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Q.Are Oleanders Quickly Loosing Leaves After Hurricane Storm Surge Salvageable?

Zone Ocean Isle Beach, NC | Anonymous added on August 20, 2021 | Answered

Approximately 22” storm surge on the oleanders. They were well established, at least 25 years old. They began dropping leaves after just a few days. Very few leaves left 15 days later. Anything I can do to help them would be appreciated.

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Answered on August 21, 2021

Oleanders are salt tolerant but you will probably need to prune the stems just as if they had been killed by a bad freeze and see if they return. Avoid fertilizing. You can water often and deeply to try and alleviate some of the salt but do water deeply when the top 1-2 inches feel dry. If you water too much and too often, you run the risk of getting root rot. I would discard the mulch to remove some of the salts and to temporarily facilitate soil evaporation. Put new mulch when the soil has dried out a little or wait until Spring 2022 if the mulch is sold out. Watering is probably the most important thing now. I would look for new growth either later this year or in Spring 2022. If nothing happens by May 2022 (no new growth), it may have lost.

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