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

Failure to bloom of tropical plumeria
July 04, 2008 - I have had my plumeria for the past five years. The first three years it bloomed but has not the past two. The plant is healthy and continues to grow but will not flower. It seems to be very health...
view the full question and answer

Question about non-native false aralia (Schefflera elegantissima)
September 02, 2009 - Hi. I have a False Aralia-8 stalks. Have had for a while and recently it has begun (and for the first time) dropping leaves. The stalks are getting pretty barren. I know the genreal care for the...
view the full question and answer

Spots on non-native naval orange trees from Stockton CA
October 20, 2012 - I have two mature Navel Orange trees. One tree has developed spotty chlorophyl depleted areas that were not on the oranges when they were smaller. In addition, the oranges on both trees are smaller ,...
view the full question and answer

Moving non-native Iris Germanica in Pennsylvania
May 30, 2009 - I am moving from Northeast Pennsylvania to North Carolina this fall or winter. I was told it was possible to save some of my bearded Iris plants by digging them after they bloom and allowing them to ...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating non-native invasive bermuda grass in Morgan's Point TX
April 25, 2010 - We are trying to establish a wildflower meadow, but are having trouble with the neighbor's invasive bermudagrass taking over..what can be done to eliminate the bermuda?
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