How can I get rid of these things? After overwintering my two oleander trees and finally being able to move them outside they have started new leaves and even a couple of blooms and now they are loaded with aphids. I am spraying with insecticidal soap every day and they just keep appearing on other places. I love these plants and last year there were no problems and they bloomed beautifully. Am I fighting a losing battle?
Aphids on Oleander
I just blast them off with the hose on a regular basis. Regardless of method (soap or hose), you'll have to keep after them since the one you miss can become a hundred new ones almost overnight, but I've found if I keep after them for a bit I can generally get them under control. Even if you don't completely get rid of them, if you can keep the population down they won't do much harm to the plant.
Aphids absolutely love orleanders! My parents entire back yard has been lined with the plants and for some reason my parens do not see the millions of yellow aphids on the plants until I go over there and see them all over the plants.. I am talking about tall mature 20 year old plants! I just put a couple tablespoons of dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle of water and put the strayer on tight stream.. not the misty setting... I then spray they yellow clumps of aphids with the soapy water.. they are usually at the tips where the tender growth is. It is time consuming when you are spraying literally hundreds of tips on each plant initially and I have gotten the 2 gallon sprayer at times... (I find myself doing this almost every year) one or two spritz per tip of yellow aphids.. by the next day they are black and dead. I then just keep a bottle available and wander the yard every few days with a bottle in my hand and spritz any I find. I also do this in my own yard. After the first time consuming war, it is usually easy to keep them under control and the dish washing liquid is cheap, easy to use and does not hurt anything. I enjoy checking my plants for the little buggers. Joy really seems to work well but really just about anything works. It is the soap covering them that suffocates them.
I had some spray that I bought and it does turn them black but at the rate I am going could get expensive. I will take your suggestion and mix my own. At least I only have two 5ft. potted trees and not a whole yard. They are such great bloomers and I don't want to lose them. I will attack again this morning and won't stop. Thanks!
I only have 7 mature 20+ year old orleanders in my yard and they were savaged by last winter and barely have any growth to speak of this year.. I am still battling aphids on them and am spraying with my trusty dish soap to keep them alive. My parents have more like 30 plants so you can imagine how much it would have cost if we used some expensive stuff to kill them... dish washing liquid is my best friend and has been for years... it really does not take a lot either... kinda cool to have something so simple to do the trick.
Good luck.. I think you will be happy with the results.
LhasaLover yes I am really happy with the results. I have been attacking about three times a day with the dish soap mixture and have just about gotten rid of all of them! With the soap mixture I can hold the leaves in my hand and really let them have it. I am checking at least twice a day and as of this evening I didn't see one. But I will keep up checking. Fortunately these are not like 20 year old trees so I can control it. And now I am seeing buds! I want to thank you again and I hope that your plants start thriving for you. : )
Happy to hear you are having success.. it is so much affordable and you are free to use as much as necessary. Enjoy your plants.
I love the color in the oleander that you posted! We just don't have much of a variety of colors here in Arizona.
Mickey, I have one close to that. One white and one pink. I got them at Lowe's. I will take photo tomorrow. And they are dwarf. (Nerium) I also have a double pink.
Sharron, I like mostly doubles. They are very hard to get. I have to get out and drive arond here and get cuttings and start some more. We just had a storm and I had many rooted cuttings knocked over and we were out of town. It's always something.
After seeing my friends plumeria in California I don't think I will be getting any they just don't have enough humidity here in my opinion. Oleander are so wonderfu. I must shave some that are sterile because many don't produce seed pods.
I used to lurk in the Plumeria forum from time to time and there were people from AZ growing them, so if you like them I'd give them a try. CA isn't all that humid either--more than AZ but certainly not what I'd consider a humid climate and they do fine.
I have mine in post and then I have a fence of them about 600 feet . I have made a standard tree now form one of them. I just love them! I even go out and dead head them!.I love it when I can give a nice plant away to a plant lover. I even took one of mine to Texas as we were passing through the area that a oleander lover lives. Winter hit my fence very hard lost year and it will take a long time before they regroup.
I like to collect doubles but I have had a hard time finding and different colors. When visiting California I checked out several nursery's and right now oleander have fallen out of favor and couldn't find any.
It gets pretty cold were I live and it freezes normally oleanders can take it with no problem. My potted oleander are just pushed up against the house and under the eves. They do great.
Lately this year I have had a problem getting them to root. Water roots were fine but I would have problems then when I put them in soil many don't make it. I think I need to try starting them in a rooting soil or pearl lite.
I have a beautiful double yellow. There is one great nursery in Louisianan that carrieds wonderful plants that are not common, Almost Eden. I have had wonderful luck getting some of the strange plants that I have seen on my travels and fell in love with.
Yes, I love Almost Eden--I got several of my oleanders from them as well as a bunch of other things.
In southern CA (which is where I'm guessing you went?) oleanders probably aren't carried much because of oleander leaf scorch http://nature.berkeley.edu/xylella/diseases/oleander.html It hasn't traveled up north yet so you can still find them around here in some nurseries, although it's mostly really common cultivars so if you want anything different mail order is definitely the way to go.