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?

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
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

Thursday - January 19, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Watering, Drought Tolerant, Shrubs
Title: Ilex vomitoria Sufering from Drought?
Answered by: Mike Tomme

QUESTION:

My Ilex vomitoria has always thrived. It is about ten years old. This fall, a portion of the leaves on the ends of the branches have turned yellow on the edges with green veining in the center. Other branches remain bright green, but we had no fruit this year. Is this a result of the drought, or is it a likely soil deficiency?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants always has reservations about making a diagnosis without actually seeing the plant and its surroundings, but, Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon) is one of those plants that is so hardy and tolerant of its conditions, including the type of soil it is in, that I have to suspect the drought.

I would look at a couple of things. First, look around to se if anything has changed that might affect its growth - is it getting more shade/sun as a result of nearby tree growth/trimming? Second, is it being overwatered? If you have an irrigation system, make sure you are not overcompensating for the dry conditions.

Finally, I recommend patience. In spite of the rains this fall in central Texas, we are still in a very serious drought and many plants are going to suffer and die. The plants that are not native to this area will be the first to perish. Your yaupon is probably going to be a suvivor. 

 

From the Image Gallery


Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

More Watering Questions

List of plants that tolerate
May 11, 2014 - Could I get a list of "grey water" tolerant shrubs/evergreens/etc? *Full sun
view the full question and answer

Watering needs for a new landscape
October 11, 2008 - How much and how frequently are you supposed to water after implementing a new landscape? For example, perennials and succulents that are drought tolerant.
view the full question and answer

Topmost leaves on yucca are brown
June 08, 2009 - I live in the Lansing, Michigan area, in the lower peninsula and have a couple yuccas whose topmost leaves are brown emerging from winter. Do I prune those, or has the plant died? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Problems with water oaks from Laurel MS
October 05, 2013 - The leaves on my mature water oak trees have been falling since the leaves matured. My area has had an abundance of rain this year, 11 inches above normal. All the trees in my area are doing the same....
view the full question and answer

Shriveling agave from Miami Florida
August 23, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Most upset - My beautiful agave (wish I could have submitted an image) has stared to misbehave. The once first liquid filled leaves, are starting to look more like the skin ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center