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?

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
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

Saturday - June 07, 2008

From: Pittsburgh, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer-resistant groundcover under pine trees
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

what kind of ground covering can be planted under pine trees (acid soil) that the deer will not eat and will not attract bees?

ANSWER:

That's a pretty big order, but Mr. SP will see what he can come up with! You can see a Fact Sheet on Deer Feeding Habits from the Maryland Cooperative Extension, Deer Resistant Perennials OH 64 from University of Vermont Extension System and also a list of Deer Tolerant/Resistant Native Plants from Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Ferns are on all the lists among the plants mentioned that deer avoid. Since ferns aren't flowering plants (they reproduce from spores) they aren't going to attract bees. Ferns generally like acidic soil and many of them are evergreen. There are several choices for ferns that grow in Pennsylvania. Here are some recommended fern species that are evergreen and grow in acidic soils:

Asplenium platyneuron (ebony spleenwort)

Dryopteris cristata (crested woodfern)

Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)

Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)

Here are some other low-growing plants that are on the deer-resistant list and grow in the shade in acidic soil. There is no guarantee that these plants will be bee free.

Actaea pachypoda (white baneberry)

Actaea rubra (red baneberry)

Gaultheria procumbens (eastern teaberry evergreen

Mitchella repens (partridgeberry evergreen

 


Asplenium platyneuron

Dryopteris cristata

Dryopteris marginalis

Polystichum acrostichoides

Actaea pachypoda

Actaea rubra

Gaultheria procumbens

Mitchella repens

 


 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Deer-resistant native plants for Idaho
March 22, 2008 - I live in Pocatello, Idaho. Everything we plant the deer eat. Are there trees, bushes, flowers that they won't eat? Is there any barriers or natural repugnant fragrances that will deter the deer f...
view the full question and answer

Shady Perennial Groundcover Suggestions for Indiana
April 21, 2013 - Could you please recommend perennial groundcovers for Indiana that are low and leafy, self-spreading, non-invasive, deer resistant, and moisture tolerant; and that are good for erosion control on a sh...
view the full question and answer

Bur oak bark damage done by deer
February 03, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: Just noticed that deer have been rubbing the bark on good sized, but young, bur oaks planted last spring. Mostly in one spot on one side of the trunk. Will this kill the ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native crape myrtle resistance to deer from Annapolis MD
April 06, 2013 - Is Crape Myrtle tree resistant to deers? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Keeping deer away from non-native plants in Lansing MI
June 22, 2011 - What is the real - best way to keep deer from eating my Hostas, Garden phlox and lilies? Ive tried the stinky spray and the fertilizer granules that deter, to no avail.
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center