Oleander (flower): description, types, planting and care
Oleander is a plant with extremely fragrant and beautiful flowers that conceals a deadly threat. In the middle of the last century it grew in many apartments. But the rumor about his poisonous leaves made many hostesses get rid of the oleander. Especially if there were small children in their house. Although no one confirms the destructive impact of oleander on the hosts or their guests with real stories, but there are few who want to risk their children. And yet it is difficult to resist the beauty of this flower, which simultaneously heals and kills. What is this plant and how to care for it?
Oleander in nature
The oleander plant (Nérium oleander - lat.) Belongs to the kurtov family. Grows wild in countries with a dry or semi-dry Mediterranean climate. There are three types of this shrub. In our area in the wild grows on the latitude of the Black Sea coast. Its thickets can be seen near the reservoirs, especially in the rivers' bowls.In the southern resorts, oleander grows everywhere, delighting vacationers with charming flowers and a wondrous aroma. In more northern regions can only survive indoors. Oleander ordinary or nerium is grown at home.
Legends and Myths
Oleander is a flower that was grown as a cultivated plant in ancient Rome and Greece. The first part of the name "Ole" in translation means "oil" or "fragrant." The second part of "Andr" can mean "man" or the name of the Greek island of Andros. The Nerium, possibly, got its name from the legend of the Nereids, daughters of the sea god who lived in the vicinity of the island of Andros. They allegedly hid from the dangers that await them in the thickets of this bush. There it was difficult to find them, and the poisonous branches of the irium did not allow anyone extra to them.
And the Greek word “nerios” itself means “raw”, that is, arium is a plant that loves moisture and grows near water.
Myths associated with oleander, based on the poisonous properties of all parts of the plant. They are told in different countries, but the ending is the same. They say whether the soldiers of Macedon and Napoleon, or about the British conquerors of Central Asia.But the essence boils down to one thing: after burning the meat strung on the branches of oleander, and having eaten it, they died by the morning. That is, the plant helped to destroy the enemies of the country in which it grew.
Oleander is an evergreen plant about 2.5 m high with beautiful leathery leaves, shaped like willow leaves, but dark green in color and much denser. At this similarity with willow ends. Light gray smooth branches grow up, not leaning. Oleander is a flower that is beautiful at any time of the year. But it is especially beautiful at the time of flowering. The first buds appear in summer, in June. It blooms for a long time, some varieties - until October. Buds open gradually, not all at once. Therefore, in the flowering brush at the same time you can see the unopened buds, and flowering, and ovary. And the flowering period due to this is lengthened.
The colors of the oleander buds are most often pink, white, cream, sometimes yellow. There are varieties with purple and purple flowers. Their size can be up to 5 cm. The shape of flowers, their size, and terryiness depend on the variety. They all have a pleasant, but very strong aroma. He may have a headache.Therefore, it is not recommended to put oleander in the bedroom or room where people are long.
Fruits are multi-seeded leaflets. Their length reaches 10 cm. Ripen in November. From seeds you can grow a flower oleander.
How to care?
In order for oleander to please you with abundant flowers, it needs good lighting, watering and food. In addition, you need to maintain a certain temperature. At the time when the arium is actively growing, the temperature should be between 20 and 25 degrees. Oleander at home normally carries 28 and even 30 degrees. But it can not be placed near radiators or other heating devices. In winter, the oleander has a rest period, so the temperature should be lowered to 12 degrees and below. But he should not freeze either. The minimum temperature is 2 degrees heat. But all the time the plant should be well lit. Otherwise, its leaves will fall off, and in summer the oleander will not bloom. The best for him would be a bright but diffused lighting.
A great place in the apartment is the southern windows where the oleander flower feels best. If you do not have the opportunity to provide him with sufficient natural light, you can use fluorescent lamps for this.Oleander at home is easily affected by diseases and pests and does lose its attractiveness. This happens if he is constantly in the shadows.
Oleander - a flower that grows on the banks of reservoirs, likes moist air. When heated by gas appliances it is too dry. Therefore, the plant must be constantly sprayed or set the dishes with water that will evaporate and increase the humidity in the room. At the same time, the arium is normally tolerating the drying out of a clod of earth. After all, its leathery leaves contain a large supply of moisture and use it sparingly.
In winter, oleander is watered a little, once every ten days, making sure that the earth in the pot does not dry out. In the summer, the amount of moisture is increased, not forgetting about good drainage. It is impossible to flood a bush. This can lead to the formation of root rot and the death of the plant. The first sign of damage is yellowed due to lack of air in the root system of the leaves.
But do not go to extremes and water very rarely. This also adversely affects the condition of the bush. If the leaves turn yellow from the center and fall off, this indicates insufficient watering.
