Oleander

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Oleander

Postby Drasjic » Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:36 pm

I recently got a couple of Oleander plants given to me and after trying to find out a bit about them online i still am not sure about them. It does seem they are a love them our hate them kind of plant. Just wondering if anyone has grown them and weather or not their roots can invade storm water pipes etc. And also are they easy to maintain, i read they can grow up to 20 feet tall. Thanks for any advice
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Re: Oleander

Postby abwal » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:11 pm

While I do very much like the look and perfume of oleanders, I would never grow one as they are very poisonous.
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Re: Oleander

Postby Tropicgardener » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:27 pm

I totally agree with Abwal there.....way too poisonous for my liking....... In the tropics/subtropics they are very vigorous growers that tolerate a lot of dry. Dwarf forms are available but generally most grow to the proportions of a small tree. I am not aware of any problems with them having problem roots. In my previous garden I removed a forest of Yellow Oleander (Cascabela thevetia) which is even more poisonous than the normal Nerium sp........I ended up with a severe skin rash all over my arms and back.

Oleander is or was until a few years ago the floral emblem of Bundaberg.........Even though they are pretty in flower I can't see why they would choose a non native.
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Re: Oleander

Postby Systema_Naturae » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:48 pm

Down here in Victoria they don't get huge. I suspect the cold winters tend to keep them from getting too large. If you are on the Bellarine Peninsula then salt spray might be a problem, depending on how close you are to the water. If salt spray is an issue then it too will help to stop the shrub getting too large.

I've never experienced any invasive root issues with oleanders either.

As for their poisonousness, they are indeed extremely toxic. But only if you ingest it or inhale the smoke it gives off when burning it. So you can grow it safely if you (a) don't eat it and (b) don't smoke or inhale it.

I have an oleander in my yard that I prune every couple of years, mainly to keep branches from rubbing on the house. I use gloves and wash my hands thoroughly after handling it - in 15 years I've never once been sick.
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Re: Oleander

Postby Woko » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:50 pm

I removed an oleander from a garden I once had partly because of its toxicity & partly because it provided no habitat that I could tell for native creatures. I replaced it with a Callistemon from memory.
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Re: Oleander

Postby greg.l » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:11 pm

There are lots of toxic plants in the garden, it is just a form of natural defence from grazing. You should never taste anything unless you are sure it is safe, and educate your children likewise. If you kept all the deadly plants out of your garden it would be a bit restrictive.

Mind you, I wouldn't grow oleander either.
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Re: Oleander

Postby Wanderer » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:25 pm

Is it safe to plant?
Some people believe oleanders should not be grown in gardens because they are poisonous. This is a misinformed belief. Whilst oleander (Nerium oleander) is poisonous, it is no more dangerous than many other garden plants. In general, the stories about poisoning from the plant have been found to be myths. Indeed, records from the Poisons Information Centre suggest that there have been no serious injuries or any deaths attributed to oleander (Nerium oleander) in Australia. Oleander poisoning is caused by glycocytes, which need to be ingested by chewing large quantities of leaves, flowers or fruit. The plant has a bitter taste and large quantities of leaves would need to be ingested to effect poisoning. The bitter taste would also be likely to deter most children before any danger was done. Nevertheless, take care when handling this plant. It is poisonous and shouldn't be under-estimated.


I have recently planted about 6 White Vanilla Oleanders around the yard here and at our other house.
They look great and smell just gorgeous and they can be pruned.
When I, and my husband, grew up Oleanders were an extremely popular, colourful and hardy plant for many gardens.
And surprise!!! We are still alive to plant some more :wink:
Most likely the myths come from some eejit trying to smoke it or brew it. You just never know :roll:

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Re: Oleander

Postby Woko » Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:21 pm

Another urban myth down the chute! I must confess I've never seen a child (or adult for that matter) chewing on oleander leaves.
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Re: Oleander

Postby abwal » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:24 am

I once shared a room in hospital with a man who had surgery to remove dead and damaged tissue from his hand. He had pruned an oleander and a sharp twig gone into his hand. The twig come out easily enough, but he had a very painful hand for quite some time. The doctor told him that it was the oleander and not a secondary infection that caused the problem. While he was in hospital, his wife had all of the oleanders professionally removed.
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Re: Oleander

Postby Systema_Naturae » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:57 pm

abwal wrote:I once shared a room in hospital with a man who had surgery to remove dead and damaged tissue from his hand. He had pruned an oleander and a sharp twig gone into his hand. The twig come out easily enough, but he had a very painful hand for quite some time. The doctor told him that it was the oleander and not a secondary infection that caused the problem. While he was in hospital, his wife had all of the oleanders professionally removed.


