Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - July 16, 2014

From: Fort Worth, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Shrubs
Title: Yaupon hollies dying mysteriously
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

I have a row of yaupon hollies (Ilex vomitoria) that I keep trimmed like a hedge. They were all healthy for many years. Two years ago one of them died and I removed it, leaving a gap in the line of hedges. This year the yaupon next to that one died also, and I cut it off at the stump, leaving a gap of 2 spaces. Now the yaupon next in line shows stress and looks like will die. Can you suggest what the problem is, or what to do? Each time when I saw one of the yaupons stating to die, I watered it deeply once a week. Could the problem be that I watered too much, such that the overwatering affected the one next to the one that was dying? This is in Fort Worth. Thanks in advance for your help. Richard Marshall

ANSWER:

Although Yaupon is not native to the Fort Worth area, it can obviously grow well there, as evidenced by your past success.  However, in times of stress, such as we had in the severe drought two years ago, Yaupon's normal tolerance to pests or disease (see the following article) may be compromised.  I suspect that your plants may be succoming to black root rot.  You might be able to discern signs of root damage as shown here.  

I suggest that you remove the ailing plant and the soil from the affected area and replace the soil with fresh, compost-enriched soil to give the increased acidity that Yaupon prefers.  It may help to drench the soil with a fungicide.  Make certain that the area is well drained to discourage fungal growth.  If you replace the killed plants, try to buy plants that have been grown locally.  They should be better adapted to your region.  Good luck in cultivating this useful shrub.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Problems with mature cottonwood in Justin TX
September 17, 2012 - I have a very large, 90" circumference, approx 60' tall, cottonwood tree in my front yard that appears to be sick. The trunk splits at about the 4' level into 2 parts. at that split is a 10" wide...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Eastern hemlock in Greenville SC
July 02, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a beautiful, young, 5 and a half foot tall Eastern Hemlock. I purchased and planted it two years ago in the fall. It has been doing very well all this spring. And ne...
view the full question and answer

Native Grass is Falling Over
November 09, 2011 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I've tried to find this answer but am stumped as to the cause. We live in Fredericksburg, TX and have several different tall grasses, Yellow Indian grass, Little Bluestem, wire...
view the full question and answer

Century plant leaves falling over from San Antonio
April 10, 2013 - Have a large century plant about % feet tall. The leaves are falling over. Can you tell me what to do to avoid this.
view the full question and answer

Cultivar of Cercis Canadensis from Haskell OK
May 16, 2012 - We have a Hearts of Gold Redbud that first had dark edges to many of its leaves (about 2 weeks after planting). It now has multiple leaves w/ medium-dark brown spots on them. Are we looking at some ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.