En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - June 11, 2008

From: Italy, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Care of non-native Oleander
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I want my oleanders to bloom but they keep getting attacked by tiny orange aphids that clump up on the newest growth. I read that oleanders only bloom on old growth but those orange mites/aphids are relentless. How can I get rid of them delicately? How can I get my oleanders to bloom more?

ANSWER:

Once again, you are asking about a plant that is not in our Native Plant Database. This website from Clemson University Extension Home and Garden Information on Nerium Oleander has information on culture, problems, pests and diseases, so be sure and read all the site. Most oleanders will survive temperatures down to 15 to 20 deg F, although their foliage will be damaged. It is native to a broad area from Morocco and Portugal eastward through the Mediterranean region and southern Asia to Yunnan in southern parts of China

WARNING: Oleander is extremely poisonous. Eating even small amounts of any part of the plant can kill. Children have been poisoned by using the twigs as whistles. Contact with skin may cause irritation. Smoke from burning cuttings can cause severe reactions.

In reference to your question about aphids, this site from the University of California Integrated Pest Management on aphids should give you plenty of information. If you must use controls, please use those with the lowest impact on other wildlife, like bees and butterflies, in your garden.

Once again, we would like to interest you in native alternatives to this non-native plant. The following plants should do well in Ellis County. While they may not be as showy as oleanders in bloom, they will be hardier and less likely to be afflicted by pests and diseases, while needing less care.

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (Wright's desert honeysuckle)

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Salvia greggii (autumn sage)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)


Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

Ilex vomitoria

Salvia greggii

Morella cerifera


 

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Problems with tomatoes in tubs in Campbellton, TX
May 30, 2009 - I have my tomatoes planted in big black plastic tubs, they are starting to wilt and dry up. I have put Sevin dust on them for bugs. I haven't been over watering. Could you please tell me why they are...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a nursing home resident from LaQuinta CA
July 26, 2013 - I take care of an elderly woman with dementia. She is in a nursing home and she's always LOVES flowers and plants. Do you have any suggestions for potted outdoor blooming plants for the summer in...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Chinese Pistache tree with dead branches in Georgetown TX
April 08, 2010 - Have mature Chinese Pistachio tree with many dead branches and few buds forming so far this spring - has been beautiful for many years. Do you know why this is happening and what can be done about it...
view the full question and answer

Planting onions in Michigan
July 30, 2009 - Hello, I live in Mi in zone 5. Can I plant green onions now (7/30/09)? And will they have enough time to have for an October-ish harvast? Thanks
view the full question and answer

Plants for planting in gourds
March 15, 2009 - I enjoy painting dried gourds. This spring I got the idea to paint a gourd and cut holes in the side and plant some small blooming flowers. I have seen "hen and chickens" growing out of holes in the...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center