That's a bit much.

How often would you get stabbed by an oleadner twig? Especially after having one run in with them, you'd take precautions in the future instead of ripping them all out, surely!

It's akin to when surfers get attacked by sharks, there are cries for the shark to be hunted down and killed, which is an overreaction. If said surfer survives, it doesn't stop them from entering the water again, if you follow me.
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Re: Oleander

Postby Wanderer » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:55 pm

abwal wrote:I once shared a room in hospital with a man who had surgery to remove dead and damaged tissue from his hand. He had pruned an oleander and a sharp twig gone into his hand. The twig come out easily enough, but he had a very painful hand for quite some time. The doctor told him that it was the oleander and not a secondary infection that caused the problem. While he was in hospital, his wife had all of the oleanders professionally removed.


Sounds more to me like nerve damage where the twig has gone in.
Oleander poisoning is usually caused by ingesting parts of the tree itself - eg leaf, flower or seed but I have been known to be wrong :wink:
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Re: Oleander

Postby Getafix » Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:01 am

A penetrating injury from *any* plant is often bad news, usually because of the weird and wonderful bacteria growing on them and also because its difficult to get rid of all the fibrous tissue left behind by the plant
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Re: Oleander

Postby DaveMoore » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:24 am

In my opinion, a hideous looking plant. Common as muck. Regardless of how much hype surrounds their toxicity.
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Re: Oleander

Postby Woko » Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:23 pm

Not one I'd plant because of its low habitat value.
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Re: Oleander

Postby Getafix » Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:31 pm

DaveMoore wrote:In my opinion, a hideous looking plant. Common as muck. Regardless of how much hype surrounds their toxicity.


They can't be that hideous if they are also that common...obviously some people like the look of them.
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Re: Oleander

Postby DaveMoore » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:39 am

Getafix wrote:
DaveMoore wrote:In my opinion, a hideous looking plant. Common as muck. Regardless of how much hype surrounds their toxicity.


They can't be that hideous if they are also that common...obviously some people like the look of them.


As I said, in my opinion. Obviously people do like them, and that is ok. As they say though, 'can't buy taste' ;-)
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Re: Oleander

Postby thistledome » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:41 pm

There is much hype about oleanders and how poisonous they are.We have some 30 oleanders of all different colours in our garden and they are very forgiving plants that give a wonderfull display of colour for a long period. They do not attract native birds but as we have some 4oo native plants to do that job, I think we are happy to have these non-attractors for their colour alone. As we do not eat them or smoke them and are carefull when handling them, we do not have a problem with them.
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Re: Oleander

Postby bubba louie » Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:44 pm

I find the perfume a bit overpowering.
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Re: Oleander

Postby bubba louie » Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:56 pm

[quote="Wanderer"]Is it safe to plant?
Some people believe oleanders should not be grown in gardens because they are poisonous. This is a misinformed belief. Whilst oleander (Nerium oleander) is poisonous, it is no more dangerous than many other garden plants. In general, the stories about poisoning from the plant have been found to be myths. Indeed, records from the Poisons Information Centre suggest that there have been no serious injuries or any deaths attributed to oleander (Nerium oleander) in Australia. Oleander poisoning is caused by glycocytes, which need to be ingested by chewing large quantities of leaves, flowers or fruit. The plant has a bitter taste and large quantities of leaves would need to be ingested to effect poisoning. The bitter taste would also be likely to deter most children before any danger was done. Nevertheless, take care when handling this plant. It is poisonous and shouldn't be under-estimated.


There are just as many sites claiming that one leaf will kill a child. There have been deaths overseas.
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Re: Oleander

Postby Systema_Naturae » Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:33 pm

Brugmansia are equally poisonous, but they don't have such a bad rap.

When dealing with plants that are only even potentially harmful, it's safer to err on the side of caution!
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