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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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

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