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 - May 02, 2009

From: Fredericksburg, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer resistance of peonies in Virginia
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Are peony's deer resistant - I'm in Virginia

ANSWER:

There are 2 members of the Paeonia genus native to North America. Neither of them appear on our Deer Resistant Species list. Also, neither Paeonia brownii (Brown's peony) nor Paeonia californica (California peony) are native to Virginia. So, we're thinking you are asking about Paeonia lactiflora, which is native to Siberia, China and Japan. It is the large, showy flower you usually think of when you consider peonies.  At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are focused on the care, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. We are asked many, many questions about deer resistant plants, and our simple answer is there aren't many.

In trying to find some more information for you, since we have none in our Native Plant Database, of course, we found a site from a Deer Resistant Landscape Nursery that made some positive comments about the deer resistance of peonies. Another site from Northern Gardening.com with positive comments was Got a Deer Problem?

On the other hand, quoting from our own Deer Resistant Species list:

"Few plants are completely deer resistant. Several factors influence deer browsing including the density of the deer population, environmental conditions such as drought, and plant palatability. Deer tend to avoid plants with aromatic foliage, tough, leathery and/or hairy or prickly leaves or plants with milky latex or sap."

Final answer: Who knows?


Paeonia brownii

Paeonia californica

 

 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Deer Resistant, Fast Growing Groundcover Suggestions for Georgia
April 20, 2013 - Our driveway is 1/4 mile in length and is steep on both sides (one side up one side down). It currently has grass that our contractor planted using seed when we built our house. We are unable to cut t...
view the full question and answer

Non-native mimosa as deer food in Colerain, NC
June 20, 2009 - I was wondering if deer eat any part of the mimosa tree? I have three good sized trees in my yard with seedlings popping up everywhere. Would it be profitable to transplant for deer habitat?
view the full question and answer

Are Verbena Annuals Deer Resistant?
March 25, 2015 - Are Verbena Estrella Pink Star annuals deer resistant?
view the full question and answer

What is eating Eve's Necklace in San Marcos TX
June 16, 2011 - A small Styphnolobium affine in my yard is repeatedly being defoliated by something. It courageously leafs out again each time, even in the drought. There is a larger tree nearby that remains untouc...
view the full question and answer

Flowering Deer Resistant Ground Cover for Dry Rocky Soil: Alabama
March 26, 2012 - My question has been partially answered in the FAQ but I live in Birmingham where the soil is clay and rocky so it's a little different. I want to plant on a rocky slope (small rocks like the size of...
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