Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - June 28, 2009

From: Pittsburgh, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer resistant plants for erosion control on steep hill
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I would like control a steep hill behind my house that is red clay, northern exposure with little sun. What plants would you recommend that deer will not eat?

ANSWER:

Grasses are ideal for erosion control because of their extensive fibrous root systems.  Additionally, deer rarely eat grasses.  Below are grasses native to Pennsylvania that will grow in clay soils in part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun per day).

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Deer also rarely eat ferns and ferns are ideally suited for shady sites.  Here are a few that are native to Pennsylvania.

Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)

Osmunda regalis (royal fern)

Pteridium aquilinum (western brackenfern)

Woodwardia areolata (netted chainfern)

Here are other plants that you could add to the grass or fern mix that are native to Pennsylvania and deer resistant.

Amorpha fruticosa (desert false indigo)

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Oenothera speciosa (pinkladies)

Ratibida columnifera (upright prairie coneflower)

Phyla nodiflora (turkey tangle fogfruit)

Salvia lyrata (lyreleaf sage)

Solidago nemoralis (gray goldenrod)


Bouteloua curtipendula

Chasmanthium latifolium

Elymus canadensis

Schizachyrium scoparium

Osmunda cinnamomea

Osmunda regalis

Pteridium aquilinum

Woodwardia areolata

Amorpha fruticosa

Asclepias tuberosa

Monarda fistulosa

Oenothera speciosa

Ratibida columnifera

Phyla nodiflora

Salvia lyrata

Solidago nemoralis

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Native plants both deer resistant and good for erosion from North Oaks MN
August 23, 2012 - We have several partially sunny areas on hills that are prone to both deer and erosion. Our goal is to reduce runoff in an effort to preserve the watershed that provides tap water to many citizens of ...
view the full question and answer

Connecticut Plants for a Steep Slope
September 09, 2015 - I am looking for the best plants to retain a steep, dry, fully shaded slope in zone 5, Connecticut. It must be deer resistant. Plant height is not a factor.
view the full question and answer

Critter-Proof Native Plants for Virginia Lawn
April 02, 2015 - We live in a gated community that was part of the Wilderness Battlefield during the Civil War. Our home is on a narrow lot, fully treed except for a postage stamp-sized lawn at lake side. We have de...
view the full question and answer

Are birdhouse gourds deer-resistant?
January 24, 2009 - Bird house gourds: they smell nasty (to this human being) but I NEED to know if deer are as repelled as a human by the strong odor put off by the plants.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.