oleanders and kids

ncpalmzone7September 20, 2010

hey guys i need suggestions , i was reading articles about oleanders and saw alot of horror story articles about if digested it can be very fatal.we have alot of kids in our cul-de-sac and they play on all our yards now me and my wife our really concern,i hate to throw away 2 beautiful plants willing to give away if wanted.If not im just gonna dig them out and trash em

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josephine_sc(7/8 Clemson, SC)

I grew up in a area (Charleston, SC) where oleanders are common as dandelions and never heard of anyone being poisoned by them. I never even heard anyone expressing concern about it. In fact the way I learned oleanders were poisonous was from the old Vincent Price movie, Dragonwyk, when he poisoned his wife by putting some dried leaves into a nutmeg grater. (Don't know if that would work in real life or not.) By all means, keep an eye on any kids who are conceivably young enough to put leaves in their mouths, and warn older children but I think digging up you oleanders is a bit of an overreaction. (You could put a shortie fence around them to keep the toddlers out if you wanted to.)

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 7:50PM
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Lots of plants are poisonous so I wouldnt be really concerned about it. But you should put a sign that says its poisonous to eat and not to go near it. If you use an oleander branch as a stick for BBQ'ing, it will probably be your last meal, so a sign will keep people from making a mistake like that. Planting some sharp plants around it like cacti, yuccas, and agave will probably scare them off enough to keep them from even going near your oleander!
But if your really concerned and want to get rid of the shrubs, Im sure lots of people will be more than happy to buy them from you, especially if they are one of the more cold tolerant oleander cultivators such as "hardy red".
Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 7:52PM
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josephine_sc(7/8 Clemson, SC)

Just to put things in perspective -

Here is a link that might be useful: Common Poisonous Plants in the Landscape

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 9:30PM
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I wouldnt stress out about it. I dont normally see people walking around randomly eating bushes.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 9:58PM
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Yeah, eating them can kill. They can kill horses as well, and if you touch the leaves you can get a rash. They grow like weeds over here too, I can't kill them. I would also suggest that someone digs them up, trimming them doesn't get rid of them either.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 10:17PM
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thank you all for your suggestions,not sure what im going to do yet but if anybody around the greensboro metro area more then welcome to come get it

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 4:36PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hello Everyone,

Just wanted to add my two cents worth!!

I have had Oleanders here at my home for over 25 years...I have heard that they were poisonous as well. Like others have said from the above post...most plants can have a bad effect to humans and animals if ingested. So therefore, I would not worry to much about your beautiful Oleanders. It seems that when people start to talk about certain plants being "poisonous" everyone gets nervous..Ex. (Poitsettias) at Christmas...the verdict is still out about that plant.
Some say it is...others say not.

My Oleanders are and have been around my pool with many backyard functions...my kids now 24 and 21 never had any interest in them and never had any problems with other kids in the neighborhood. I just don't want you to worry to much about these beautiful trees.

If they do continue to cause you concern..then make yourself feel better and get rid of them. I guess what I'm trying to say is that everything around the yard and in the house can be a problem if ingested in large amounts.

Hopefully you can enjoy all of your plants and trees along with the great enjoyment of all of your kids and family!!!

Hope this helps a little....

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 8:33PM
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brooklyngreg(7a NYC coastal plain)

Great pics and good point Laura. Children small enough to ingest anything harmful require 24 hr supervision.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 4:34PM
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thank you MS.Laura and everybody else for all your suggestions are great,but i might just post a warning sign up and hopefully i dont have any curious kids including my own in the neighborhood.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 6:22PM
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Oleanders are pretty in flower, but otherwise are pretty ugly plants, if you ask me. I worked in the superior court many years ago, and remember a murder having been committed using oleander. As long as your kids know not to put anything in their mouth unless they KNOW it's safe, you probably have nothing to worry about.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 9:20PM
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josephine_sc(7/8 Clemson, SC)

All this has reminded me of the first time I tried to get my now grown daughter, then about three, to eat a bit of salad. She looked at what was on the fork in my hand, drew back, and said with the utmost scorn and horror, "That's a LEAF!" Maybe the stereotypical kid's apparently inborn aversion to vegetables is simply an evolutionary protective mechanism.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 9:29PM
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musaboru(Inland Calif.)

I use to play 'house' when I was kid (around 6). That included picking leaves from this gigantic pink oleander in our yard and tearing them into mud pies. It wasn't just me either, it included my friends on our block. We even mushed them up and handled them without any gloves. I had no idea it was toxic until around high school. And our parents didn't even know either.

With that said, I would think most kids would never intentionally eat plants from the landscape. You can't even get most kids to eat their vegetables anyways lol. But it's still best to warn them against touching it or doing anything to it.

I can still remember the fragrance from back then. It was like baby powder and so sweet like honey. Personally, I would replace them for the mere fact that they're so over planted and kinda boring after seeing them continuously on the freeway.

Keep in mind though, if you decide to replace them, you might be adding something else toxic though maybe lethal at a different degree. So there is always dangers. If you adore it so much, just tell the kids to keep off of them or else...

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 2:43AM
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if you put up signs saying that they are poisonous ,, can the little kids you are worried about read them ?? Millions of children have grown up around oleanders and survived. ..

enjoy them

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 10:17AM
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