planted in the garden.
Propagation by cuttings
The oleanders that we find in the nursery often belong to hybrid varieties, with double flowers or with very marked colors; unfortunately the sowing of hybrid plants leads to the production of plants that do not always have identical blooms to that of the mother plant. For this reason, it is preferable to propagate oleanders by cuttings: the cuttings are in all respects identical to the mother plant, and therefore allow us to preserve the characteristics of robustness or flowering that we are particularly interested in. There oleander cutting generally it tends to root with great ease, since the stems of this shrub tend to remain green for a long time, without lignify. When preparing these cuttings it is not necessary to take many cuttings, because even with only 4-5 small cuttings we can be sure that at least one roots and develops rapidly.
The oleander belongs to the nerium oleander species, widespread in the natural state also throughout the Mediterranean basin and in most of Asia. It is an evergreen shrub, of medium height, which over the years can reach 3-4 meters in height. These plants are very cultivated in Italy, also because they are very resistant to summer heat, to the salty air present on the coasts and to urban pollution. For these reasons, many oleanders are present in the Italian street furniture, where they cheerfully show off their splendid summer bloom. They are easy to grow plants, which are placed in the garden in a sunny position; It is important that the soil is deep and very well drained, because oleanders do not like water stagnation. They do not even like prolonged drought, and therefore need fairly regular watering in the summer. They do not fear the cold too much, even if persistent frosts can ruin the tips of the branches.
Talea Oleander: A poisonous plant
As many know, the oleander is a very poisonous plant: the foliage, the wood and the fruits contain high quantities of strongly toxic alkaloids for humans and small animals. When handling the branches of this plant, as during the operations of preparation of a cutting, it is important to wear gloves, or wash your hands thoroughly after touching foliage and wood. Oleander poisoning can be lethal, although in Italy there are not many deaths due to this plant. But do we keep a poisonous plant in the garden? fortunately the poison contained in the plant is a sort of defense against wild animals, and not against man; the oleander in addition to a high content in toxic substances, also has a very bitter taste and a smell of the foliage that does not encourage to consume them as food. For this reason, there is no danger in cultivating this plant in the garden.