Named after Daniel de la Roche (1743-1813) a physician native to Switzerland but resident in Paris. Rochea is a small shrub grown primarily for its clusters of rich reddish-pink flowers. These are strongly scented when in bloom.
Germination Temperature (°F)
When actively growing, water the plant moderately, enough to make the mixture moist throughout, but allowing the top half inch of the mixture to dry out before watering again. Water sparingly during the Winter months.
As soon as flower buds appear, begin to apply a high potassium, tomato-type liquid fertilizer once every 2 weeks. Continue these feeds until the moment when the last flowers have faded and died.
Move each plant into one size larger every Spring, using 3 parts standard soil-based compost to 1 part sharp sand. If the plant has lost many lower leaves during the Winter and looks untidy, it is best to replace it from a cutting.
Prepare a seed tray by covering a half inch layer of gravel or perlite in bottom of seed tray and fill it up with damp rooting medium. Cover the mixture with sand and sprinkle seeds thinly. Do not bury seeds. Cover with a piece of glass or clear plastic. If the container is placed near a window, put a sheet of thin paper over it. As soon as seeds germinate, ventilate the seedlings.
Rocheas are easy to propagate from stem cuttings taken in Spring or Summer. Remove a 3-4 inches long branch. Allow it to dry for 2-3 days and then insert the cut end in a 3 inch pot of succulent compost. Treat the cutting as an adult plant immediately. It should root and begin producing new top growth in 3-4 weeks. Propagation from seed is also possible in Spring and Summer.
Give Rochea direct sunlight at all times. In poor light they will not remain compact and bushy. During the short day Winter months they should be encouraged to enter a rest period by being kept in cool position throughout this time.
Cut back straggly stem quite hard in late Winter to keep the plant in good shape.
All parts of the oleander (Nerium oleander), a beautiful Mediterranean-native flowering shrub, are poisonous. Ingesting oleander leaves can cause gastrointestinal, cardiac, and central nervous system problems and possible death.