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
1 rating

Thursday - May 20, 2010

From: Allen, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Transplants, Trees
Title: Why doesn't my Possum Haw have berries this year?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

A possumhaw holly has no berries as of mid-May. I planted this possumhaw last summer - it had lots of berries. Why would it have no berries this year? This spring I have two yaupons with lots of berries, 6 carissa hollies, and 6 dwarf yaupons all within 100 feet of the possumhaw. The possumhaw lost many of its leaves and all of its berries last summer shortly after planting due to sunburn and too little water. It appears healthy now with a full set of leaves and new growth.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks that you and your possumhaw are experiencing transplant shock. This is common in many plants when the come from their nice cozy pot, and are placed in a hole in the yard. The first order of business for the plant is to get a root system established in order to support the leaves on the upper portions of the plant. You made the job harder by planting in the summer and not adequately watering the plant. The leaves and berries didn't have sufficient water, and fell off. The plant probably didn't flower this year, but the showing of leaves is an encouraging sign that the plant is recovering. However, you still have a stressed plant in your yard. It is important that the plant receive adequate water, but no fertiliser this year.

I've included two websites that thoroughly cover tree planting and transplant shock: one is from the University of Kentucky  (scroll down to find the Transplant shock portion) and the other is from treesaregood.org.

This answer to a previous question covers a situation similar to yours.

 

From the Image Gallery


Possumhaw
Ilex decidua

Possumhaw
Ilex decidua

More Planting Questions

A year and a half old live oak tree is doing poorly in Nevada, TX.
May 08, 2012 - We planted a live oak tree about a year and a half ago. the tree is still rather small. The leaves are of a vibrant green, however the leave have only grown through the center of the tree and not out...
view the full question and answer

Need an inexpensive blooming tree in Venus, TX
May 02, 2015 - I need a non expensive booming tree for our yard.
view the full question and answer

Taking bluebonnets to Anchorage AK from Sealy TX
June 10, 2010 - Moving to Anchorage Alaska from Texas and I am bringing bluebonnet seeds to plant there. Will the moose eat these plants/flowers?
view the full question and answer

Native plants for shade in Ennis TX
August 26, 2011 - My house faces south. The southwest side of the front yard has a Pride of Houston, Japanese Barberry, 2 crape myrtles and some dwarf yaupon hollies. The other section, divided by a stairway to the p...
view the full question and answer

Will maroon and Texas Bluebonnets prosper in Richland MO?
July 02, 2013 - I live in Richland, MO and have obtained both Maroon and Texas Bluebonnet seeds from Fredricksburg, TX. Will they prosper in this area and when is the best time to plant? I have read how and what type...
view the full question and answer

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