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

Erosion control on partially shaded slope
November 27, 2010 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in Atlanta, GA. My house is on a hill, and I am beginning to have erosion at my backyard porch (concrete slab, on the corners especially). The soil is mainly red clay, a...
view the full question and answer

Low maintenance, shade tolerant groundcover for Pacific Northwest
August 09, 2012 - What's a good low maintenance, shade tolerant ground cover for the Pacific Northwest? It needs to have good erosion control, too.
view the full question and answer

Tree as shade alternative to carport in Austin
April 21, 2010 - Hello, I'm looking for a small tree that could provide afternoon shade for two cars, as an alternative to a carport. When mature, the tree would need to be tall enough to grow around (and above) the...
view the full question and answer

Small evergreen native shrubs for apartment garden in shade in St. Louis
November 25, 2005 - I live in an apartment in St. Louis, MO, and have a small patch of rocky soil in the stairwell that I would like to plant with a native or natives. The area is entirely shaded, but all the natives I...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control for a North Carolina creek side
February 29, 2012 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants! I noticed a question on your website recommending NC native grasses and plants to help prevent erosion on a sloping backyard, including the use of an erosion blanket. The pl...
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center