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
4 ratings

Saturday - October 20, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Plants repellant to snakes
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Is there anything a gardener can plant to keep snakes away, especially poisonous snakes? Are there plants that attract snakes (Our dog was bitten by a cottonmouth right near our back porch a couple of weeks ago. He's ok now). I looked online and couldn't find anything.


First, I want to point out that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is centered on the care and propagation of plants native to North America. The snakes you'll see around Austin are most definitely native, but they're not plants. However, you did ask if we knew of plants that attract or repel snakes. Frankly, no. Snakes do just as well in really hostile deserts and lush tropical settings. They are well adapted to their surroundings.

We found this University of Mississippi website Repelling Snakes. They cite many good points about management of habitat, closing possible points of entry and eliminating debris or brush piles where the snakes can hide. It is a very complete study, and says that although there are a number of folklore "fixes" for snakes, nothing has been proved to be positively repellant to the little slithery creatures.

If you happen to come upon a magic potion, we'd like to hear about it, too!


More Poisonous Plants Questions

Is Bushy Knotweed carcinogenic from West Grove PA
September 06, 2012 - Is the invasive Bushy Knotweed / PORA3 / Polygonum ramosissimum toxic to the extent that the spores are carcinogenic?
view the full question and answer

Want a vine, non-toxic to dogs, for Reno, NV.
September 11, 2012 - I want a non toxic (to dogs) vine for Reno, NV
view the full question and answer

Defense against poison ivy from The Woodlands TX
March 24, 2014 - Hi and thank you in advance for your help. My husband is allergic to Poison Ivy, Oak, Sumac, or something in our yard. We need someone who is very knowledgeable to come and identify any poisonous pla...
view the full question and answer

Datura in the state of Washington.
October 09, 2009 - I have a datura species growing beneath my bird feeder. How did it get here in Western Washington?? It has the typical fragrant, tubular flowers & spiky seed pods. It has grown 3' tall & 4' wide. Am...
view the full question and answer

Safe grazing for donkeys and goats from Osteen FL
June 30, 2012 - I am having a very difficult time trying to find shrubs, hedges, plants, flowers, or trees etc. that are safe for donkeys and goats. We live in Zone 9 and have a small farm. I've had to pull every ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center