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.
We are in the middle of the heat and humidity of the summertime and we have several weeks until the temperatures are cooler. While we can duck in doors and enjoy the comforts of air conditioning and a tall glass of lemonade, unfortunately our landscapes cannot. With plant material out in the heat, the logical idea is to give the plant material more water, so the landscape doesn’t dry out. You will find that a great deal of plant material will still dry out when watered daily. How does this happen and how can you control this from happening?