September 11, 2006

One measly cluster!

Buds on Oleander neriumThat's all that my oleander is giving me in the new beginnings department! And that's all I've managed to squeeze out of it all year.

It's mostly my fault, of course. But I will plead my case; I put it in too shady a spot for two excellent reasons.

First, the front yard with its western exposure would have generated a lot more of the lovely, vanilla-scented blooms but it also would have increased the likelihood of my plant going for a walk with somebody else and not coming back! It's like toddlers, you have to watch them all the time.

I was perhaps being paranoid. Nobody walked off with the neighbours' hibiscus plants which were much bigger and nicer than mine. In my defence, they bought theirs already mature, while I started mine from a cutting. But back to the point, maybe I should put the pot out front next year, earning me bragging rights as well as being a better environment for the oleander. Two excellent reasons...

The other reason I had it in the shade is that it looked so nice up against the house. Call me an aesthete with a fine eye for composition. It won't be true, but it will make me feel good. In any event, the horticulturalist eventually won out over the aesthete, who grudgingly allowed a small move to the other side of the patio at least. Too little, too late, but I have been rewarded with this one small cluster of buds, which will likely not open till I've brought the plant inside. I have suffered worse fates.

Oleander buds take an astonishing length of time to form and eventually open. I've never actually timed it, but you need a calendar, not a watch, and expect to use more than one page. I'm still not sure I've managed to figure out the intricacies of growing them well, but seeing as they do manage to stay healthy and even flower when I give them enough sun, I must be doing something approximately right.

Having read conflicting information on fertilizing and watering, I chose the path of moderation. I water moderately and fertilize moderately and it seems to be working.

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3 comments:

Blackswamp_Girl said...

You aesthete with a fine eye for composition! Oh, good, I have you smiling... :)

How about perpetrating a little subterfuge next year? Put the pot out front but hide it a little... and then when it starts to bloom, wheel it over to the spot where it looks the best for a week or two. Then back in the sun for more blooms. Everyone who knows plants will wonder how you got yours to bloom so well in so much shade! MWAHAHAHA!

gardenerinmexico said...

For whatever it's worth, on the mid-Pacific coast of Mexico oleander blosson like crazy in full sun only. Very few, if any blossoms in the shade.

Of course, you have a very different situation. Good Luck

Janet said...

It's a heavy pot, BSW, and I don't want to presume on the good will of the stronger backs around here. But I like your devious mind!

GM, I like it even without blooms because I braided several trunks together to get a self-supporting standard. It looks quite elegant. Strangely enough, it has bloomed for me in the winter in a rather underlit hallway, so I will never understand what is going through its devious little mind...

Devious minds! I'm surrounded by them! (Good thing I like them.)