Explore Plants

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
    
 

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
5 ratings

Wednesday - March 24, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer-resistant Texas native flowers and bushes from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What are some Texas native flowers and bushes that are deer resistant?

ANSWER:

If you promise to remember that "deer-resistant" does not mean "deer-proof", we will suggest a list of plants that deer won't eat unless they are really hungry, which they usually are. We will go to our Special Collections and look at Deer Resistant Plants. On that list, we will narrow our search by selecting first for Texas, and then "herb" (herbaceous blooming plant) under General Appearance. This produced 163  possibilities, from which we selected a sampling. Next, search the same list, again with Texas and this time with "shrub" under General Appearance. This produces a list of 63 plants. Deer also don't much care for grasses, so a search for grasses and grass-like plants would yield 41 results.  You can run a search yourself, specifying the amount of sun available, soil moisture, and whether you want perennials or annuals. Follow each link to the page in our Native Plant Database on that plant to learn more about characteristics, benefits and propagation. Finally, we checked the USDA Plant Profile on each plant we selected to make sure it would grow well in the Austin area.

Deer-resistant flowering plants for Austin:

Aquilegia chrysantha var. hinckleyana (Hinckley's golden columbine) - to 3 ft. tall, semi-evergreen, blooms yellow April and May, medium water use, part shade, shade

Argemone albiflora (bluestem pricklypoppy) - 3 ft. tall, blooms white March to July, low water use, part shade

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed) - 1-3 ft., deciduous,blooms orange, yellow May to September, low water use, sun or part shade

Berlandiera lyrata (lyreleaf greeneyes) - 1 to 2 ft., blooms yellow April to November, low water use, sun or part shade

Capsicum annuum (cayenne pepper) - 1 to 3 ft., blooms white May to October, low water use, sun, part shade or shade

Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow) - 1 to 3 ft., evergreen, blooms white, pink, purple March to June, medium water use, sun or part shade

Coreopsis tinctoria (golden tickseed) - 1 - 2 ft., blooms yellow, brown April to June, high water use, sun or part shade

Eryngium leavenworthii (Leavenworth's eryngo) - to 3 ft. tall, blooms blue, purple July to September, low water use, sun or part shade

Deer-resistant shrubs for Austin:

Amorpha fruticosa (desert false indigo) - 6 to 10 ft., deciduous, blooms orange, blue, purple, violet April to June, low water use, sun or part shade

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (Wright's desert honeysuckle) - 3 to 5 ft., deciduous, blooms red, orange June to October, low water use, sun or part shade

Chrysactinia mexicana (damianita) - 1 to 2 ft., evergreen, blooms yellow April to September, low water use, sun

Larrea tridentata (creosote bush) - 3 to 5 ft., evergreen, blooms yellow March to September, low water use, part shade

Deer-resistant grasses and grass-like plants for Austin:

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats) - 2 to 4 ft., deciduous, medium water use, sun or part shade

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye) - 2 to 4 ft., deciduous, medium water use, sun or part shade

Muhlenbergia capillaris (hairawn muhly) - 1 to 3 ft., high water use, sun

Nolina texana (Texas sacahuista) - 1 to 3 ft., evergreen, blooms white, green March to July, low water use, part shade

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:

 

 

 

 

 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Deer resistant plants for Pittsburgh PA
January 30, 2012 - What shrubs can I plant on a wet slope that gets partial sun that will help control erosion? They need to be something the deer won't eat! We have lots of deer.
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant groundcovers in Georgetown, TX
May 20, 2009 - Is silver ponyfoot inviting deer into the yard? What are good alternatives, deer resistant, for large areas of groundcover, 100-200 sq. ft.?
view the full question and answer

Holly attacked by deer in Connecticut
March 18, 2009 - My holly bush was eaten by deer. Will the leaves come back or is it done?
view the full question and answer

Deer eating creosote bushes (Larrea tridentata)
November 04, 2008 - We have Creosote Bushes (Larrea tridentata) that grow wild on out 10 acres. The deer eat those plants all year 'round. Probably more in the dry times of the year. Just wanted to let you know that t...
view the full question and answer

Texas natives that attract butterflies but not deer
December 13, 2012 - I'd like to have some plants in my garden that are butterfly attractors, but that whitetail deer won't like. I can find lists of butterfly plants, and lists of deer-resistant plants -- is there a li...
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.