Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
10 ratings

Friday - November 11, 2005

From: Kingman, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Propagation of non-native, poisonous oleanders
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

How do I propagate oleanders? Can the cuttings be rooted in water? Or is it better to use rooting hormone and stick the cuttings in the soil?

ANSWER:

 

Our area of study and expertise at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is limited to native North American plant species. Oleander, Nerium oleander is a native of the eastern Mediterranean, northern Africa and southeastern Asia. The beautiful, but extremely poisonous evergreen shrub has been planted widely in the tropical and sub-tropical parts of the United States for many years.

 

If you wish to propagate your oleander, you should take care not to ingest or otherwise expose yourself to the sap of the plant. All parts very poisonous; even exposure to smoke from burning oleander is harmful. A single leaf ingested by a small child can be fatal and there are many cases of oleander poisoning when branches were used to spear food for grilling.

 

Nerium oleander is best propagated by stem cuttings, but layering and seed propagation are also useful. Oleander stem cuttings can be easily rooted in water. Here is a well written article on Stem Cutting Propagation, published by North Carolina State University. Finally, an excellent resource on oleander culture is the website of the International Oleander Society.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native Japanese maple seedling in Rotterdam NY
August 09, 2010 - In the first couple days of August, I discovered a baby Japanese Maple growing against the wall of my storage shed, a short distance from a neighbor's full grown Japanese Maple. I transplanted this 5...
view the full question and answer

Pruning practices from Austin
May 16, 2013 - I need to do some pruning in my front beds and I know nothing about plants. From what I have been able to identify I have bicolor irises, plumbago, Japanese Aralia. I don't even know where to begin o...
view the full question and answer

Damage to non-native peach trees in Austin
January 02, 2010 - I have 3 peach trees, different varieties. In the past years it has just produced worm-eaten fruit, most of which falls to the ground before ripening. Can these trees be treated for a better crop th...
view the full question and answer

Probably non-native crapemyrtle trees damaged by hurricane
January 15, 2009 - I have 5 crape myrtle trees. I live in Galveston, Tx and when Hurricane Ike came through in September the salt water I think killed them. They have not come back since then and are brown with no leave...
view the full question and answer

Lilac bush roots dangerous to house foundations
August 06, 2008 - Are lilac bushes dangerous to the foundation of a house? There is a lovely white-blooming lilac that grows against the house outside my bedroom window. My ex-husband said that the roots would destro...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.