Oleander troubles


Old 06-20-09, 08:19 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 54
Oleander troubles

When we moved here there were six fairly large oleanders on the property. Five of them seem to thrive. The sixth, the only one that is straight in front of the window so I see it constantly, has a problem. The buds form, some of the flowers open, and then many of the flowers and buds become darker and sticky to the touch and just stay there in their sticky darkness (they don't drop off). I've looked in Ortho disease books and all over the internet for what might be causing this, and I've examined the bush for mites, aphids, mildew spots, etc, but nothing is obvious. The leaves look fine. Does this sound familiar to anyone, and if so, is there anything I can do to help the bush?

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Old 06-25-09, 12:30 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Sounds like oleander gall. Is this what you see?

Here's a list of diseases of oleander.

Old 06-26-09, 11:17 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 54
I appreciate your help

The gall picture looks more like the problem than any of the other disease pictures do. It is odd that on our oleander flowers from the same branch and even the same stem can be in markedly different conditions - one blossom apparently healthy and the adjacent one shriveled, black and sticky. It looks as if something has sucked the juice out of the affected flowers, but a careful search reveals no sign of whatever might be doing the sucking, so a systemic bacterial infection seems like a good explanation.

Since the treatment suggestions for gall seem to be straight forward, I think I'll proceed as directed. I'll prune it back vigorously being very careful to avoid spreading the infection, and see what happens.

As always, I appreciate your help.

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