En Español

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 - March 28, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Deer Resistant part shade plants for Austin:
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What evergreen shrubs would you recommend for a partly-shaded area, next to a wall, which can be trimmed to keep their shape and height (for symmetry)..this is for a front gate to a community, so we need two shrubs which will be placed in front of brick columns that are about 3 feet wide and 8 feet tall, flanking the gate. They MUST be deer proof. Native species would be a plus too. Thank you from Austin, Texas!

ANSWER:

You will get recomendations only for native plants from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, because we are dedicated to the use, care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. What you will NOT get recommended is deer proof plants, because there simply is no such thing. We have a list of Deer Resistant Plants, from which we will select a few possibilities native to Central Texas, but there are no guarantees. Although this year, with the rains returning, there is more natural browse for the deer, when times are hard they will eat anything that can't get away, thorny, aromatic, or plain stinky-they don't care. So, here are what we consider best bets for your specifications. Very few of these are what you would consider a shrub that can be pruned to a specific shape; most are more open and airy. Follow each plant link to the page on that plant in our Native Plant Database to learn more about it. Three of these plants  are highly resistant to deer, and you may have to make some compromises in shape and size to get that. 

Deer Resistant Plants for Austin:

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) - moderate resistance, evergreen,can be pruned to shape

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) - highly resistant, evergreen, can be pruned but will lose a lot of blooms

Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita) - highly resistant, evergreen, rigid spreading branches and sharp-spined leaves

Yucca treculeana (Don Quixote's lace) - highly resistant, architectural, but not prunable

From Our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Ilex vomitoria

Leucophyllum frutescens

Mahonia trifoliolata

Yucca treculeana

 

 

 

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Container plants for cool weather in Cypress TX
October 02, 2011 - I am a novice gardener and I am looking for some ideas on potted plants for the fall/winter. They would be covered by a roof, but still susceptible to the elements. What can be planted now that will...
view the full question and answer

Choice of shade trees from the City of Austin
March 29, 2011 - I have a choice of three shade trees from the city of Austin. They are Live Oak, Elm, Cedar. Although I am happy to have a free tree, I think the choices are not the best for my home. I have a small ...
view the full question and answer

Screening bush for shady area
June 05, 2008 - I need some kind of bush that will act as an air conditioning blind. So far the deer have eaten or destroyed everything planted in the very shady mulch bed. What do you recommend?
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant, drought- and shade-tolerant plant for Pennsylvania
August 14, 2012 - Hello, I need a deer/drought resistant, shade tolerant, rocky soil perennial. I would like it to have some winter appeal. I live outside of Philadelphia, PA. Thank you so much for your time...
view the full question and answer

Plants for narrow moist shade in Dallas
October 05, 2009 - We are looking for plants in a narrow strip next to our house. It is a shady area that holds a lot of water. We would love plants that would help take water out of the soil. Do you have any suggest...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center