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?


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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - April 16, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Deer resistant, shade tolerant plants for Austin, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I am looking for plants to put in my front yard--very shaded, and need to be deer resistant. I would love some things in the blue family. Also want blues in my back yard that is a combination of full sun and some areas would be under oak trees.


Although no plants can be considered to be deer proof, there are some that are deer resistant. This doesn't mean that in times of stress the deer won't find those deer resistant plants tasty as well. Many of those plants in the mint family (Family Lamianceae) such as the Salvia spp. and Stachys coccinea tend to be deer resistant since they usually are rather aromatic. Other plants not in the mint family also are deer resistant. Luckily, there are several choices for ones with blue flowers that do well in partial shade and ones that do well in mostly sun.

Shade plants with blue flowers:

Salvia engelmannii (Engelmann's sage)

Salvia lyrata (lyreleaf sage)

Salvia texana (Texas sage)

Shade plants with flowers other than blue:

Salvia coccinea (blood sage)

Salvia roemeriana (cedar sage)

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida (Dakota mock vervain)

Tetraneuris scaposa (four-nerve daisy)

Stachys coccinea (scarlet hedgenettle)

Sun plants with blue flowers:

Salvia farinacea (mealycup sage)

Sun plants with flowers other than blue:

Salvia greggii (autumn sage)

Lantana urticoides (West Indian shrubverbena)

Chrysactinia mexicana (damianita)

Salvia engelmannii

Salvia lyrata

Salvia texana

Salvia coccinea

Salvia roemeriana

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida

Tetraneuris scaposa

Stachys coccinea

Salvia farinacea

Salvia greggii

Lantana urticoides

Chrysactinia mexicana



More Shade Tolerant Questions

Deer resistant, drought- and shade-tolerant plant for Pennsylvania
August 14, 2012 - Hello, I need a deer/drought resistant, shade tolerant, rocky soil perennial. I would like it to have some winter appeal. I live outside of Philadelphia, PA. Thank you so much for your time...
view the full question and answer

Growing non-vascular moss as a lawn from Seattle WA
July 27, 2013 - I have lots of moss in my back yard. How can I encourage it to grow over the whole yard?
view the full question and answer

Shrubs for shade in Peoria, Arizona
February 25, 2009 - My six-foot block wall is on the west side of my yard. There are two large shade trees in front of the wall. What kind of shrubs can I plant near this wall that only gets sun for about 2 hours in th...
view the full question and answer

Native grasses for shade in Dallas
November 30, 2008 - What native grasses can be grown under large Live Oaks in the Dallas Area? The combination of shade and black gumbo soil seem to keep all plant life, except for poison ivy and ferns, out. I would lo...
view the full question and answer

Shade tree with non-aggressive roots for next to pool in The Woodlands TX
April 26, 2011 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants. We live in Spring, TX and are looking for a full-sun shade tree to plant in a large planter (about 6'x6') next to our pool. We want the tree to provide shade for our full a...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center