En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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 Shrubs Questions

Advice about lavender (Lavandula sp.)
June 03, 2008 - I recently visited a Lavender Farm just outside Gainseville Texas. I was hooked. However, when I started reading about growing Lavender I found that you should have well drained alkaline soil. Since...
view the full question and answer

Wind and erosion tolerant plants from Austin
August 05, 2013 - I recently cleared a fire break by removing cedar from around my home in West Austin. I'd like to plant the exposed NW facing slope with native shrubs and trees. Looking for selections that can wit...
view the full question and answer

Planting shrubs on a rocky slope
September 13, 2008 - I need to plant a rocky slope, facing south and west, to cut down erosion. Other than creating terraces, are there tricks for securing individual shrubs or trees to a slope when planting? What plant...
view the full question and answer

Non-native photinias dying from Austin
September 14, 2012 - I have some red tip potinias that are dying. The ends of the branches are dying and the leaves are turning brown, I don't think this is the fungus that affects most red tips, any clues?
view the full question and answer

Trees & Shrubs for a NY Slope
July 03, 2012 - Our community has a large steep slope (100'high by at least 600' wide) that is sunny & dry. The builders planted "wild flower seeds" on the slope that is now just weeds. We would like to know what...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center