Cascabela Thevetia, Oleander, Lucky Nut – Kaner
Cascabela Thevetia is an evergreen tropical shrub or small tree. Its leaves are willow-like, linear-lanceolate, and glossy green in color. They are covered in a waxy coating to reduce water loss (typical of oleanders). Its stem is green turning silver/gray as it ages. Flowers bloom from summer to fall. The long funnel-shaped sometimes-fragrant yellow (less commonly apricot, sometimes white) flowers are in few-flowered terminal clusters. Its fruit is deep red-black in color encasing a large seed that bears some resemblance to a ‘Chinese lucky nut.
Cascabel Thevetia is commonly known as Kaneir or Kaner (कनेर) in the Hindi language in India. It is effectively drought-resistant and tolerant to high temperatures, hence found in various states of India like Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh where the semi-arid climate is prevalent.
Kaner Planting & Care
Ideally, select a site with full sun to light shade and well-drained soil. However, oleanders are adaptable and will withstand dry conditions as well as marshy soils.
Apply a layer of compost under the plant each spring, spreading it out to the dripline (the area under the outermost branches). Add a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds. Water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. Prune oleander after the main bloom period to encourage bushier growth and more flowers, and to reduce the size of the shrub.
Plant in spring or fall. Space plants 6 to 12 feet apart, depending on the variety. Dig a hole only as deep as the root ball and 2 to 3 times as wide. If your soil is in very poor condition, amend the soil you’ve removed from the hole with a small amount of compost. Otherwise don’t amend it at all. Carefully remove the plant from the container and set it in the hole. Fill the hole half full with soil, then water it well to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets. Let the water drain, then fill the remainder of the hole with soil and water thoroughly.
Care for Nerium Oleander
- Soil is to be a standard mix of well-drained sand and peat.
- Fertilize regularly during the growing period.
- The yellowing of new leaves indicates overwatering.