Oleander plants (Nerium oleander) are among the most versatile of shrubs, with dozens of uses in southern and coastal landscapes. They tolerate a wide range of conditions, including difficult soil, salt spray, high pH, severe pruning, reflected heat from pavements and walls, and drought. But the one thing they can’t withstand is winter temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. However, in cooler climates, you can grow an oleander plant in a container and bring it indoors when temperatures drop.
- Oleander caterpillar eats the tender leaf tissue, leaving the veins intact. This rarely kills the host plant but defoliates the oleander and gives the leaves a skeleton-like appearance.
- The female oleander caterpillar moths lay clusters of on the undersides of tender leaves. Once hatched the bright orange and black caterpillars begin feeding on the leaves.
- As soon as you see the caterpillars on the leaves pick them off by hand and drop them in a bucket of soapy water. Clip heavily infested leaves and drop them into a plastic garbage bag.
“In the adult stage, oleander plant caterpillars are impossible to miss, with iridescent, bluish-green body and wings with bright reddish-orange at the tip of the abdomen.”