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
1 rating

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 plants for a bioswale in NJ
May 06, 2011 - We live in Morris County, New Jersey, on the edge of a nature preserve, i.e., deer are a bane to everything we plant. We recently had to have a swale dug on the west end of our house to deal alleviat...
view the full question and answer

Lily plants being chewed from Austin
June 20, 2013 - Something is chewing my lily plants to the ground. Any ideas what and do I stop them?
view the full question and answer

Deer and rabbit repelling plants at nature sanctuary in Waterford VA
May 11, 2010 - We have established a native pollinator garden at our nature sanctuary. Last summer deer and perhaps rabbits devastated it. Now people are proposing surrounding it with boxwood which deer don't like-...
view the full question and answer

Deer and Drought Resistant Natives for San Marcus, Texas
February 15, 2012 - Hi there, Do you have a list of plants and ground covers (deer/drought resistant) for the San Marcos area? Much as I love grass, it's impossible with this drought. I'd love to have lots of flowers ...
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant, shade tolerant foundation plants for Kerrville TX
March 30, 2013 - I'm looking for foundation plants for shade that are deer resistant. Tall as well as medium height.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center