UACES Facebook Oleander

Oleander

February 6, 2016 

Question

We live in Warren, in south Arkansas.  We have three oleander bushes on the south side of our house showing the peculiar growth.  The plants are otherwise healthy looking.  Is it something that requires our attention?

     

Answer

Your oleander has a waxy scale.  That white waxy coating protects the insect underneath.  If it is only on one or two branches, you could prune it out. You can also saturate the branches right now with a dormant oil to try to smother them out. Once dead, they won’t fall off, but you should not see any new signs and the plant will be fine. If you continue to see more as the growing season begins, a systemic insecticide is your best approach.  


 

(Sept. 2011)

QuestionWe have an oleander about five feet tall that is thriving in very full sun. Following a wonderful blooming season it is covered with seed pods. Do we cut them off, save them or just leave them alone?

AnswerIt is your call. I am too impatient to grow oleander from seed, so I just ignore them. During the growing season, I would cut them off to keep energy going into flower production, but this late in the season, that isn’t much of a factor.


(March 2012)

QuestionWe have just built a new pool and it turned out much higher than expected so we need privacy OVER the 6 ft fence as we are almost looking over the fence into neighbors yard. We have a very small yard and were thinking we would almost have complete back full with pool and patio and plants. There is 53 inches between fence and concrete around pool on one side and 36 inches on other side. Rest is connected to house and porch. I would like to know what you would suggest to fill this space in that will grow up over the fence for privacy. We were thinking about Bamboo and someone suggested oleander. We would be open to other suggestions also if you have any thoughts.

AnswerDefinitely not running bamboo-or your neighbors won’t be your friends any more. I would assume you want tall plants, and if you have tall bamboo, it can run as far away from the base as it is tall—20 foot tall bamboo can send up suckers 20 feet away. Clumping bamboo would be an option, but your space is quite narrow. Since your space is limited, you want tall vertical plants. Oleander is an option if you live in central or southern Arkansas, but it would not be reliable further north. The downside with oleander is the blooms will drop in the summer, which will be quite close to your pool and it is not fast growing in Arkansas and it does spread fairly wide. What about a holly such as Nelly R. Stevens, Foster, Savannah or Lusterleaf holly. Another option would be to build a trellis and let a vine grow up it to give instant privacy, and not take up an abundance of space.


(April 2010)

QuestionI would like to try a hardy oleanders in Hot Springs Village. I have heard of Hines Hardy. Is there one you would recommend? Does the Confederate rose grow here? Will trailing Thyme do around stepping stones? I need something that stays alive all winter.

AnswerPrior to this winter, even the common oleander varieties were overwintering in central Arkansas without any damage. This winter some did take a hit, but they should be coming back from the root system even if they were frozen back. Confederate rose (Hibiscus mutabilis) is winter hardy from central Arkansas south--it dies completely to the ground each year and is slow to recover in the spring, but it will come back. Creeping thyme is a wonderful ground cover around rocky sites. It doesn't like rich, wet areas, so should do well around stepping stones and you get the added benefit of it being culinary as well as ornamental. There are actually several varieties of thyme with green, yellow or variegated foliage.


(April 2010)

QuestionI would like to try a hardy oleanders in Hot Springs Village. I have heard of Hines Hardy. Is there one you would recommend? Does the Confederate rose grow here? Will trailing Thyme do around stepping stones. I need something that stays alive all winter

AnswerPrior to this winter, even the common oleander varieties were overwintering in central Arkansas without any damage. This winter some did take a hit, but they should be coming back from the root system even if they were frozen back. Confederate rose (Hibiscus mutabilis) is winter hardy from central Arkansas south--it dies completely to the ground each year and is slow to recover in the spring, but it will come back. Creeping thyme is a wonderful ground cover around rocky sites. It doesn't like rich, wet areas, so should do well around stepping stones and you get the added benefit of it being culinary as well as ornamental. There are actually several varieties of thyme with green, yellow or variegated foliage


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