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
1 rating

Wednesday - May 29, 2013

From: Bennettsville, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Pruning, Shrubs
Title: Yaupon sprouts from Bennettsville SC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have Yaupons in a flower bed and they have too many shoots to pull up, can I spray them with roundup and not kill the bush and what strength should I use?

ANSWER:

DON'T SPRAY!! Not only would it kill the bush, it would drift to other plants and damage them, too.

Now, on to the shoots. Sometimes the appearance of a bunch of shoots is the result of stress to the "mother" plant. In other words, the plant is trying to propagate itself because it is threatened by something. We are going to our webpage on Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon) in our Native Plant Database and give you the growing condions for this plant:

"Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Moist or well drained, sandy, loamy, clay, limestone, or gravelly soils.
Conditions Comments: Yaupon is a versatile plant that tolerates drought and poor drainage, with best production of red fruit when shrub gets half a day of sun or more."

As you can see this is a pretty tolerant plant. However, when we look at the USDA Plant Profile on this plant, you can see the yaupon is not recorded as growing naturally in Marlboro County, so there may be a soil issue, but we don't think it's that important.

Finally, dealing with the sprouts. Be aware that the treatment we are going to recommend could get clear back to the main plant and cause damage to it. We still think it is preferable to snip off the sprouts at or below ground level, but you can take an added step which might help keep them from recurring. Purchase a small bottle of wide spectrum herbicide and some small disposable paint brushes. After you have clipped off each sprout, quickly, within 5 minutes, paint the cut edge with the undiluted herbicide. You must do this quickly because the stem will be healing itself over to protect the root. Remember, these sprouts are coming from the main root of the shrub, although some of them could be seedlings. If they are seedlings, pull them out. If they are sprouts, that same herbicide could travel through that root structure to the main plant.

You won't particularly thwart the sprouts by just cutting them off without the herbicide, but at least you won't threaten the main plant. Your decision.

 

From the Image Gallery


Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

More Pruning Questions

Premature leaf drop on Red Maple in Kentucky
June 25, 2008 - I have a ten foot Red Maple tree that has been set out for 4 years. Its leaves have slowly turned colors until it currently looks like fall. The leaves are not falling off nor is there yet any s...
view the full question and answer

Controlling oak suckers in Austin
June 24, 2012 - We have 2 live oak trees that are sprouting shoots all around the surrounding area. We would like to plant some grass and would like to remedy this first. We have mowed the shoots and still they jus...
view the full question and answer

Yucca blades damaged by weedeater in Hellertown PA
July 05, 2011 - Can I cut off the blades of a Yucca plant that have been eaten on the edges with a weed wacker and are very unsightly looking? Can they be cut back to the flower shaft?
view the full question and answer

Getting a senna to fill out from Irvine CA
May 30, 2013 - I have a Senna of some kind, started from a seed by a friend. I got it as a small,six in high) seedling. After two years it is now blooming beautifully, but is a single thin stem 4 feet tall with ve...
view the full question and answer

Trimming iris leaves in Pickerington OH
June 08, 2010 - I recently trimmed the stems and leaves of my iris plants in late May - I realize now this was a bit early. The leaves are still about 3-4" out of the ground. I would like to half them and move som...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center