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oleander Loosing its leaves

Giddy123Giddy123 Posts: 306


i have had my oleander for 4 years now. Every year it blooms really well and I have never had a problem.

i noticed today that the leaves are starting to drop off and the tips of the plants are going black. 

i normaly feed the plant well and it is in a large pot in a sheltered half sunny position. 

I need to try and keep this plant alive. Any advice welcom. 



  • InglezinhoInglezinho Posts: 289

    Oleander is a subtropical plant. I had it in my garden in Saudi Arabia where it made a loose but very pretty hedge..That may give you some idea (some) of the kind of conditions it likes. I think you have done very well to keep it as long as you have outdoors in UK. Cut it back but only to where you think it may still be alive, don't water it at all and hope for a Spring heatwave! They are very tough, but the combination of cold and wet does for them. Good luck!

  • PeggyTXPeggyTX Posts: 456

    I had some 50 oleanders in my garden when I lived on the Texas Gulf Coast.  They really will tolerate a freeze (mine did numerous times), so I don't think cold temps in the UK would be an issue.  They can die back down to the ground in a hard freeze.  Just cut off all the branches to the thick stump area.  They will come back fully off their established roots (in one season) come Spring and it will LOVE you for the total haircut. 

    My former neighbor on Galveston Island was President of the Oleander Society for years.  She said if you want healthy oleanders cut them down to the ground every single year!  They'll be fuller each year and bloom more and more after a hard pruning.  So I did, every single branch, all the way to the stump, (unless we had a hard freeze and they died off on their own) and they grew back beautifully every single year for the 12 years we lived in that house.  They bloomed magnificently each and every year.   Their natural growth habit is to shoot out multiple branches from the central stump (like a Crepe Myrtle shrub). 

    Only problem I had to deal with on my oleanders was that they are particularly prone to aphids in the spring when the young shoots are sprouting out by the hundreds and quite tight/dense on the stump.  My neighbor said not to use chemicals but to just hose of the aphids with a hard blast of water.  I followed that advice, too, and was able to control the aphids with just water on all 50 of them along 3 sides of my wood fencing. When covered with aphids, the leaves will yellow out, so you might look on the branches and undersides of leaves for aphid evidence. 

    Last edited: 28 March 2017 21:20:31

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  • B3B3 Posts: 11,505

    Oleanders seem to do well , apart from mine, in London. I chopped mine back hard this year with a view to hoiking it out when I got around to it.

    It's now  sprouting loads of healthy leaves, which would bear out Peggy' s advice.

    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Giddy123Giddy123 Posts: 306

    Iv never actually chopped mine but I'm thinking I might give it ago tomorrow 


  • DimWitDimWit Posts: 553

    My oleander is in a pot, so I add some manure every year to good effect. About pruning, don't forget to wear gloves or wash your hands well afterwards because it is one of the most poisonous plants in the world.

  • Giddy123Giddy123 Posts: 306

    Yes will do thanks 

    just doing some googling on how to prune. 

  • PeggyTXPeggyTX Posts: 456

    I know oleanders are said to be poisonous to small pets and small children, but in the 30 years I lived in Galveston, where oleanders abound, I don't believe I ever heard of a poisoning case of child or dog from an oleander.  I pruned my 50 specimens annually and raked and bagged dying leaves from underneath them and I never wore (or wear) garden gloves to work in the garden. Don't think oleanders are so problematic for adults.  The locals in Galveston always said it would have to be a very young child, moreover they'd have to consume quite a lot of the plant leaves or blossoms (not just one) to get sick.

    My medium pink oleanders had a lovely baby talcum powder.  Most oleander blossoms don't have much of a scent.   My dwarf peach oleanders had no scent at all.  And my pink ones bloomed right up until the dead of winter, with a few blooms hanging on until the first hard freeze.  

    I've never seen an oleander grown in a pot, DimWit.  Has it gained much size/height?   

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  • DimWitDimWit Posts: 553

    Animals don´t usually care about oleander, the leaves are too tough and not inviting. The flowers are usually beyond children's reach, so I think it's handling that is a problem. There are some curious stories in antiquity about the toxicity of oleanders; there was one saying that someone had died because he used the dry twigs of the shrub to feed the fireplace!

    Mine is in a quite large pot, something like 24 inches high and 18 inches of diameter. The plant is now some 4 feet above the surface of the container, my mother grew it from a cutting off a very prolific specimen in the neighbourhood. Here's a picture:


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,786

    Re toxicity of oleanders - I remember reading that someone had been ill/died because oleander twigs had been used as kebab skewers! Not a good idea! 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • PeggyTXPeggyTX Posts: 456

    Oh, it's a lovely shade of pink, DimWit.  Thanks for sharing your photo.  A little darker pink than the ones I had.  And it sounds like they CAN be grown happily in pots.  :)  Does your pink one have any scent?

    Well kebab skewers and fireplace wood they are definitely not. LOL

    Last edited: 29 March 2017 19:50:44

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