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?


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
4 ratings

Wednesday - April 07, 2010

From: Millville, NJ
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Are Hollyhocks deer resistant?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


Are Hollyhocks deer resistant?


Hollyhocks Alcea rosea  are popular ornamental plants that are thought to have been introduced into Europe from China and then later brought to North America (more images). Thomas Jefferson is said to have grown Hollyhocks at Montecello.

Since our focus at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes, Hollyhocks are outside the area of our expertise.

However, if you go to our Special Collections page and click on Deer Resistant, you will find a list of native plants that deer tend to avoid. Although it is said that a hungry deer will eat anything.

Since Alcea rosea  is non-native, I wouldn't expect to find it on the list, but I did find four members of the family Malvaceae, the family to which A. rosea belongs, on the list. These are Turk's Cap Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow), Rosemallow Hibiscus lasiocarpos (rosemallow) , Rose Pavonia Pavonia lasiopetala (Texas swampmallow), and Virginia Saltmarsh Mallow Kosteletzkya virginica (Virginia saltmarsh mallow).

From this one might infer that Hollyhocks are also deer resistant. I would suggest that you contact the folks at the Coopervative Extension of Cumberland County to see if they have any first-hand experience with this.




More Deer Resistant Questions

Deer Resistant Plants for East Texas
March 29, 2010 - We have a lake house at Lake Cypress Springs, between Mt Vernon and Winnsboro, in East Texas. Can you suggest some deer-resistant plants/shrubs that have the potential to last? I understand deer wil...
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant plants for under cedar and oak trees in Austin
June 22, 2010 - I have about 1.5 acres in southern Travis county. It's full of mature live oaks and cedar trees, and the soil is full of limestone. I've been gathering the limestone and using them to create raise...
view the full question and answer

Cenizo for border of school garden from Cedar Park TX
January 27, 2014 - Hi. We're starting a school garden in Central Texas, and instead of building a fence along one side, we'd like to plant a hedge. Ideally, it would grow tall enough to deter deer from jumping over, b...
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant native plants for Oregon
May 06, 2007 - I have 21 acres of timber property in Oregon. We are converting part of that property to residential and I would like to plant wild flowers. I want to make sure I only plants native to Oregon and wo...
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant native plants for Eagle Scout project in Urbandale IA
April 27, 2013 - Mr. Smarty Plants, My son is planning his Eagle Scout Project doing some landscaping for the Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary. The facility has asked him to use only plants native to Iowa. Can you su...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center