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Re: oleander near herbs

  • Subject: Re: [cg] oleander near herbs
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2003 11:59:21 EDT

Greetings, I removed an oleander and planted tomatoes in the same
spot. I have herbs right next to it. The oleander roots are fine and
well-dispersed, so I did not get them all out. Is there a poisoning
danger other than that of inadvertently gathering oleander leaves
with the herbs ?  Do the other plants take the toxin from the roots or
leaves of the oleander via the soil and incorporate them in their
leaves and fruits ? Thank you.

As you know, Oleander is a common flowering ornamental shrub that is widely 
utilized as a hedges, screens, and ornamentals.  Allowed to grow naturally it 
produces a large number of stems and forms a dense clump.  The leathery leaves 
are narrow, elongated and pointed at both ends.  Leaves are arranged in whorls 
of two to three around the stem.  Oleander flowers are produced in clusters 
on the upper part of the shrub nearly year round.  Flowers may be white, pink, 
yellow, rose, or red. All parts of the plants are poisonous.  One leaf is 
sufficient to kill an adult. A number of individuals have suffered from serious 
poisoning after using the long straight branches to roast hot-dogs or 
marshmallows at barbecues.  Inhaling smoke from burning oleander leaves or branches has 
caused poisoning. 

You really should contact your local agricultural extension agent, pronto on 
all concerns like this which deal with garden safety and health: 

Here is the link to the AZ agricultural extension which has all of its 
contact numbers - http://ag.arizona.edu/extension/

This paper, which I quickly read through from UC Davis says that composted 
Oleander may not be dangerous, DOES NOT say anything about uncomposted residual 
roots in the ground and their absorption by food  plants. 


Off the top of my head, I'd  not plant food where an oleander had grown, nor 
let children garden in it....but your agricultural agent should know best, 
especially as the plant is common decorative plant used in Arizona. 

Garden safely!

Best wishes,
Adam Honigman
 <A HREF="http://www.clintoncommunitygarden.org/";>Clinton Community Garden</A>

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