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?


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

Monday - June 27, 2011

From: Iredell, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Shrubs, Trees
Title: What's attacking my Nellie Stevens Holly plants in Iredell, TX?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


I just bought 10 Nellie R. Stevens holly bushes and planted them as a screen. The leaves on some of the plants are at least half white - not yellow but white. Apparently they were like that when I bought them and I cannot figure out what could make leaves turn white. Can you please help me? Thank you.


One possibility is that the leaves have been attacked by leaf miners. These are the larval stage of flies or moths that are inside the leaf eating the mesophyll of the leaf. The mesophyll cells contain most of the chloroplasts in the leaf, and when they are gone, the leaf looses its green coloration, ie it becomes white. This link to the University of Florida IFAS Extension has a description of the pests and suggestions for treatment.

This link to About.com has useful information about Nellie R. Stevens Holly.


More Pests Questions

Ravaged by snails
May 23, 2007 - Our Prickly Pear Cactus is being completely ravaged by snails. Is there something in my yard that could be attracting them? Is there something I can do to keep them off the plant? Also is is safe to...
view the full question and answer

Plants good for repelling bugs in Austin, TX
April 18, 2007 - I need help on what type of plants or herbs are good for keeping bugs away from the house and also something that would be good for in the house for bugs?
view the full question and answer

Bugs on yucca plant in New Jersey
August 06, 2008 - I noticed small bugs ALL OVER 4 established yucca plants all near each other. They may look like Halticotoma valida but I'm not positive. There is no brown on the leaves except for the large amount...
view the full question and answer

Dealing with aphids on milkweed plants in Alloway, NJ.
July 11, 2012 - I planted milk weed for the Monarch butterfly. Every year it gets orange aphids that seem to suck out the juices and eventually kill the plant sooner than I like.
view the full question and answer

White sticky stuff on muscadine grape vines from Chappells SC
August 17, 2013 - Muscadine vine has white sticky substance on leaves and vines, what is it?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center