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

How to keep persimmons from staining patio
August 10, 2008 - We have approximately 4 female persimmons bearing fruit around our back patio. Birds are carrying the berries to our patio and eating them which leaves a dark stain on our patio. I'm having to go o...
view the full question and answer

Keeping bugs out of a Texas home
June 29, 2015 - I'm slowly growing my gardens into natural habitats for birds, bees, butterflies and other little critters but would like to keep them outside of my house. Being in central Texas it is difficult to ...
view the full question and answer

Secretions of fluid from crepe myrtles
June 09, 2008 - On my crepe myrtle tree I have dozens of 1/2-inch-long narrow bugs that seem to secrete tiny drops of fluid. They appear on the branches of the tree. Are these harmful to the tree? Do I need to do ...
view the full question and answer

Possible disease on Eastern Redbud
October 06, 2007 - Our Eastern Redbud appears to be suffering from our recent drought. The leaves are turning brown in July/August on a few branches. A few black spots appear on the leaves before they turn brown. Ot...
view the full question and answer

Oak tree with browning leaves in Brenham TX
August 16, 2011 - I have a large oak tree in my small back yard. I also have a sprinkler so the tree has been receiving some water. Nevertheless, some of the leaves are turning brown in patches. Would drip watering ...
view the full question and answer

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