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Kutrov family. Homeland - South of Europe, Africa, Asia, Arabian Peninsula. In nature, the only species Nerium (Oleander), common Nerium oleander, grows - an evergreen shrub that grows up to 2 meters tall, with erect little branching stems. Leaves glabrous, leathery, lanceolate, 10-15 cm long and about 2.5 cm wide, on short petioles (7-10 mm long). The leaves are dark green, with a light midrib, oppositely located on the stem. The cluster inflorescence is formed at the end of annual shoots. The flowers are white, red, pink, yellow or lilac, they can be simple and double. You should know that all parts of the oleander, including the flowers, are poisonous. Oleander is an excellent greenhouse plant, in warm indoor conditions it is quite capricious, since it needs a cool winter and requires a lot of light. Blooms throughout the summer.
Temperature: Normal room temperature in summer, in winter oleander prefers keeping it cool at 10-12 ° С, at least 7 ° С. This is one of the conditions for flowering at home. Since the oleander is a rather tall tree, an adult plant will no longer fit on the windowsill, it is best to put the pot on an insulated balcony until the temperature drops to +5, while watering is completely stopped. So from mid-September to mid-November, you can withstand at least 2 months of rest. You can also temporarily rearrange the pot on the staircase until January-February.
Lighting: Oleander is light-requiring. Choose a sunny place for it, no shading is required. If it is warm in winter and not enough light, the oleander needs to be supplemented with lamps.
Watering: In summer, abundant, with drying of the top layer of the earth to a depth of 1/3 of the pot. In winter, watering is moderate, its frequency depends on the temperature in the room - complete overdrying of the earthen coma is not allowed, but in the upper half of the pot the earth should dry well. With regard to oleander, we can say that it will more easily tolerate drying out than waterlogging of the roots. The plant is demanding on water hardness, so water it with boiled or filtered water.
Fertilization: During the growth period from April to August, every two weeks, oleander is fed with a complex fertilizer for decorative flowering plants. You can use fertilizers "Rainbow", "Fertika-Lux", "Pocon for flowering", etc. Oleander responds well to organic fertilizers, for example, a mullein solution at the very beginning of the growing season (no earlier than 1-1.5 months after transplant).
Oleander very often suffers from waterlogging, due to the prevailing stereotype that it is very hygrophilous. From waterlogging, brown spots are formed on the leaves, flowers and buds. In this case, the plant must be transplanted into fresh soil, removing the rotten roots, after transplanting, pour it with a fungicide solution (foundationol). In the future, water only as the earth dries up.
Air humidity: Oleander is regularly sprayed, in nature it grows near water bodies and loves moist air. If in winter it is not possible to keep the oleander cool at home for the winter, it must be protected from the hot air of the battery (for example, cover it with a damp towel). Dry air cannot be compensated for by excessive watering - this will lead to decay of the roots and death of the plant.
Transplant: Young oleanders are transplanted annually, old tub plants in 2-3 years. Soil - 3 parts sod land, 2 parts leaf land, 2 parts compost, 1 part sand. Drainage must be done in a pot or tub. During transplanting, you can carry out partial root pruning of large tub plants. The soil for oleander should be nutritious, but loose, let water pass well and dry quickly, for this you can add baking powder to it - vermiculite or pine bark (1/5 of the total volume of the earth).
Reproduction: Stem cuttings in spring or summer, which are rooted in wet sand or water, preferably in high humidity conditions (you can put a humidifier next to it). You can dip the tip of the cutting into the root before planting in the ground. Although, according to our own observations, oleander takes root better in water, roots appear within about two months. Sometimes the formation of roots is delayed for 3-4 months. When the roots have grown to a length of about 5 cm, the cuttings can be planted in pots. Oleander is also propagated by seeds, layering, and grafting is used to propagate decorative varieties.
When propagated by seeds purchased in a store, or by their own, collected in the fall, they are sown at the end of February - in March. In wide bowls in a mixture of universal soil and vermiculite (you can sand) in equal parts. Seeds are planted to a depth of about 7-8 mm, planting pitch is 5-7 cm. You can immediately plant seeds in peat cups. When planting, the seed is placed with a fluffy tail down. The plate with plantings must be placed in a bag (to maintain high air humidity) and put in a warm place (soil temperature 30-32 ° C) - on a battery or heating pad, regularly ventilated. When shoots appear, the bowl should stand in a sunny place. When the seedlings reveal two pairs of real (not cotyledonous) leaves, they can be planted in pots, 8-10 cm in diameter, one at a time, or 2-3 seedlings together.The soil should be poured into the pots already more nutritious. For example, 2 parts of leafy soil (or universal soil), 1 part of compost, 1 part of sand (or vermiculite). When the seedlings grow to a height of about 20-25 cm, they can again be transplanted into large pots, take the soil as for adult plants.
Formation of appearance: Oleander grows as a bush, but the natural branching is not lush. Inflorescences are formed on the shoots of the current year, therefore, the oleander is cut off in early spring. You can shorten last year's shoots by about 1 / 3-1 / 2 of their length. Regular care of the crown, pruning allows you to maintain a more compact form of the bush, stimulates the growth of new shoots and, accordingly, flowering. If, when propagating oleander by cuttings or seeds, you plant 10-12 cuttings in one wide pot, and cut them off every spring, you can get not a tree, but a lush, spreading bush.