hollies feed numerous birds, including American
weeping yaupon holly is beyond stunning right now. No,
the weeping plant wasn’t nuked or genetically modified
to obtain that graceful appearance. It was found
naturally and native and then simply propagated
vegetatively by cutting.
are native geographically in almost a third of North
America. Botanically speaking they are Known as Ilex
vomitoria with the weeping type known as Ilex vomitoria
‘Pendula.’ Native Americans made a tea out of the
leaves which is still in practice by gardeners and
herbalists in some Southeastern counties. In no way am I
touting this and the species name vomitoria gives clear
indication to the reason.
weeping yaupon, however, is one of the best small trees
to use in the landscape. When I lived in Rincon Ga., I
had one as an accent at the corner of the home. At the
Columbus Botanical Garden where I was the director, the
back-patio area had one that was like a beautiful piece
of sculpture welcoming all bridal parties. And recently
I saw a pair at a McDonalds in Columbus, Ga., that were
loaded with so many bright cherry-red-fruit, it was
winter all yaupon hollies seem to have the most dazzling
berry crop I can ever remember. Who knows why perhaps it
was just perfect pollination conditions. But a weeping
yaupon with thousands of berries hanging downward in a
cascading fashion is a joy more gardeners should
them as an accent, a specimen or focal point or in a
narrow garden. Think of it as a living piece of garden
art. While I might suggest not overdoing it, I’m sure
someone could ‘take me to school’ so to speak and
demonstrate a world of possibilities.
leaves are dark green serving as a good contrast with
the whitish bark and brilliant red fruit. These berries
not only give great winter color to the landscape but
also provide a valuable source of food to more than a
half dozen species of birds, like American robins, cedar
waxwings, and the bobwhite quail.
weeping yaupon can reach 30 feet in height, but most I
have seen are 15 to 20 feet with a 6 to 12-foot spread.
When choosing a site, remember that a lot of sun gives
best berry production. Prepare a bed by incorporating
three to four inches of organic matter along with 2
pounds of a 5-10-5 fertilizer per 100 square feet. When
digging your planting hole keep in mind that wider is
better, allowing for good root expansion and
establishment. Complete the project by adding a good
layer of mulch after planting.
your holly about four weeks after transplanting with one
pound of an 8-8-8 fertilizer per 100 square feet.
Established plantings can be given this application in
April and August. Yaupons do not like to dry out. If you
have an abundance of berries, many will drop due to
drying out, so give supplemental irrigation during long
yaupon hollies are cold hardy from zones 7-9. If you are
reading this in a colder area, I assure you there are
other weeping trees to give your landscape that wow