Oleander caterpillars hatch from eggs that have been laid under plant leaves. The caterpillars got their name because they prefer to feed on Oleander leaves, but don’t let the name fool you: they can and will eat other plant material, like the Desert Rose or Mandeville Vine. We found an army of Oleander caterpillars on our property attacking our Mandeville vines. Looking back, we should have recognized the signs before seeing the caterpillar itself.
In the fall, the turf, plants, and trees are as hungry as bears before hibernation. They are capable of consuming a tremendous amount of food in the fall. In many cases, food use is higher during this time of year than through any other period of the season. As the days get shorter and the nights get cooler, plants begin a complex process of growth and preparation which continues (mainly out of sight in the root system) throughout most of the winter months. This natural process occurs every fall on its own and without any outside help, but its effects and benefits are greatly improved with correct and timely fall fertilization.