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Oleanders: Oleander Question

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hollysmamma
Cuyahoga Heights, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 14, 2012
9:28 PM

Post #9082880

Hi everyone! I have a quick question about germinating oleander seeds. I live in Ohio, so I keep mine indoors most of the year. But I put about 20 seeds into a pot to germinate and had almost all of them come up. Then within 2 weeks all but 2 have died. I keep the pot on a seed germinating mat and on a table in front of a window that gets bright sun from early morning to afternoon. What am I doing wrong? I love oleander, but I am not have much luck with the seeds. This is the second time I have tried it.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 14, 2012
10:07 PM

Post #9082910

Too much water which leads to damping off is probably the most common thing that can go wrong with seedlings (of any sort, not just oleanders). Since oleanders don't need a ton of water maybe they're even more sensitive to this than other things that you've grown from seed in the past.

I would get rid of the germinating mat once the seeds have sprouted too--that most likely didn't kill them, but the heat isn't really needed after the seeds germinate (and can cause them to grow too fast & leggy) unless you've got the seedlings out in an unheated garage or something.

I would also check for things like cold drafts coming from the window or a heating vent blowing directly on the seedlings, things like that can cause problems as well.
MickeyAz
Cave Creek, AZ

May 18, 2012
10:49 PM

Post #9129169

Try cuttings? Do you need some?
Mickey
hollysmamma
Cuyahoga Heights, OH
(Zone 5a)

May 18, 2012
11:05 PM

Post #9129179

I haven't tried cuttings yet, just the seeds. You wouldn't happen to have any yellow or white would you?
MickeyAz
Cave Creek, AZ

June 28, 2012
8:49 PM

Post #9185643

I have some yellow and white but they will take a while to get stronger roots. The white I have to track down more if you want yellow.
I just had double yellow that rooted very nicely in 3 weeks!
Mickey
Arizona
hollysmamma
Cuyahoga Heights, OH
(Zone 5a)

July 1, 2012
10:04 AM

Post #9188695

How pretty! Wow, how did you get them to root so quickly? I would love to be able to work out a trade for some of your oleander!
MickeyAz
Cave Creek, AZ

July 11, 2012
11:22 AM

Post #9201724

I take my cuttings at least as thick as a pencil and take off all the leaves. Be careful not to tear the stem doing this. The rooting end cut at an angle and then with something sharp you can cut the end in a few more places vertically at the base. You don't have to do this but it helps get more water in the cutting. I gut fish take charcoal or a drop of bleach in the water. Cover cuttings with a plastic bag. Watch out if moisture builds up and you get water droplets, shake them off the bag so you don't get a fungus or mildew on the cuttings. They can be places in a sunny window or on a seed mat and grow lights.
I have had some start roots in two week and some never. I think if they have a lot of moisture in the cuttings it is easier to get to root.
I have tried soil and I don't have as much luck. I have had better luck with vermiculite.
After you get a good amount of roots you can them plant in soil in a small pot. Depending on what you are trying to do you can put one to many cuttings in a pot.
I have had problems with my drip system so I have a lot of plants I think I have to replace. I am now growing a lot of cuttings and I will put a lot in a pot them move them up to one gallon pots and them to 5 gallon pots. It may take 2 years to get them to 5 gallon size.
I water every day because it is over 110 degrees and we have little humidity. The plants in the ground are getting watered every few days because our water table is below 800 feet!
I can't send cutting now they would die in the mail. Once it hits 80 I will be glad to send some out.
My favorites are doubles. I have several trees that I have made from the oleander and I keep them in large pots. I have a seed pod from a double. I can't wait to try and grow them out! I am a terrible seed grower however.
Regards,
Mickey
cooking in Arizona
Mickey
Arizona

Txtea

Txtea
Fabens, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 13, 2012
6:59 PM

Post #9204421

Mickey, I have been reading yor post of several Oleanders forums. Every time I see your name and location it reminds me of an Aunt I had, Aunt Mickey who live in Mesa,Az. Well my question is how long are the cuttings you take? I have one red and one white plant now and would like to learn to root these, and hopefully may other colors I might happen to find. Is there a specific time of the year. Cookin here in west Tx also and as dry as a rock. Thanks
MickeyAz
Cave Creek, AZ

July 17, 2012
3:45 PM

Post #9209298

Txtea,
Hi, I still have a copy of a famous oleander book. It says to take 8" cuttings and put at least 2 leaf nodes in water. You want older wood not green new growth. I remove all the leaves on the cuttings. You can also use thicker cuttings. I must say I never take that short of cutting I uselly use 10-12 inches but I am going to try and see how I do with 8 inch cuttings. I may get better results. I just lost 16 very large oleander in a fence because the drip system is a mess. I need a lot of them to replace what I lost.
I root the in the house. I seem to get better results than outside were it's over 100 degrees.I take a container and put the cuttings in, watch and change the water often and cover the top with a plastic bag watching the bag to see that not too much moisture is being build up so they rot. I like the zip lock bags but I never close the bags.
Once I pot them up I keep them in small pots out side under a tree for shade and it is cooler there. I have several I have to pot up later today. I love doubles, my ones I have to pot up today are double yellow and a double dark pink. If we go somewhere I always bring my cutting kit and embarrassing the heck out of my husband!
I have my eye on the neighbors white single oleander. I need to go and get some of them.
Not all cutting root at the same rate. The cuttings I have outside are not doing that great.
We are not as hot as Mesa but it is dry as a bone. I water my pots daily.
Any new pots will do in to my Arizona room for the winter to be protected from the cold. It's like a huge screened room. I also have to stack them and put the smaller ones on the larger pots.
Sadly they don't get very much respect and there seem to be very few types here to buy.
Regards,
Mickey

