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
2 ratings

Wednesday - March 18, 2009

From: Trumbull, CT
Region: Northeast
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Holly attacked by deer in Connecticut
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My holly bush was eaten by deer. Will the leaves come back or is it done?

ANSWER:

We're going to guess you have Ilex opaca (American holly) since it is native to Connecticut, but it will work as an example of the Ilex or holly genus. The deer in your area must be really hungry, because they will ordinarily avoid spiny leaves like the holly has. However, it is a well-known fact that if natural forage is sparse, deer will just about eat anything. As to whether or not your plant will come back, it probably will. When you say your bush was eaten by deer, were even the stems destroyed? If only the leaves were eaten, and it happened in the winter when the plant is semi-dormant anyway, we would bet that the holly's need to survive and reproduce will cause it to draw energy from the roots and releaf. If this problem recurs year after year, however, the plant's resources will dwindle away and it will finally succumb to being a deer's dinner.  This Colorado State University Extension website Preventing Deer Damage has some recommendations that might help you prevent further damage. 


Ilex opaca

Ilex opaca

 

 

 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Will deer eat bellflowers?
August 10, 2014 - Are deer attracted to the bellflower? Will they eat it?
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 wildflowers for Virginia
May 25, 2010 - Looking for deer-resistant native wild flowers for full-sun location in the Northern Neck of Virginia. We want to replace large area now grass lawn.
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant groundcover under pine trees
June 07, 2008 - what kind of ground covering can be planted under pine trees (acid soil) that the deer will not eat and will not attract bees?
view the full question and answer

Is non-native Chinese fringe flower deer resistant from Austin
April 05, 2011 - Is Chinese fringe flower (chinense var. rubrum) considered to be deer resistant?
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