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
1 rating

Wednesday - June 24, 2009

From: Spring Branch, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Sun-scorched Cherry laurel (Prunus caroliniana)
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I live in south Central Texas 30 miles north of San Antonio. I am looking for a good evergreen hedge plant that once established will not die if I forget to water it a few days and is deer resistant. I would like something that grows fast provided I take care of it, but it has to be able to take the full sun for over 6 hours a day. I was thinking of Cherry Laurel Compacta but I bought a test plant and put it out in the sun and now the leaves are looking like they are being burned, and I am making sure it is not getting too dry. They had their Cherry Laurels under a tree at the nursery but they indicated they could take full sun but my test plant does not seem too happy with the change to full sun so far. Any suggestions on good privacy hedge for my area of Texas that the deer will not chew to the ground the first night they see them?

ANSWER:

Your test Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry) likely got sun scorched because it had been growing in the shade.  Plants secrete a sort of sunscreen to protect the leaves from direct sun when they’re in a sunny location.  If they’re growing in the shade, they don’t produce the waxy coating.  This allows more light to penetrate to the leaves where it can be put to work in the photosynthetic process. 

Prunus caroliniana will grow in Comal County, but nearly all of the plants of this species we've seen in Central Texas have suffered from iron chlorosis.  That is, the foliage on Carolina Cherry-laurel around here is usually yellow and unattractive due to high soil pH.  So instead of an "evergreen" shrub, it'll likely be more of an "everyellow" plant.

Here are some other evergreen shrubs for Comal County that are reportedly deer resistant:

Garrya ovata ssp. lindheimeri (Lindheimer's silktassel) moderately deer resistant

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) highly deer resistant

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac) moderately deer resistant

Mahonia swaseyi (Texas barberry) highly deer resistant

Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita) highly deer resistant

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) moderately deer resistant

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel) highly deer resistant


Prunus caroliniana

Garrya ovata ssp. lindheimeri

Leucophyllum frutescens

Rhus virens

Mahonia swaseyi

Mahonia trifoliolata

Ilex vomitoria

Sophora secundiflora

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Looking for copper beach (Fagus sylvatica)
December 05, 2008 - I would like to purchase a copper beech tree to plant in CT as a gift. Where can I find one to purchase?
view the full question and answer

Hill Country natives for a hedge
June 01, 2006 - Can you recommend a "hedge type" bush to use in lieu of a fence along the road in the San Antonio region? My whole back yard is planted with Hill Country natives and I would prefer to keep the the...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen for privacy screen in Northern California
October 19, 2012 - Hello, My neighbor just logged their property and we need a very quick growing evergreen shrub/tree (for privacy of ugly cabin) that grows to at least 10' -15' tall. We live in northern Cal. about ...
view the full question and answer

Edible forest garden for northern Minnesota
March 07, 2014 - I am planning an edible forest garden for northern Minnesota. Can you suggest a list of plants that are native to this area. We are in zone 3a or 3b. Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Live oak leaves yellowing from Denton TX
January 26, 2012 - In autumn of 2010 I planted 10 live oaks about 6 to 7 ft. tall. I have see that during the month of Dec. 2011 to Jan. 2012 they are showing some yellow leaves. What can I do to help them?
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