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

Sunday - April 08, 2012

From: San Angelo, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Shrubs
Title: Chlorosis in yaupon from San Angelo TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Thank you for your information on the yaupon holly. We just finished clearing out the mulch and the red ground cover that popped up. I will quit watering it as much as the rest of the plants. Our yard is all gravel, so I don't water the bushes often. However, the soil is sticky red dirt that turns into bedrock about two feet down. So, we'll see how it does with these adjustments and also read the article on chlorosis.


Well, you moved right ahead on that. Your shrub roots probably don't need to go down 2 feet to the bedrock, because roots tend to spread out closer to the surface for adequate gas exchange, i.e.,  carbon dioxide and oxygen. Either the lighter mulch decomposing or some compost mixed into the soil will help. It sounds like you have clay soil, which has nutrients in it but is composed of tiny particles that swell up and prevent the movement of oxygen to the roots. The roots can even drown, but if you are watering the yaupon less, that should help.


More Shrubs Questions

White blooms on Rose Pavonia from Austin
May 02, 2012 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I've planted my entire South Austin garden with natives from your excellent recommendations and I wanted to thank you, the garden is just beautiful! So here is my questio...
view the full question and answer

Orange rhododendrons for Millinocket ME
June 15, 2012 - Where will I find orange rhododendron in Maine? Or orange rhododendron that will thrive in Maine?
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant shade shrubs for Lago Vista, TX.
June 24, 2010 - I purchased a home in Lago Vista, Tx. It has a very shady front yard. I want to plant some blooming shrubs that THE DEER WON'T EAT! I would prefer native plants for the area. What should I look f...
view the full question and answer

Failure to bloom of non-native Althea in Oklahoma
August 17, 2008 - I have 2 Althea bushes that will not bloom. For the past 2 years, they become covered in buds, which eventually yellow, but never open. The buds are fully developed. This year the branches have starte...
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers over roots in Roeland Park KS
June 18, 2013 - Large Hackberry tree (aprox 50+years) roots are popping up above ground making mowing under/around it impossible. Is there a plant, ground cover, something I can plant, or cover the roots with that w...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center