Txtea

Txtea
Fabens, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 17, 2012
7:05 PM

Post #9209534

Mickey, Thank you for your responce to my questions. I have a couple of single white and single red. I don't remember ever seeing any doubles, of any color. I live about 20 mile east of El Paso and it is Hot and Very Dry here also. So many farms have been layed out this year due to the water shortage. I would love to find a salmon colored and yellow around here to see if I can root a couple. I knew a gentlmen several years ago who said he had salmon colored oleanders and offered to root some for me. Unfortunly he was murderded by his neighbor an ex police officer. Unbelivable. Well thanks again for the information and stay cool. Too much heat kills. Regards, James
MickeyAz
Cave Creek, AZ

July 25, 2012
5:40 PM

Post #9218714

James,
Try driving around in older neighborhoods to look for oleander. Just ask, the people will think you are nuts but they don't usually care. I found a place for double pink not far from my house. I think it helps to put the cuttings in water right a way. If I can get thicker dark wood and not green wood it's better. I have rooted up to 12". I think I am getting better luck rooting in a container were light doesn't get to the roots. I'm using quart yogurt containers and what ever else I get my hands on. The last time I got the pinks I tossed a lot away and just kept the thicker branches. I think they have rooted in 3 weeks. Keep checking on the water level and change the water often.
For postage when it gets cool out I will have some plants I can give away.
I found a seed pod on one of my doubles and I just planted them. I am excited to see if I can get anything to grow.
I have tons of seed pods of single oleanders if any one wants them. No yellow, it's a double..
My climate is like El Paso I bet. Very dry and no water!
Mickey
MickeyAz
Cave Creek, AZ

July 26, 2012
11:57 AM

Post #9219516

If any on wants to buy double oleander. I found a nursery that had 1 gallons for $20.00 plus postage. They have a pretty good selection too. It is in Louisiana.
e-mail: dalton@durionursery.biz

I have talked to Dalton and he just had that southern charm I can't wait till I get a few from him.

It is very hard to find nurseries that will ship to Arizona. They have to be inspected by the agriculture department to protect Arizona's produce crops so no unwanted bugs get in to the state.

Dalton doesn't have any photos of the plants but you could look them up on some other site to find out what they look like.

I have to start taking some photos and post them so we get some photos on this site.

Mickey
mittsy
Cicero, NY
(Zone 5a)

July 26, 2012
12:34 PM

Post #9219546

I'm sorry it seems to be so difficult for many of you. Just a bit of information I have picked up along the way. Seeds do not come true to parent plant and take three to four years to know what you have. Cuttings are easy, but don't make them too tall, 8" should be max. Cut bottom at an angle and remove a thin sliver of bark to stimulate root growth. I remove all leaves but four, and cut the bottom two in half. I don't cover the container. ( 1 lb yogurt container with drain holes in bottom). Sometimes I use Rootone, sometimes I don't. No fertilizer in the water you use to wet the soil (I use Farfeld potting soil from Ace Hardware). Place in a spot where it will get bright light but no direct sun. Direct sun cooks them! I have done this with several different colors and find I can train them from shrub shape to tree form in a couple of years. I don't do this but if you are having a hard time you might want to try using vermiculite in a clean container with regular clorinated water to the level you wish to grow roots. Prepare your cuttings as above and insert into the vermiculite, add an aquarium air stone connect to a small electric pump to add bubbles to the water. Cuttings root much quicker when using this method. (Even those without two green thumbs have success with the aquarium pump method. I have access to many different varieties from October to May. I'd be happy to send cuttings during that time.

Sorry wrong pictures, not oleander but frangipani.

This message was edited Jul 26, 2012 3:37 PM

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MickeyAz
Cave Creek, AZ

August 2, 2012
5:08 PM

Post #9227535

Mittsy,
I am well aware that seedling do not grow grow true to their parent and only a cutting would do that. I want to see what differences I can get from the mother.
Do you have oleander in Syracuse, NY or are you now living some were else.I would think the Syracuse area would be far too cold.
We have a very dry climate and not always working the best quality of cuttings. So far this year I have had better luck but I am paying better attention to the cuttings because I need them to replace the ones I lost.
I am getting roots with my system in 3 weeks and I do not use any sun light just a cfl light in the laundry room. I know my cats would chew on my cuttings! Here in Arizona I have to put a plastic bag over the jar of cuttings to kick up the water level.
I have been able to make very nice trees in 2 years.
Mickey
mittsy
Cicero, NY
(Zone 5a)

August 3, 2012
2:58 AM

Post #9227848

We winter in Cocoa Beach FL, our condo grounds have many different varieties. Friends let me trim their plants for cuttings. Would you like seeds?
MickeyAz
Cave Creek, AZ

August 3, 2012
2:16 PM

Post #9228510

Mittsy,
Thank yo very much for your offer but I want to work only with named plants. I seeds that I have planted are so small when they come up I may totally drop my seed project. I have tons of single seed pots for postage if anyone is interested. I would not recommend even messing with seeds after my attempt. Cuttings are far better way to go. After much research I have found that cuttings need to be put in water immediately and not just damp paper towels. I am having much better rooting success this year when I have a bucket of water ready in the car when I take my cuttings.
I need to get my last batch potted up and hunt down another batch for rooting.
Mickey
MickeyAz
Cave Creek, AZ

October 17, 2012
10:18 PM

Post #9308559

Missy, I have been able to root 2 foot cuttings in about 2 weeks if they are fresh cuttings.
Mickey

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