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

Saturday - January 16, 2010

From: Ackerman, MS
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Transplants, Deer Resistant
Title: Non-native Indian Hawthorn and Abelia resistance to deer from Ackerman MS
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I recently landscaped my yard. I have a large variety of bushes and trees. They have been planted for about a month. Yesterday, while out in the yard, I noticed that about half of my Indian hawthorn plants were missing all leaves. Some of the glossy abelia was missing leaves also. The question is will the hawthorn and abelia come back out this spring after having a large amount of the foliage eaten by deer. Will they be ok?

ANSWER:

The first question we need to ask is: Are you sure that deer damage is what has caused the disappearance of leaves on your plants? Do others in your neighborhood have problems with deer? Have you actually seen them in your garden? We are asking these questions because there are other things that could have caused the problems you are citing. If you are convinced it is deer damage, you could Google "deer resistant plants" and will find several sites with lists of plants and species that are more or less attractive to deer. All will explain that in times of drought, over-population or loss of habitat, deer will eat just about anything that can't get away. Contact the Mississippi State University Extension Service for deer resistance information for your specific area.

Both Rhaphiolepsis indica (Indian hawthorn) and Abelia x grandifloria (Glossy abelia) are native to temperate and tropical Asia. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use, care and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown, so these non-natives are out of our range of experience, nor would either appear on our Deer Resistant Species list.

Since we can't give you much help, we suggest you look at some websites on your plants, like this Clemson University site Indian Hawthorn and one from University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Glossy Abelia. You should note that both plants are considered semi-evergreen and since just about every part of the country has had weird cold weather, the leaf drop may have been quite normal. Also, you say the plants have only been in the ground about a month, and they might be suffering from transplant shock. If you just purchased your plants and brought them home, it may have been in a stressed condition from the way it was being cared for at the nursery. It could have been in the pot for so long that its roots were wrapped around in the shape of the pot, and are possibly strangling the plant. When you purchase a commercially potted plant, always lift it out of the pot to see if it is rootbound.  If the plants were professionally planted, we would suggest you go back to the landscaper and ask for help from them.

 

More Transplants Questions

Propagation of Ashe junipers
June 04, 2008 - I am trying to re-build what man has destroyed in the Kingsland/Marble Falls area on a property we own out there. I would LOVE to plant a couple ashe junipers for several reasons, a couple being: 1. ...
view the full question and answer

Recovery from transplant shock for bougainvillea
July 12, 2007 - I live outside of Phoenix. I just bought a bougainvillea in a large pot. It was doing nicely until I brought it home. I placed it in a sunny spot in my front yard inside of a large volcanic rock that ...
view the full question and answer

Decline of indoor lemon cypress
June 25, 2008 - I received a lemon cypress as a gift. I have kept it indoors in bright light and tried to keep it moist. When I received the plant the foliage was soft and now it has become brittle and dry even tho...
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in desert willow in Austin
November 09, 2011 - We planted a desert willow 5 days ago. It came in a 15-gallon pot but the tree is quite large (~10 ft) with a wide spread. We watered thoroughly during planting but have not watered since (light rai...
view the full question and answer

Failure to bloom of one of two Texas persimmons from Wimberly TX
May 04, 2013 - Last year my son planted two texas persimmon trees. One is blooming ok this year and the other is not. It does not seem dead. What can I do or is is in fact dying?
view the full question and answer

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