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Growing edibles & oleander

  • Subject: [cg] Growing edibles & oleander
  • From: "M. dorland" dorlandm@pionet.net
  • Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2003 17:07:14 -0500

I have been researching the question of growing vegetable crops where
oleander had been growing until recently. Both are from credible scientists.
Use your own judgement.

> > Your email was forwarded to me at the Weed Research and Information
> > Center. The entire oleander plant is poisonous, including roots, stems,
> > leaves and even nectar to some degree. However, you can grow plants next
> > to it without that plant picking up a toxin. So you can also grow plants
> > in the soil where oleander previously grew without fear of poisoning.
> > =========================
> > Kitty Schlosser
> > Weed Research and Information Center
> > Department of Vegetable Crops
> > One Shields Ave.
> > University of California
> > Davis, CA 95616
> > Phone: 530-752-0791
> > Fax: 530-752-4604
> > Email: meschlosser@ucdavis.edu
> > Web: http://wric.ucdavis.edu
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: M. dorland [mailto:dorlandm@pionet.net]
> > Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2003 4:01 PM
> > To: webadmin@agdean.ucdavis.edu
> > Subject: Help, Please
> >
> >
> > Please forward this question on to the proper persons to answer for me.
> >
> > I would like to plant some tomatoes where oleander has been growing.
> > There are still some roots in the area where I would like to plant. Is
> > it safe for me grow edibles in this area? Thanks for telling me the
straight on this.
Following is the Arizona response:

> Hi!  The toxic alkaloids and glycosides in oleander should not be taken
up or accumulated from the soil by the vegetable crops.  You need to
ingest oleander roots, stems or leave directly to be exposed to the
toxic substances.  As the oleander roots decay in the soil, the microbes
will degrade these substances.  So, unless you come in direct contact
with the decaying oleander roots, then there is little chance of
exposure.  If you want to be particularly carefully for a growing season
or two, then avoid planting root crops and plant vegetables where the
leaves or fruits are harvested as food.

Here is more on the topic (search google.com using oleander +

All parts of the oleander are toxic if eaten, but to my
knowledge oleander does not produce any toxin that would
get into the soil and then be taken up by vegetables and
cause poisoning.

Check the web for "oleander poison". Here is one site:


Linda Drew
Master Gardener

>From: kirsten.shaw@cox.net
>To: <arid_gardener@Ag.arizona.edu>
>Subject: [Arid_gardener] Question from Home-Hort WWW page
>Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2003 14:04:40 -0700 (MST)
>I've heard several urban legends of the toxicity of oleanders, which
>me leary of the plants.  I recently moved and want to plant a vegetable

>garden in my new yard -- but it is surrounded by neighbors' oleanders.
>area which is most suitable for a garden has masses of oleander roots.
>it possible for toxins produced by the plants to be released into the
>and then be taken up by the vegetable plants?
>Arid_gardener mailing list
> straight on this

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