By: Liz Baessler
Oleander is a beautiful, warm weather perennial from the Mediterranean that produces large amounts of blossoms throughout the summer. Oleander is often propagated from cuttings, but you can just as easily grow oleander from seeds. It takes longer and is a bit more involved, but oleander seed propagation usually has a very high success rate. Keep reading to learn more about collecting oleander seeds and how to grow oleander from seeds.
Oleander Seed Propagation
After oleander has bloomed, it produces seed pods (Collecting oleander seeds is easy, but the plant is toxic and can irritate your skin if you touch it. Make sure to wear gloves when collecting oleander seeds or handling your plant in any way). As time goes on, these seeds should dry and split open naturally, revealing a bunch of fluffy, feathery things.
Attached to these feathers are little brown seeds, which you can separate by rubbing against a piece of screen or simply by picking them out by hand. When planting oleander seeds, it’s important to pay attention to temperature. Oleanders can’t survive outdoors in temperatures below freezing.
If you live in an area that does not experience frost, you can plant your seeds at any time and transplant the seedlings outdoors as soon as they’re big enough. If you do experience frost, you won’t be able to move them outside until after the last danger of frost, so you may want to wait until early spring to plant your seeds.
How to Grow Oleander from Seeds
When planting oleander seeds, fill small pots or a seed tray with peat. Moisten the top couple inches (5 cm.) of the peat, then press the seeds into the top of it – don’t cover the seeds, but do cover the pots with plastic wrap and place them in a warm place (around 68 F. or 20 C.) under grow lights. Spray the peat occasionally to keep it from drying out.
The seeds will be slow to germinate – they often take one month but may take as long as three months. Once the seeds sprout, remove the plastic wrap. When the seedlings have a few sets of true leaves, you can transplant them either to your garden bed (if you live in a warm climate) or a larger pot if you live in a cool climate.
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How to Germinate Oleander Seed
Oleander (Nerium oleander) is an ornamental shrub that can double as a border in your garden. The plant produces long, narrow leaves with a pointed tips, and fragrant flowers in colors ranging from white and yellow to pink and red. Oleander shrubs are native to the eastern Mediterranean basin, northern Africa and Southeast Asia. In California and other areas of the United States, oleander thrives in U.S. Department of Agriculture planting zones 8 through 10. Even though oleander shrubs are commonly grown from vegetative cuttings, starting them from seed can be a rewarding challenge.
Fill the sink with nine parts water and one part bleach. Soak the seed-raising tray in the solution, for approximately 15 minutes. Allow it to air-dry. Soaking the tray eliminates dirt and bacteria that can interfere with the germination process.
Fill the seed-raising tray up to approximately 1/2 inch from the top with moist potting soil. Firm the soil in the container with your fingers.
Spread the oleander seeds over the soil in the seed-raising tray. Sprinkle a 1/8-inch layer of soil over the seeds. Lightly tamp the soil with your fingertips so it sits firmly over the seeds.
Water the seeds with a spray bottle aim to keep the soil moist, not soggy.
Cover the seed-raising tray with clear plastic wrap or cover to insulate the seeds and to help maintain the soil moisture until the seeds germinate.
Place the seed tray in a sunlit area. Aim for a temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit. As an alternative, suspend fluorescent lights above the tray. Moisten the soil, as needed, throughout the germination process. Expect the seeds to germinate within approximately one month.
Transplant the seedlings to individual pots once their second set of true leaves appear. Plant them outdoors in a sun-filled area at the beginning of summer or after all danger of frost has passed.
Should I remove oleander seed pods?
Oleander Pruning And Propagation Remove old branches of mature plants at the base to encourage new growth. Older plants can be cut back hard. Don't dead-head finished flowers. These will be the first flowers of the following season.
Also Know, how do you harvest oleander seeds?
- Gather oleander seeds in autumn after frost or cold nighttime temperatures have caused the seed capsules to split open.
- Pry open the seed capsule.
- Gently rub the seeds against the mesh to separate them from the fluffy mass.
- Fill 4-inch nursery pots with a peat-based, soil-less growing mixture.
Besides, what does a oleander plant look like?
The plant grows as a dense shrub, and is typically 6 to 18 feet (1.8 to 5.4 meters) tall at maturity. It has thick, dark green leaves, and the flowers, which grow in clusters, can be yellow, red, pink or white. Even in barren areas, the oleander produces lovely flowers and fragrance.
Can you grow oleander from seeds?
How to Grow Oleander from Seeds. When planting oleander seeds, fill small pots or a seed tray with peat. Moisten the top couple inches of the peat, then press the seeds into the top of it – don't cover the seeds, but do cover the pots with plastic wrap and place them in a warm place (around 68 F. or 20 C.)
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Using Oleander in the Landscape
A single oleander in the garden will give you color throughout the season. Since the plants can get quite larger, you will need to keep a specimen plant pruned to fit the space it is given.
Oleander shrubs are commonly used as hedges and make a great screening, whether for privacy or to hide eye-sores like air conditioning units.
If you choose to grow oleander, be aware that the plants are very poisonous and should not be grown where young children and gnawing pets will be playing.