February 11, 2017
I read somewhere recently climate change has caused the agricultural powers that be to reclassify certain plants and where they may or may not flourish in the US. One such plant was the poisonous but hardy Oleander and it said the Oleander might now thrive in Arkansas. In California where I hail from, Oleander is used extensively as a plant barrier, particularly along freeways. Would Oleander do well here as a noise barrier if planted out front of my house by a busy road?
While it is true that are winters have gotten milder and we are able to grow plants that 20 years ago were not considered winter hardy. Oleander is one of those plants. It has always been winter-hardy in southern Arkansas but now can survive through over half of the state. While it will survive, it will not thrive in Arkansas like it did in California. It will make a lovely shrub but it doesn't grow as fast or large here as it does in a warmer climate. For a noise or sound barrier there would be better options. Hollies, magnolias, eleagnus, loropetalum, or cherry laurels or other evergreen hedges would buffer sound much better. You could throw in a few oleanders to add some extra color.
February 4, 2017
I have had an oleander planted outside here in central Arkansas for about two or three years. It has bloomed well in the summer, but it isn’t growing as much as I would like. I brought it here from Florida. What should I do to encourage it to grow larger?
Oleander was rarely winter-hardy in central Arkansas until the last ten years or so. Our winters have gotten more mild and even if we do experience some die-back, they bounce back and regrow. That being said, we are colder than Florida so they are not as vigorous in Arkansas as they are in the longer growing season of Florida. They should respond to nitrogen which can be used in the spring when new growth begins. Apply fertilizer monthly during the growing season, and stop all applications by late August.
February 6, 2016
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?
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.
We 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?
It 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.
We 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.
Definitely 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.
I 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.
Prior 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.
I 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
Prior 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
All links to external sites open in a new window. You may return to the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture web site by closing this window when you are finished. We do not guarantee the accuracy of the information, or the accessibility for people with disabilities listed at any external site.
Links to commercial sites are provided for information and convenience only. Inclusion of sites does not imply University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture's approval of their product or service to the exclusion of others that may be similar, nor does it guarantee or warrant the standard of the products or service offered.
The mention of any commercial product in this web site does not imply its endorsement by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture over other products not named, nor does the omission imply that they are not satisfactory.