En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - May 09, 2012

From: Pflugerville, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Shrubs
Title: Replacement Yaupon holly doing poorly in Pflugerville, TX
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


I had to replace quite a few shrubs after the drought last year. I live in Austin, TX. I have planted 3 dwarf yaupon holly bushes in the exact same place where the previous three same type of shrubs lived for over 20 years. After a couple of months. These dwarf yaupon holly bushes have some green leaves, but most medium brown and dark brown leaves. Is there anything I can do to keep them from dying? Does this indicate not enough water, or too much water? Thanks!


Since dwarf yaupons grew in the bed for 20 years, you would expect that new yaupons would grow in the same conditions. This assumes that the previous plants succumbed to drought and not some sort of disease. Mr. Smarty Plants is thinking that your new plants may be suffering from transplant shock.

I’m going to refer you to several sites that discuss this problem and suggest remedies. There is some overlap in the information, but the difference in approach is interesting.

Purdue University

northscaping.com TS-0011

northscaping.com TS-0012


University of Kentucky 


More Shrubs Questions

Evergreen native shrubs for hedge in Austin
November 20, 2008 - Please help! Looking for an inexpensive, fast growing shrub or tree to plant along 200' fence in our backyard. Lots of sun (southwest side) but I wouldn't call it dry. Hoping for something that k...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs for Birds and Bees in North Texas
December 17, 2015 - I have a small backyard and would love to grow native plants for North Texas. I don't think I can grow trees, but for sure can do 1-2 crape myrtle-size shrubs. I have some rose of Sharon's going on ...
view the full question and answer

Plant to hang over and cover a wall
May 21, 2010 - HI! this is a stumper for me! I have a 6 foot wall bracing a hill on one side and a lawn on the other. It is currently cement and I would like to find something to cover it --evergreen would be the...
view the full question and answer

Screening Plants for Cape Cod
June 17, 2014 - I need to plant some fairly high growing leafy plants/bushes/trees for privacy and as a sound barrier in (the remains of) a pine forest in Cape Cod, MA. The pines grow tall and skinny so that we can s...
view the full question and answer

Is Viburnum rufidulum monoecious or dioecious?
July 28, 2014 - Is Viburnum rufidulum monoecious or dioecious? Your database does not address this for most plants.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center