The Q&A Archives: Neruim Oleander

Question: I heard from a grower that Oleander will be subject
to disease attack in California in near future. Its seems, it is going to be similiar senario as with "Leyland Cypress", that the problem can not be fixed.

I have two questions:
1) Is this true that this disease is comming from Texas to California?
2) Could you suggest a substitute shrrb/plant for "Olender STD" that could be planted as a single stem small tree/shrub 6'tp 8' tall with a canopy. The setting is a large motor court with grand entrance. Your comments on this subject will be appreciated.
Monrovia Nursery product Customer, Elahi Family. Thanks

Answer: You've heard right - there's a potential problem with Nerium. It's a bacterial disease, spread by an insect called the glassy-winged sharpshooter. The insect is a problem in Texas, Arizona and Southern California, but there's a concentrated effort by all three regions to control the insect and keep transmission of the disease in check. If you're interested in a look-alike small tree or large shrub, you might consider olive (Olea europaea). 'Little Ollie' is a dense shrub to 12' high and wide, and 'Majestic Beauty' is an airy, fluffy looking, single trunked tree growing about 25' high.

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