Oh-Oh Oleander

Late in the summer, hubby noticed a Kijiji ad from someone wanting to find pears to pick. 

I guess pear trees aren’t very plentiful in our region but we have one in the back yard, and we don’t do much with its fruit. The poor old tree looks like a cousin of Charlie Brown’s sad, wispy Christmas tree but it bears quite a bit of fruit. We give some away but most of it ends up on the ground, where it attracts bees. So we contacted the older gentleman and said, have at it.

He and his wife visited a couple of times and relieved us of our ripe pears and most of our apples too. Yes, we also have an apple tree but we can’t tell you what kind of apples it bears. We don’t spray it, of course, so many of the apples come out mishapen with little brown bumps on them. But whatever this couple planned to do with the fruit, these issues didn’t bother them. We had trouble finding out their plans because they had very thick accents, so there was a lot of smiling and nodding.

After their last visit, the man gave Derek a beautiful Oleander plant, “for your vife”. I researched and discovered Oleanders are poisonous to pets (and to humans, for that matter) so I tried to give it away, with no success. Finally, we found a way to move a few things around and put the plant out of Spice’s reach. Oleanders are typically fussy, like orchids, so I did a lot of research. I transplanted it, per instructions from the old man, and buds began to form.

Small white buds in various stages of starting to open

I anticipated the blooms but they were not to be. The buds look like they’re planning to open and then they simply fall off! It’s so disappointing. The plant is in a well-lit area under the skylight and is allowed to dry completely before it’s watered again, just like I was told to do. The other two plants that have been there for a couple of years are going gangbusters.

Mr. Google tells me that I’m not watering it enough so I will see if more H2O makes a difference. If it lives, this plant will go outside next summer to sit on the deck, but it can’t tolerate our climate otherwise. It’s fussy, poisonous and high maintenance. Just what you want in a plant that doesn’t give you flowers, eh?!

2 thoughts on “Oh-Oh Oleander”

  1. It may need to be misted too. Humidity is also important as it’s tropical. Perhaps the conservatory at the Civic Garden Complex on Springbank would like a donation if you are looking to share it ? Oleander smells heavenly when it blooms. My mother had one. Finicky but a beautiful plant. Hopefully Spice will give it a pass. Good luck

  2. Misting! That’s a great idea, Brenda, thank you. So is the Garden Complex. It still looks kind of crispy around the buds. I’ll give it a mist.

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