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

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

Shade Loving Plants for Under a Black Walnut Tree in Rochester, NY.
May 09, 2015 - Please advise on plants that will grow in the shade under a black walnut tree in Rochester, NY.
view the full question and answer

Problems with Cedar Elm in Kerrville TX
April 28, 2012 - We live in 10 miles outside Kerrville - have a Cedar Elm tree - planted 4 or 5 years ago, 15-20 foot high, is losing leaves in the top 1/4th. Rest of leaves look healthy and green.
view the full question and answer

Proper watering of cedar elm trees in Sachse, TX
August 15, 2008 - I've just planted two Cedar elm trees in clay soil, each about four inches in diameter, and I want to water them correctly. I'm aware that too much water can be bad as well as too little water. I ...
view the full question and answer

Effect of pecan trees on pool deck from Clovis CA
February 14, 2013 - I have pecan trees next to our pool deck. Are pecan trees invasive, will they lift up our pool deck?
view the full question and answer

Texas wild olive tree
April 05, 2012 - I live in the Phoenix area. My Texas wild olive (Cordia boissieri) is about 5 years old, about 12 feet tall and has beautiful blossoms all year long. However, this past year (through all seasons...
view the full question and answer

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