Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

 

 


 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Use of Gaura by deer as a food source
March 05, 2006 - I live in North Central Texas and am considering planting some Gaura plants in my backyard. However, we have a large deer population in the area. Are deer generally drawn to Gaura as a food source?
view the full question and answer

Central Texas plants highly deer resistant from Austin
January 19, 2012 - I'm helping a friend who has a severe deer problem in Westlake. The Deer Resistant list includes over 300 species, but they are classified as "mild" or "moderate" or "high" Deer Resistance. Is ...
view the full question and answer

Is crape myrtle deer resistant
June 22, 2008 - Is Crape Myrtle deer resistant?
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant evergreen shrubs for Saratoga Springs, NY
April 20, 2009 - Deer resistant, evergreen shrubs for Saratoga Springs, NY.
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistant and Drought Tolerant Pink-Flowering Shrub for Austin, TX
April 15, 2013 - Is there a pink-flowering bush that is deer resistant and drought tolerant that would do well in Austin, TX? If not pink flowering, any color of a flowering bush is fine.
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.