Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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

QUESTION:

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.

ANSWER:

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 Compost and Mulch Questions

Ground cover for sun in Phenix City, AL
April 04, 2011 - I live in Phenix City, AL and am new to planting. I have a 60 x 15 feet slope that is just dirt. I am going to till it next week and want to plant some various ground cover plants (that will grow to c...
view the full question and answer

Native landscaping in Austin
August 24, 2009 - I am planning to convert a pretty large portion (app. 500 sq feet) of my front yard from St. Augustine to an area with native and well-adapted plants. I have solarized the area to kill off grass and ...
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in Mountain Laurel in San Antonio, TX
June 03, 2011 - I planted a 2 ft. tall Texas mountain laurel a month ago. Some of the leaves have turned very yellow and some of them are falling off. The plant doesn't look real healthy in general. I did add s...
view the full question and answer

How to grow milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) for monarch butterflies
March 31, 2010 - I tried and tried and tried to grow Asclepias viridis, A. asperula and even A. oenotheroides from seeds and even tubers for fourteen years! Do you have advice for growing these and other milkweed plan...
view the full question and answer

Fungus Spots on Native Bush Honeysuckle
December 03, 2010 - My native bush honeysuckle plants that I have along my back fence have leaves that are turning yellow with spots. It appears to be a type of fungus, but not powdery mildew. Any suggestions as to what ...
view the full question and answer

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