About five years ago, yet another plant plague seemed to hit southern
California - the ubiquitous oleander bushes were all sagging,
apparently from some internal bacterial infections spread by
Now, just driving around, I happened to notice that all over town, the
oleanders seem to be doing just fine! And two I have in the front
yard, that we've cut down to the ground twice, are regrown to about
five feet, flowering, and seem to be healthy.
Has anybody heard an official word on this?
In California, the blight is known in San Diego, Riverside, San
Bernardino, Orange Counties, Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara
Late last year, when I was choosing plants for landscaping my hill (see
<http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_back.html#hill ), I told the
landscape contractor I wanted to restore the oleanders that had been
growing there before the hill was regraded: tall, white up the sides
and short, hot pink across the top. He recommended strongly against
oleanders. He said that, in five years or less, they might have to be
replaced as the blight spreads. (I'm in Ventura County right near the
border with Los Angeles County.)
According to the University of California (see
<http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7480.html ), there is no
known treatment or cure. Pruning affected branches might temporarily
improve the appearance of the plant, but the entire plant is infected
once any symptoms are visible.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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