Nerium oleander

APOCYNACEAE, The Dogbane family

My Oleander is blooming dark pink flowers.

I will never use or recommend Miracle grow again. Though I think Pistils is a really neat little nursery, with their chickens and country style, the owner told me to use it for house plants, because they aren’t really in a natural situation anyway. (?) She couldn’t recommend any organic or natural ways to give houseplants nutrients. While at my last job, I learned a few things. One, I shouldn’t have been concerned about my plants growing in the winter anyway, because they are resting. I think houseplants in Oregon ‘rest’ a lot more in winter than in Minnesota. There, because of the angle of the sun, my plants actually got more light in winter, spring and fall than in summer time, and grew actively in winter. They are tropical, and as long as it’s 65-85 F and they get light, they probably don’t care what ‘season’ it is here. Anyway, I also learned that there are many options for feeding house plants. There are non-stinky liquid foods, there is organic slow-release container plant food, and there are things like worm castings that can be mixed into the soil or used as a topdressing. Why don’t I like Miracle grow? When plants grow too fast they have big floppy cells that insects, like spider mites, FOR INSTANCE, find very succulent. Also, synthetic chemicals can kill the beneficial microorganisms that plant roots need. And, synthetic fertilizer is made from petroleum. Michael Pollan’s book ‘The Ominovore’s Dillema’ has a great part about the history of synthetic nitrogen.

The oleander, and many of my other house plants, have had an infestation of spidermites lately, which I am sucessfully treating with water.

This nerium was given to me by an older lady I met at my plant sale years ago. She came and saw my plants and told me about how she brought an oleander cutting back from California in her suitcase, but didn’t have room for it anymore. The next day she brought it to my house, and it’s been growing ever since. I usually put it outdoors in summer, as she did, but this summer it has to stay in my living room, but it has plenty of heat and sunlight and a prime view of the west hills.

All parts of Oleander are poisonous.

About Mulysa

I love my work as a landscape designer and artist. When I'm not planning homesteads or working in the studio, you'll find me hiking, photographing, gardening, baking, cooking vegetarian meals with friends, reading and working on sustainability issues...with my baby on my hip in Portland, Oregon.
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