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 Shrubs Questions

Blue rug juniper native to New Hampshire
March 29, 2009 - Is the blue rug juniper native to New Hampshire? I'm considering it for ground cover near lake in zip 03872.
view the full question and answer

Native plants for memorial garden in Michigan
March 04, 2008 - I want to start a memorial garden for my daughter. I live in northern Michigan and the area has very tall white pines we have pruned them up about 15' so the area does get partial sun. Which plants w...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs growing in riparian areas of Hudson River, NY
August 04, 2009 - What are the five most common native shrubs that grow in riparian areas in Hudson Valley? Interested especially in plants that grow near/along the Hudson River (as opposed to inland woodland freshwate...
view the full question and answer

Lack of Blooms and Low Hanging Limbs on Mountain Laurels
August 06, 2014 - My mountain laurel didn't bloom this year but has a few hard pods on it. It is 9 ft tall but very top heavy with most growth low. I need to prune it a lot at the bottom because it has branches hangi...
view the full question and answer

Living fence to contain sheep in Indiana
March 19, 2009 - I would like to plant a living fence that would also contain sheep. I have researched this but I cannot find a definite list of trees or shrubs to use. Do you have any suggestions?
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