Oleander leaves turning yellow is one of the issues that could take place when growing your Apocynaceae family oleander plants. Yet, a lot of us gardeners still react too carelessly to these issues, sometimes doing even more harm than good.

Oleander Leaves Turning Yellow

Close inspection of your foliage is crucial to determine what’s ailing your oleander bush and in devising methods to bring it back to health. Keep reading, and you will know what are your usual causes for leaves going yellow and how to treat them!

Why Are The Leaves of Oleander Leaves Turning Yellow?

The leaves of Oleander are turning yellow because of excessive watering, and poor soil drainage. The matter could also be the result of fertilization issues, or leaf scorching. Moreover, it could also result from being too close to other plants that are infected, or due to insects or aphids.

Oleander plants are gorgeous bushy trees that add so much ornamental value to the garden. But for them to thrive, proper plant care is necessary, and this is because they aren’t very demanding plants and if you can offer them some well-drained and rich soil with plenty of sunlight, they won’t be too fussy.

Almost all of the negative conditions with growing your oleanders will emerge from the simple things that you would do, which are indirectly harming the plant.

– Excessive Watering

Improper watering, could be the cause of the foliage’s color fade, and that is because excessive watering would damage the chlorophyll. As a result, your watering regime is one of the most crucial factors in your plants’ survival.

Every plant on earth has its water needs and when you notice that the leaves are going a bit yellow, you should always start with yourself and your watering habits. However, if your watering is done perfectly, other things can go wrong, and the issue is not from excessive watering.

– Poor Soil Drainage

Soil drainage is another important factor, and it can go into two extremes — poor water retention and over-retention.

Cause of Yellowing Leaves on Oleander Plants

Choose a potting mix that’s too porous, and the water will go just right through it, as a result, the roots would have excessive moisture. Go with too compact soil, and it can easily water get damp and choke your roots.

– Fertilization Issues

If your new leaves are freshly green, but older foliage is going yellow that means that your oleander is struggling to keep the old leaves alive and is lacking in nitrogen. Which means that when you are giving your plant some fertilizer, but it is not the right kind, then you could simply see that it isn’t the suitable one to feed its requirements.

Oleanders aren’t too fussy about fertilization, but they do appreciate a slow-release fertilizer once or twice a year.

– Leaf Scorch

Oleander leaf scorch doesn’t come from too much sun as you may think. It’s a bacterial disease attacking specifically oleanders. This is because when leafhoppers and spittlebugs supposedly introduced the bacteria to the plant stems.

This bacteria is preventing the vessels from their job of carrying water and nutrients. In the end, a lack of nutrients reaching leaves causes them to go yellow, dark, and fall off.

This disease will most commonly be triggered in the spring or summer, especially when the plants are most productive, and will first show itself by dropping weak and yellowed leaves. As the plant matures and the bacterial tissue gets bigger, the leaves will begin to drop, and the plant will slowly begin to shut itself down.

– Being Too Close to Other Plants

Oleanders require some space to breathe and have large and intricate root systems that need the space to thrive. If you’re planting other or the same species of plants too close you’re risking two potentially deadly things.

Battle for nutrients under the ground, and battle for the light above it — both of these will cause leaves to go yellow. On another note, if another plant is infested with an issue, and your plant is very close to it, you could see that the plant will be contaminated by the disease, and it will result in a great issue regarding the foliage.

– Insects And Aphids

Sap-sucking insects and aphids can leave your leaves deprived of nutrients and water, leaving them yellow in return. Of all the creepy crawlies attacking your plants, aphids are most commonly seen moving around, which will weaken the leaves and change their color.

These are small, hard-to-see, translucent critters that will be hard to remove from your plants entirely, but there’s a solution to keep them in check.

How To Fix With Yellow Leaves on Oleander Bushes?

To fix the yellow leaves on Olender bushes, you must ensure the optimal living conditions of the plant; on another note, try to make sure you would prune the affected leaves, and aim to spray insecticides on the infected areas.

As our causes state, there are really three things you have here to deal with — ensuring optimal living conditions, dealing with bacterial diseases, and fighting off pests. The sooner the issue is tackled, the better your plant will look and the more vibrant it will be.

– Ensuring Optimal Living Conditions

When it comes to ensuring that your oleander is giving a good fighting chance you have to consider your watering regimes, your soil choice, fertilization, and the space you give to your plant!

Oleander isn’t a very fussy plant, so watering shouldn’t be an issue. All of this means that you can wait for your soil to go completely dry before giving your plants a good sip of water. And you can even skimp on a day extra, as these are very drought tolerant.

Coming to the soil conditions we already said that you shouldn’t play too loosely or compactly. There’s a sweet spot to aim for and a balanced soil mixture of organic and inorganic components will be just fine.

Fix with Yellow Leaves on Oleander Bushes

Balance is something to strive for when it comes to fertilization too! A good 10-10-10 fertilizer twice a year will do it all for your oleanders, which means that you can apply once in spring and once in summer. And when we talk space you definitely want to give them some and plant them at least the desired mature canopy distance from other plants!

– Prune the Affected Leaves

Oleander leaf scorch is a death row for your oleanders, unfortunately. If you spot a single yellow leaf with signs of bacterial disease it’s time to react! And whereby some gardeners advise removing infected parts, your oleander will completely die within five years, so it’s best to remove it whole.

– Spray Insecticides on The Infections

Battling infestations doesn’t have to go with the help of those aggressive chemicals. Just apply a water solution of neem oil and baking soda and spread generously all over the plant. Neem oil is highly functional when it comes to aphids and other pests.

However, if you wish to have some extra protection, you can always create a welcoming environment for larger insects that can eat your aphids away.

Give Oleanders Plenty of Room to Grow


Leaves turning yellow is no pretty sight for any grower, as it may point to some serious issues. But before you begin to panic, try to go through all that we’ve outlined in this article:

  • Always do a close-up inspection, your leaves may just come as a result of your poorly done water regime, or even aphid attack.
  • Yellow leaves don’t have to mean anything terminal, but if all solutions still left you with drooping leaves, then it’s probably a case of leaf scorch and you’ll have to say goodbye to your plant.
  • Just make sure to give your oleanders plenty of room, good soil, and enough water and nutrients, and they should do just fine!

Now that you know how to handle the yellowing of the leaves on your oleander, we’re sure that your ornamental specimens will decorate your garden for years to come!

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