En EspaÑol

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

Wednesday - May 20, 2009

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer resistant groundcovers in Georgetown, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Is silver ponyfoot inviting deer into the yard? What are good alternatives, deer resistant, for large areas of groundcover, 100-200 sq. ft.?

ANSWER:

Concrete.

Deer resistant means it might be aromatic, prickly, tough or the deer weren't hungry that day. Everything invites deer into the yard, except possibly a large dog.There are three dichondras native to Texas: Dichondra argentea (silver ponysfoot), Dichondra carolinensis (Carolina ponysfoot) and Dichondra recurvata (oakwoods ponysfoot). None of them appear on our Deer Resistant Plants list, which probably means deer love them.

Since this is hardly a unique question to Mr. Smarty Plants, we have a  Previous answer that actually addresses a similar question in Arlington, TX.

Now, let us tell you how to know what we know on deer resistance. Go to our previously mentioned  Deer Resistant Plants list, and for your purpose you will probably want to select on "herb" (herbaceous blooming plant) and then read the plant descriptions to see if you can find a suitable plant in terms of size, etc. We did this and found, first thing,  Aphanostephus riddellii (Riddell's dozedaisy), native to Texas and even found in the Georgetown area according to this USDA Plant Profile. It is a perennial, blooms white March to June, low water usage, needs sun, and its deer resistance is moderate. That means the deer will have it for their second course, when they are not quite so hungry. 

We suggest you follow this same procedure to see if you can find something suitable for your purposes. However, to quote the introduction to our 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. Try using some of the plants listed here to minimize deer damage to your landscape."


Aphanostephus riddellii

Dichondra argentea

Dichondra carolinensis

Dichondra recurvata

 



 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Deer-proof native plants
May 14, 2007 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: Can you recommend some Deer-proof native plants including shrubs and flowering plants?
view the full question and answer

Arizona centaury near Lost Maples from Austin
November 05, 2012 - I found a clump of Arizona centaury growing/blooming beside a road near Lost Maples State Nat. Area in the Texas hill country last week. Centaurium calycosum is the scientific name. I have 2 questio...
view the full question and answer

Deer and rabbit resistant plants for Virginia
April 22, 2009 - I am trying to find deer and rabbit resistant plants/ornamental grasses and flowers to create a year round garden (garden with interest all year) in two large and one small flowerbed in the front of o...
view the full question and answer

Is Ruellia deer resistant
June 19, 2008 - Is Ruellia deer resistant? I have white Ruellia, 18 -20 inches tall.
view the full question and answer

Shade Tolerant, Deer Resistant, Evergreen Hedge Suggestions for CT
April 30, 2013 - I think I am asking for a lot, but here we go… Is there a deer tolerant evergreen that can grow in the shade and create a hedge of 5 feet tall here in CT? I am not opposed to ivy covering a fence if t...
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