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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - May 25, 2010

From: Reedville, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer resistant wildflowers for Virginia
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Looking for deer-resistant native wild flowers for full-sun location in the Northern Neck of Virginia. We want to replace large area now grass lawn.


On our Recommended Species page you will find a list of Deer Resistant Species.  You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option in the side bar to limit the results to Virginia and you can also select 'Herb' from GENERAL APPEARANCE and 'Sun...' from LIGHT REQUIREMENT to find a list that is customized for your requirements.  Here are a few from that list that I would recommend, but you can scan the list for more:

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow)

Coreopsis tinctoria (golden tickseed)

Gaillardia pulchella (firewheel)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Oenothera speciosa (pinkladies)

Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan)

Solidago nemoralis (gray goldenrod)

It sounds as if you are going to create a meadow (or, at least, a mini-meadow) out of part of your lawn.  You might like to read our "How to Article", Meadow Gardening.  In this article you will read that native grasses are an important part of a meadow and grasses are very deer resistant.  Here are a few attractive native grasses that you might like to consider adding to your mix of wild flowers:

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Muhlenbergia capillaris (hairawn muhly)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:

Asclepias tuberosa

Callirhoe involucrata

Coreopsis tinctoria

Gaillardia pulchella

Monarda fistulosa

Oenothera speciosa

Rudbeckia hirta

Solidago nemoralis

Bouteloua curtipendula

Elymus canadensis

Muhlenbergia capillaris

Schizachyrium scoparium



More Deer Resistant Questions

Deer resistance of maple leaf viburnum in Austin
November 20, 2009 - Looking on the Texas Plant Information Database for Maple Leaf Viburnum, I donít find any information about deer (whitetail or axis, southern edge of Edwards Plateau) resistance. Other sites give mixe...
view the full question and answer

Determining best time to harvest deer grass seeds in California
September 06, 2006 - When is the best time to harvest deer grass seeds at about 4,000 feet in southern Riverside County California??
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant vines for trellis
December 07, 2009 - We would love to have a blooming vine on our trellis, but the deer devour ever attempt. Please recommend something! Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Protecting guavas from deer
August 06, 2007 - I have large guavas that the deer love to tear up rubbing their new antlers. When do I need to re-cover the plants with anti-deer nets to be sure to get ahead of them? One night too late and they ar...
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant plants for wet area in northern California
July 10, 2010 - In Napa/Sonoma/Calif mountains, deer resistant plants, shrubs that tolerate much water and full sun? Area is in 'spring area' and a butterfly bush drowned. Thank you!
view the full question and answer

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