Admittedly: Infestation is a real challenge for any plant. Even the oleander often has to fight with pests. At the first sign of an infestation, quick action is required. Because otherwise the plant may wither, lose leaves and in the worst case even die. Which oleander pests are particularly dangerous and how can you fight them with simple home remedies – we take a closer look at the issues and explain what you can do against spider mites, scale insects and Co.
Table of contents
- Oleander pests: What can you do about scale insects?
- What can you do against spider mites on oleander?
- Oleander pests: aphids can also infest the exotic plant
Oleander pests: What can be done against scale insects?
Scale insects are among the most dangerous pests for oleander. They are tiny and you can barely see them with the naked eye. The females can lay up to 2000 eggs per year. So the pests spread very quickly. When an infestation occurs, the thousands of scale insects suck the nutrients from the plant, releasing toxins that further sicken the oleander.
The scale insects can infest the exotic at any time of the year. If it is grown as an indoor plant , then you should check it regularly during the winter months for signs of infestation. However, infestation is also quite possible in the spring and summer if the oleander is placed on the balcony or patio.
Signs of a scale insect infestation
Signs of an infestation include: crippled, curled, withered leaves, encrusted stems and shoots covered with a sticky substance. This sticky substance provides the best conditions for the spread of various fungal diseases. Therefore, if there is a fungal infestation, you should also check the oleander for scale insects. Plants that are over-fertilized or over-watered are particularly susceptible to scale insects.
What can be done in case of an infestation? For light infestations, rub tea tree oil on above-ground plant parts, except leaves. For a heavy infestation, pour 10 ml of liquid curd soap with 10 ml of alcohol in a ratio and 600 ml of water into a spray bottle, mix well and test first on a plant leaf. Some oleanders are sensitive to curd soap and alcohol can burn the leaves.
What can you do about spider mites on oleander?
If the oleander is grown as a houseplant, then you should pay attention to the humidity. It is especially susceptible to spider mites in the summer when the air is very dry. These are tiny and hide on the underside of the leaves. Even if the untrained eye cannot detect the pests, infestation is evident in the leaves, which are first silvery and then brown. They dry out and fall off.
Fighting the spider mites with home remedies
Possible solution offers natural products with rapeseed oil. But you can also water the plants vigorously, wetting all above-ground parts of the plant, and then wrap them with packing film. The high humidity will kill the spider mites in the next 14 days.
Oleander pests: aphids can also infest the exotic plant
Aphids can also infest the oleander. However, they are larger than spider mites and scale insects and can be easily seen with the naked eye. The color of aphids can vary greatly depending on how old the insects are and what stage of development they are in. Basically – the newly hatched aphids are white, the older – yellow, brown or black.
Aphids can cause great damage. So if the oleander suddenly begins to wilt, then you should check the undersides of the leaves for aphids. Also, if the oleander has sooty mold, even then you should look for signs of infestation to be on the safe side.
Home remedies for aphids
In this case, act quickly because aphids can weaken oleander. You can take smaller plants directly into the shower and rinse them off. You can also bring the oleander outdoors. There, aphids have natural enemies such as gall midges or ichneumon wasps. Ladybugs also eat the pests.
Otherwise, you can also use other home remedies against aphids. Canola oil proves to be a very effective option. Soft soap can also help get rid of the pests.
Oleander pests: preventing an infestation
To prevent a pest infestation, air the room regularly. Never place the oleander in a corner. If the location does not suit it, if it does not receive sufficient nutrients through the soil, or if it must endure prolonged periods of drought, the oleander will become stressed. Weakened plants are definitely more susceptible to pests and diseases. So the best prevention is actually to make sure the exotic is comfortable and growing well. In addition, you should also always place new houseplants in another room in the house first to avoid possible spread of pests.