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

Saturday - June 11, 2005

From: Milwaukee, WI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders
Title: Smarty Plants on Oleanders
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I have 3 Nerium Oleanders. In the winter they come indoors, and are under grow lights. They are in big pots. We just put them outside on patio, and they don't look good. They still have green tips on some, but all leaves are medium brown/some green and crisp. What can I do to save plants, this is the first time in 3 years I have seen them this bad. Mother use to take care of the plants. Now they are mine and need help. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

It sounds like you have salt burn. This occurs when mineral salts build up in the soil from fertilizers and from watering. The salts are taken up by the plant and kill the leaf tissue which dries out, browns, and dies. To rid the plant of salts you need to water deeply and slowly to leach out the salts. Let the excess water drain out and water again. You will want to do this periodically, perhaps once a month.

You definitely want the plants inside in the wintertime since the USDA cold hardiness zones for oleanders are Zones 8-10 with an average minimum temperature of10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit for Zone 8, which extends from around Dallas southward. Wisconsin is in Zones 3 and 4, with an average minimum for Zone 3 of -30 to -40 degrees. You can read more about the history, culture and care of oleanders from the International Oleander Society.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Navel orange disease problems
November 14, 2007 - I live in Glendale, Arizona. I hav a mature miniature navel orange tree. This year it has lost a considerable amount of leaves. Also the fruit all has a large yellow spot. It looks pitiful. What shoul...
view the full question and answer

Need information about oak wilt and Shumard oak in Houston, Tx.
July 06, 2010 - I want to plant a Shumard red oak in my North Houston front yard, with two Nuttall oaks. I keep hearing about something call oak wilt. Is there something I can do to prevent this disease during the ...
view the full question and answer

Corona de Cristo, guest or pest?
July 12, 2008 - We have had two recent speakers at the Austin Butterfly Forum with differing views as to whether Passiflora foetida is invasive in Texas. One believes that it's well-behaved and a a great butterfly ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with red oak from Austin
July 31, 2013 - I planted 3 Texas Red Oaks several years ago. The trees are in a tight cluster just a few feet apart. At the end of last summer, one of them began to develop brown spots and yellowed leaves. This summ...
view the full question and answer

Incorrectly planted anacua from San Antonio
November 22, 2013 - I purchased a 12' anacua tree from a local nursery about 18 months ago. It was not planted correctly (root bound, rolled into a hole about 3" larger than the pot) but is still alive with the number...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center