Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

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

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

Privacy screen shrubs for Butler PA
August 09, 2013 - Here is what I want in a bush: native to Western Pa.(Southern Butler County), appropriate for a horse pasture,fast growing, not too aggressive (I will mow around it regularly and can prune occasionall...
view the full question and answer

Need a drought resistant, maintenance free tree in Thomasville, GA.
April 20, 2012 - I have been through many tree forums and asked several nurseries about a good tree to plant but nobody has provided an adequate answer and I hope you can help. I live in SW Georgia (Zone 8) and need ...
view the full question and answer

Questions about care and pruning of Mexican Plum and Mountain Laurel in Austin, TX.
January 24, 2012 - I have a couple of questions regarding tree care and pruning. I have a Mexican Plum (Prunus mexicana), about 10 years old or so. I would like to prune it. Is it ok to prune now in late wi...
view the full question and answer

Information about blackleaf elderberry
July 03, 2008 - I was given a blackleaf elderberry. Do I plant this tree in shade or sun? Also, does it require a lot of moisture? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of Actaea simplex in Washington State
September 07, 2008 - I have a Actaea simplex 'Hillside Black Beauty' that I planted in mid August 2007 in a partial, almost full shade spot. This year it came back , but the foliage is brown with dark and light green a...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.