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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - June 16, 2009

From: Athens, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Have deer eaten the flowers of my Esperanza?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

My wife and I planted an Esperanza plant and it seemed to be doing well. It had numerous blossoms and we were excited at the prospect of having a beautiful plant that was alledgedly a "deer proof" plant (according to TAMU). This morning we noticed that all the blooms had been removed from the plant. The plant is itself is still intact. Are only the stems deer proof or could something else be nibbling our plant?

ANSWER:

It is axiomatic that no plant is deer proof, only deer resistant at best.  Deer often browse "deer proof" plants, but repeat visits to these plants are rare.  We do not know if deer visited your Tecoma stans (yellow trumpetbush), though we think there's a good chance they did, but we think they probably did not care for the taste of your plant's flowers and will look for other dining opportunities in the future.

 

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