Nerium oleander

A common garden shrub in the tropics, the romantic-sounding Oleander makes an impressive pot plant. Clusters of flowers, usually bright pink, appear at the ends of stems. The long spear-like leaves are normally a clear green but on some varieties they may be a greyish-green.

Nerium oleander

Temperatures:

  • Growing season 10-20 °C (50-70 °F)
  • Minimum winter 2 °C (36 °F)

Soil: A firmly-pressed soil-less compost containing a little bone meal.

Where to position: A sheltered sunny position out of doors in summer. A light, airy frost-free spot in winter. It will resent temperature fluctuations if extreme.

Watering requirements: Water with lukewarm (never cold) water. Keep soil condition springy to thumb pressure. Feed weekly with weak liquid fertilizer.

General care: Keep in good light in a cool position. Cut off faded flowers.

Rest: Reduce water considerably in winter. Re-pot in spring adding a little bone meal to the compost. Increase water as growth begins.

When it looks sick:

  • Browning leaves : Usually indicates bad drainage and a tendency to become waterlogged. Carefully re-pot the plant. Provide really good drainage and avoid over-watering.
  • The plant does not bloom freely : Over-feeding may result in lush leaf growth. Failure to remove dead blossoms will discourage continued flowering.

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