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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.

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

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Wednesday - May 05, 2010

From: Corpus Christi, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native oleander failing to thrive in Corpus Christi
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in South Texas (Corpus Christi). My husband planted Red Oleander in partial to full sun about 1 1/2 weeks ago. They are watered by our sprinkler system. They have recently started to bloom, but now the leaves are turning yellow with some brown/black spots and they are falling off at an alarming rate. What is it and what can I do to fix it?

ANSWER:

This article from Floridata will give you some information on Nerium oleander. Please be sure to read the Toxic warning at the bottom of the page. All parts of this plant are toxic, and it is not even safe to burn it, as the smoke retains the toxicity. It is native to North Africa. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center can only answer questions on plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants are being grown. For more information on the toxicity, read this Howstuffworks.com article on The Top 5 Most Poisonous Plants.

 

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