En Español

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

Tuesday - June 28, 2011

From: Euless, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Why do my Possumhaw Holly berries fall of in the summer in Euless, TX?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

My possumhaw holly has LOTS of green berries in the spring but they fall off in summer, so that I have only a handful of red berries in the winter. What is going wrong?

ANSWER:

One of the reasons for planting possumhaw Ilex decidua (Possumhaw) is for the beautiful red berries in the fall and winter. When they aren't abundant, its disappointing.

Mr. Smarty Plants is guessing that the problem has something to do with water, probably too little. Once the plant has flowered and the fruit is set, the cells inside the fruit require sufficeint moisture to divide and enlarge to fill out the fruit. Without enough water, all of the fruit can't develop.

This link from Oregon State University has some informative watering tips.

 

From the Image Gallery


Possumhaw
Ilex decidua

More Trees Questions

Watering practices for live oaks in drought from New Braunfels TX
September 04, 2011 - We have conflicting info about watering live oaks. An arborist says to water now using soaker hoses or small sprinklers and a landscaper who spoke to our garden club said that after August is too late...
view the full question and answer

ID of insects attacking a Mexican Plum in Austin, TX
May 11, 2015 - I live in south austin and have a young 6' tall mexican plum. For the third year in a row it is getting eaten by small green 'leaf-rolling' worms. The destruction the past 2 years was so bad there ...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen for inland San Diego, California
November 28, 2009 - I'm looking for an evergreen tree for my inland San Diego residence, 30 foot max height, growth speed is not important. I had decided on the carrotwood until I found your site and discovered the prob...
view the full question and answer

Is oak leucanium an invasive species in Texas from Laredo TX
April 02, 2013 - Is Parthenolecanium quercifex considered an invasive species in Texas? Does this insect attach itself to redbuds? I spotted and removed from my small 5ft Texas Redbud last year. It seems that it has ...
view the full question and answer

Removing Texas cedar Juniperus ashei from Blanco River banks
February 26, 2014 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Should cedar trees be removed from our Blanco River banks to prevent them from sucking too much of our precious water before it makes it into the river system? If so, what s...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center