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 Drought Tolerant Questions

Ground cover under live oaks
June 18, 2012 - I have some areas under Live Oak trees (maybe 200 sq. ft.)that remain bare, in spite of trying Habiturf. Soil is dry, poor and shallow. Can you suggest a living ground cover that would not require m...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing drought-resistant hedge for California
September 03, 2013 - We're looking for a fast growing, drought resistant shrub that will grow in clay soil and can be used for a hedge around our property.
view the full question and answer

Alternative to swamp sunflower for Austin
June 15, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I love this forum and have learned so much from it! Do you know of an alternative to Helianthus angustifolius L. (Swamp sunflower) that requires less water and would be m...
view the full question and answer

Smoky Mountains Shaded Slope Plant Suggestions
April 29, 2013 - We live in a very shady spot in Great Smoky Mountains in Western North Carolina. We would like to plant vegetation on a sloped area behind our cottage to stop erosion after building an addition. Our h...
view the full question and answer

Tree to replace Betula nigra (River birch) in Memphis
August 13, 2012 - HI Mr. Smarty Pants, I think I need to replace the river birch tree in my west-facing front yard in Memphis, TN. I have sun all day, but it gets really hot in the afternoon. The soil in my yar...
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