This easy step by step guide with pictures shows how to take oleander cuttings to create more of these beautiful flowering shrubs without spending any money.
Oleanders make a beautiful hedge or screening plant with masses of flowers covering the shrub over the warmer months. They are exceptionally hardy surviving drought conditions and water inundation however they don’t grow as well in colder regions.
Taking cuttings of oleanders is a great way to create more plants for nothing especially when you would like to create a screen along a fence line or driveway. Oleanders grow from 6.6 to 19.7 feet (2 to 6m) tall making them the perfect backdrop for your garden.
The best time to take oleander cuttings is during the warmer months when the oleander is putting out new growth.
It will depend on your climate. In warmer humid climates roots will form within the first two weeks whereas in dryer cooler climates it may take up to 2 months.
Tools and Materials Needed
- Sharp Pruners – These Ratcheting Pruners give 5 times the power of normal pruners which is so much easier on the hands especially if you have arthritis. (Paid link)
- Growth Hormone – This top rated Rooting Hormone from Garden Safe is great value. (Paid link)
- Potting Mix or Compost
- Pot and Saucer
How to Take Oleander Cuttings
- Prepare the Pots
First prepare the pots by filling with potting mix then water well. Make a hole in the middle of the soil with your finger 2 inches (5cm) deep.
- Take the Cutting
Look for new growth on the oleander which is producing new leaves and not flowers. Cut the stem with the pruners 4 inches (10cm) from the end on an angle just below a node. Pinch off all of the bottom leaves leaving the top 4 or 5 leaves on the stem.
- Dip in Growth Hormone and Plant
Dip the cut end into the growth hormone then tap off any excess. Place into the hole then gently press the soil around the stem.
- Keep Moist
Place the pot in a saucer of water to keep the soil moist. Place in a protected semi shaded position and keep moist until new growth appears.
- Pot Up the Oleander Cutting
Once you see the new growth the cutting can be potted up with a slow release fertilizer. It is best to wait until you see more growth before planting out as this will indicate a better root structure.
It is always a good idea to take twice as many cuttings as you need as not all will grow roots.
Do you need pots for your cuttings? This set of 60 square pots are perfect for cuttings and are highly rated. (Paid link)
Planting Out Your New Oleander
Cuttings taken from the middle of summer to early fall or autumn are ready to be planted out in the garden at the beginning of the following spring. Keep cuttings in a warm protected position over the winter such as next to a brick wall.
Add compost and aged manure to the soil prior to planting to improve the soil structure. Mulch well and water regularly for the first few weeks after planting and during dry periods.
Oleanders will reward you with more blooms and quicker growth with the addition of a slow release fertilizer in the spring. Pruning will also create more blooms and keep the bush looking healthy. See this guide to Pruning Oleanders for more information.
For more information on making the most of your home and garden try this free Homesteading guide.
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