How to Propagate Japanese Oleander

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Cascabela thevetia or Thevetia peruviana, commonly known as Japanese, Mexican, Peruvian or yellow oleander, thrives in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11. Japanese oleander, like other oleander varieties, is toxic, so it should be planted where animals and small children can’t get to it. Oleander plants are most commonly propagated using seeds, which you can buy at nurseries, garden centers and some home improvement stores. The seeds are quite small, so you can plant 10 to 20 in a single pot.

Difficulty: Moderate


Things You’ll Need:

  • Planting pot
  • Sand
  • Peat moss
  • Japanese oleander seeds
  • Spray bottle
  • Plastic wrap
  • Trowel
  1. Prepare a planting pot with a mixture using equal parts sand and peat moss. Water the medium lightly until it is damp all the way through.

  2. Scatter the seeds over the top of the planting medium. Cover the seeds very lightly with the peat moss and sand. They should only be under about 1/8 to 1/4 inch of the medium. Water the seeds with a spray bottle with a mist function.

  3. Cover the top of the pot with plastic wrap. This will retain heat and moisture to create a greenhouse like environment. Place the pot in a sunny spot.

  4. Mist the seeds daily with the spray bottle until they start to sprout. Wait a week after the seeds germinate and start removing the weakest seedlings. Remove two or three sprouts a week until only the strongest two or three sprouts remain.

  5. Transplant the young oleander plants to their permanent location outside at the beginning of summer. Dig out the plants from the container and check the size of the root ball. Dig holes in a spot that gets full sunlight. The holes should be about as large as the root balls. Place the young plants in the holes and backfill as necessary. Tamp the soil down to get rid of any air pockets. Water three times a week for the first two weeks until the plants are established.

Tips & Warnings

  • All parts of the oleander plant are extremely toxic.

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