Oleander in Poor Health - Knowledgebase Question

Madera, CA
Question by gabyserodja
November 11, 2001
I just planted a standard oleander about a month ago. It seemed to be doing well until about 10 days ago. The leaves are curling and the edges are brown. I also saw a colony of tiny yellow-orangey insects on the leaf buds. Are those tiny insects the culprits (and what are they?) Or is it my watering methods? I water once a day because I planted it in my perennials bed, but I was told it was too much -- that oleander likes dry conditions.


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Answer from NGA
November 11, 2001

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Plants under stress seem to attract insect pests and I suspect a colony of aphids or mites are attacking the new growth on your oleander. I doubt they are the cause of the browning, curling leaves, however. Oleander thrives when given full sunshine and little water. Since you water every day, I suspect your plant is getting far too much water, which is stressful at best, and could lead to root rot disease. The browning leaves might even be a symptom of too much water coupled with general transplanting stress. Try to reduce the amount of water your oleander gets, moving it to a drier location if necessary. Hose the insect pests off the plant and inspect it frequently, washing off any new pest populations. Once your plant regains its health, insects shouldn't find it nearly so attractive.

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