You can take the tree to the street, put in a bowl with water, at the bottom of which pour a layer of gravel. It is watered regularly, as it dries, with rain or distilled water at room temperature, to which the oleander responds well.
Growing includes fertilizing with organic or mineral fertilizers created specifically for flowering houseplants. During active growth do it every week, in the winter - once a month.
Initially, the oleander plant is planted in the spring in a small pot with good drainage. It begins to grow rapidly, so it must be replanted every year, increasing the dishes. When the tree grows up, it is enough to do it once every two or three years. Adult plants are transplanted by transfer.
You can simply change the old land to a new one, removing the top layer of soil, and fill in the new one. It is obtained by mixing in equal parts humus, peat and sod land. You can add coarse sand and a little lime (10 g per bucket of soil). They also use ready-made slightly acidic soil for indoor plants, adding sand to it. Before transplanting, the soil is sterilized by calcining or spilling a weak solution of potassium permanganate.
If the oleander is not cut, then it is formed in the form of a bush, as in the wild. But the plant in the shape of a tree will look better. Its trunk will be thicker and smoother. To do this, the bush must be properly cut. Do it in gloves and very carefully, so that the poisonous juice of oleander does not get on the mucous membranes. After trimming, the pruner or scissors are carefully washed.
Pruned after the bush blooms. But do not rush to remove the inflorescences that already seem to have faded. Buds on them may appear again.
In the spring, the plant is not pruned so as not to remove the flowers formed last year. Then your oleander will flourish.
Getting a new plant is very easy. To do this, take the stalk (preferably not lumbering) and place the cut end into the water. So that it does not rot, you can throw a little charcoal in the pot. When the roots appear, young oleander is planted in the ground. Reproduction can be carried out by planting the stalk under the jar or directly into the pot. His leaves are dense, so do not fade. But as practice shows, rooting in this case will take longer.
Usually, oleander cuttings take root without problems.Bloom the next year after planting.
You can grow arium from seeds. They are collected in late October. Brown seeds fly out of the box, which was formed on the site of the flower. They quickly lose their germination. They are collected, not forgetting about security measures, and sown to a depth of 1 cm. It is not necessary to stratify.
When choosing a breeding method, evaluate your task. If you need to get a flower "like a friend's", then safely cut off the stalk. If you want to create a new variety, then you need to tinker with the seeds.
Oleander is a flower that, like most plants, can be affected by fungal diseases. To prevent them, the soil should be well disinfected, properly watered and fed.
Pests that are not afraid of poisonous juice can harm the plant. Aphids, shields, spider mites, you can see if you carefully examine the oleander.
Fight against diseases and pests in case of their discovery with the help of chemicals or agents of organic origin (Agrofit, Fitoverm).
A beautiful tree with beautiful flowers, a pleasant smell and an euphonic name is actually very dangerous. In oleander all parts of the plant are poisonous. Juice is especially dangerous.And if the seeds are not so easy to poison, then it is very easy to come into contact with the juice. It is enough to break off the leaves of oleander, branch, flower, and touch them to the skin of the hands or face.
It is especially dangerous for children. It is difficult for a child to explain why this beautiful tree should be avoided. Yes, and keep track of him is difficult. Therefore, with the appearance of small children in the house, it is better to get rid of oleander until they thoroughly grow up.
Symptoms of poisoning
They need to know to everyone who is growing oleander to quickly seek help from a doctor. After poisoning with oleander juice, the heartbeat slows down, then diarrhea with blood is added. Breathing is difficult, a person loses consciousness.
But oleander is a rare plant that simultaneously heals and kills. As they say, it all depends on the dose.
From the leaves of the plant receive drugs that help normalize the work of the cardiovascular system. They do this with the help of glycosides, which help to restore the normal functioning of the heart by acting on the heart muscle.
Drugs created from the leaves of nerium, have a positive effect on the activity of the liver, normalize blood pressure, help to increase immunity. Scabies and dermatitis are treated with ointment from irium leaves.There is information that they help treat thyrotoxicosis, diseases of the nervous system. But since overdose of the drug is fraught with dangerous consequences, it is used in homeopathic doses.
A useful feature of irrium is its ability to grow in an area where gas and dust levels are significantly exceeded. Growing up there, it cleans the air.
Types of oleanders
- White oleander is a shrub reaching a height of 5 meters. Its flowers, as the name implies, are white. Although white oleander has poisonous leaves, they are used to make drugs.
- Oleander room.
- Pink arium loves to grow in cozy places.
- Yellow oleander has flowers of unusual shape in the form of bells. They differ from other varieties. The fruit has the size of a chestnut, can give two sprouts at once.
- Red oleander is a low shrub (up to 2 meters). His flowers have a very beautiful bright colors.
- Terry oleander can have petals of various colors: from white to cream.