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

Deer Resistant Plants for Newton Square, PA
August 25, 2014 - I'm looking for highly deer resistant plants native to PA. Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Texas natives that attract butterflies but not deer
December 13, 2012 - I'd like to have some plants in my garden that are butterfly attractors, but that whitetail deer won't like. I can find lists of butterfly plants, and lists of deer-resistant plants -- is there a li...
view the full question and answer

Leaves being eaten off columbines
May 30, 2011 - Hi, We recently planted some columbines and they have been doing quite well. Just today, we noticed that something has eaten all the leaves off a couple of the plants. Several that are planted clo...
view the full question and answer

Native deer-resistant plants for Virginia
September 26, 2012 - I live in Roanoke/Salem Virginia and want to plant a few plants native to the area along the front yard rock wall. I would prefer they be the same, deer resistant, around 5-6 feet tall max and flower...
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant plants for South Carolina
December 09, 2005 - I have purchased a home in SC in an area that is overun with deer. What flowering plants for that area do deer not eat.
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center