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Help with dying(?) Oleander

Posted by wanna_garden z7 Georgia (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 11, 06 at 16:36

Hi all. I recently posted about a shrub that I couldnt recall the name of. It is an oleander shrub, which I also found out is not supposed to be hardy to my zone.

I thought it was dead, but I did the scratch test, and it's still green beneath. Now I have two problems. First of all, it appears to be dead. What should I do with it? SHould i cut it back, remove the dead leaves? I don't know. I'm thinking that I should test from the top with scratches, and cut off anything above what shows green beneath. Sound right?

And then, we had a mild winter, it could be just plain dumb luck that the bush survived at all. I am thinking, since I do like the plant, you know, when it's not dead and brown, I'm thinking of potting it, and bringing it in over winters from here on out. I think that should be alright, since I don't think they get more than maybe 8 feet tall. I could be wrong about that. Seems the ones I remember from Florida were never very tall. But they bloom alot all season, and I do get plenty of sun in my dining room for it.

But I'm not sure. It's hard to find information on roots, and I'm worried that potted may not be a good idea for it's roots. They are essentially I think small trees. Indeed I'm not even sure which they qualify as, small trees or bushes.

Any advice? Anyone know anything about oleanders?

Unless advised otherwise, I think I will go ahead and cut it back and pot it. Oh that too, I was worried about. Do you think it would hurt it to be dug up at this time? Or should I cut it back and leave it there to give it time to recover from the winter first?

Thanks much!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help with dying(?) Oleander

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 11, 06 at 16:51

Wait longer to see if it grows back. Cut off dead/nearly dead after obvious flush of replacement growth appears. If it doesn't sprout back all summer, toss it.


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RE: Help with dying(?) Oleander

Thank you bboy. As it happens, I have since learned that oleanders can have very destructive roots, though apparently they can do well even north of me. Nonetheless, as it was planted right next to my pool, (thank God not at the end with the pump lines), and apparently will go searching for water, I cut her back and dug her up and potted her immediately.


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RE: Help with dying(?) Oleander

That might have been overreacting. Oleander is very common in southern and central florida. I couldn't believe it when I saw it for sale in the walmart garden center the other day along with live oak and other florida-esque plants. Maybe the truck got lost and delivered to the wrong store. I can't imagine oleander tolerating z7 winter.


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RE: Help with dying(?) Oleander

"Wait longer to see if it grows back" I think I would do just that. Normally Common Oleander [Nerium] can be easily
transplanted during spring through summer. My potted specimens sometimes do lose all of their leaves during the winter months.

Just for experiment maybe you should leave one alone and heavily mulch at the base of the plant during the winter months
to see if it really will survive in your climate zone.

Hope this helps some.


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RE: Help with dying(?) Oleander

Well actually, I found another very long thread concerning oleanders, it was a very old thread, so I didn't want to revive it, but there there were people saying they grew them in n. or s. carolina, which really surprised me. Anyway, my husband isn't really....into... my gardening, so I know he will not be sympathetic if the oleander were to strangle any lines, bust through our pool wall, screw up our septic system etc etc. Apparently alot of people have had bad problems with the roots of these. I understand if you keep them well watered you have no worries, but I just don't wanna be worrying about it, you know? And I do imagine this will look very nice potted and on my back deck.

But I wanted to ask you, about winters, and the leaves falling off of your's. Did you keep it in house or in a basement or such? I guess they don't need any cold winters, since they're hot weather shrubs. Oh! Okay, nevermind, you're zone 8/9! LOL.

Well they come back nicely every spring I guess, correct?


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RE: Help with dying(?) Oleander

Yes I am in Arizona which now allows me to brag about the nice weather we are having up until June and it's H-ll from
there. Lol.

So far I have not had any problems with it not springing back once the weather warms up. I kept mine in a small Bonsai
container and just the plant and nature. It only loses it's leaves if our winter happens to be some what colder than normal
or I just plain forget to water it. I blame that on attitude performance which is husband's fault since he didn't remind me
when he should. ;-]


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RE: Help with dying(?) Oleander

I live in Toronto. I brought my potted Oleander in for the winter and am keeping it in a cool corner with a little light. I water it about once a week. The leaves have dried but pretty stayed on the plant all winter. I thought it was dormant for the winter but now it's spring and there is no sign of life. Is my plant dead? All opinions will be welcome.


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RE: Help with dying(?) Oleander

Oleander plants in backyard are in their 2nd season and look bad. one the leaves look like they are trying to dry up and the other the leaves keep turning yellow and fall off or we pick them off. DO WE HAVE A DEFIECENCY OR A DISEASE? Thanks


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RE: Help with dying(?) Oleander

I live in Oklahoma and also found some beautiful Oleanders at the local Wal Mart garden center. They are beautiful but don't know if they can survive our harsh winters. I didn't know anything about it when I brought it home and planted it. I found some helpful information and posted the link for you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Found on a Google Search


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