En Español

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

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

Monday - March 24, 2008

From: Bandera, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer-resistant native plants for privacy fence in Bandera, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I am trying to have a living privacy fence of some type of evergreen shrubs that would grow about 6ft tall and that would be deer resistant. It would be good if didn't need a lot of maintenance. Do you have any suggestion?


As long as you understand (as we're sure you do) that there is no such thing as deer-proof, we have four nice evergreen shrubs that might fill the bill. Follow the links to the webpages on each plant; we chose for sun 6 or more hours a day and dry soil, which contributes to low maintenance.

Chrysactinia mexicana (damianita) This only grows to about 3 feet in height, but is a really great plant, with bright yellow flowers. Perhaps you could fit it in front to kind of fill in the spaces between the taller plants.

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) Great blue-green leaves, frequent lavender flowers when it rains a bit, and deer don't care for them.

Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita) Now this might be overkill, it has really prickly leaves, and is sometimes called the "babysitter bush" because early farmers would use it to make a ring in which lambs would be safe from coyotes!

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel) This has poisonous seeds, and maybe the deer know that and that's why they don't eat it, but you also need to take precautions that pets and children don't get into the seeds.

Chrysactinia mexicana

Leucophyllum frutescens

Mahonia trifoliolata

Sophora secundiflora





More Deer Resistant Questions

Deer-resistant native ground cover for part sun in Lago Vista TX
May 01, 2010 - Looking for a ground cover in an area that gets partial sun, is level and good drainage. Area is 10' x 20'. Thought about Trachelospermun Asiaticum (Asiatic Jasmine) but what ever I go with it has t...
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistant Plants for East Texas
March 29, 2010 - We have a lake house at Lake Cypress Springs, between Mt Vernon and Winnsboro, in East Texas. Can you suggest some deer-resistant plants/shrubs that have the potential to last? I understand deer wil...
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistant Pond Plants
March 14, 2013 - I am looking for deer resistant aquatic plants to use around a natural swimming pond in San Marcos, TX. The plants will be used to filter the water in a separate section of the pond. There will be a p...
view the full question and answer

Using Erosion Mats to Discourage Deer in Buda, Texas
June 09, 2011 - I have a small back yard that has turned into a throughway for a large herd of deer. Whenever I try to grow grass the deer pull out the grasses. The more I water it, the more deer traffic. I was wo...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen, deer resistant native plants for Austin
April 24, 2011 - Are there any evergreen, deer resistant native plants that thrive in Austin?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center