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
3 ratings

Tuesday - March 15, 2011

From: Romeo, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer Damage to Pencil Holly in Michigan
Answered by: Marilyn Kircus

QUESTION:

I have 5 sky pencil holly bushes that are about 3 feet tall each..they don't grow very fast. I was looking forward to them reaching the 7 feet mark one day, as they are going to serve as a screen behind a statue. We live in the woods and the deer ate half of the foliage off of them and some of the tops of the branches. It's been a rough winter here in Michigan. They look pathetic now..do you think they will come back/recover this spring? Thank you for your time.

ANSWER:

Pencil holly is native to Japan and we are only able to answer questions about plants native to the United States. However it is my personal experience that, unless you provide protection for your plants, deer will eat most of them. I recently planted around 200 trees and shrubs on a new property and ended up having to build a little circular fence around each tree/shrub to protect it from deer.  And if any branches grew out through the wire, the deer ate them.

The branches on evergreens will not grow back and you will no longer have a screen to the ground. And if the trees without tops even live, they will probably  be distorted. Contact a nursery or your county agriculture agent for more help.

 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Will deer eat bellflowers?
August 10, 2014 - Are deer attracted to the bellflower? Will they eat it?
view the full question and answer

Connecticut Plants for a Steep Slope
September 09, 2015 - I am looking for the best plants to retain a steep, dry, fully shaded slope in zone 5, Connecticut. It must be deer resistant. Plant height is not a factor.
view the full question and answer

Is crape myrtle deer resistant
June 22, 2008 - Is Crape Myrtle deer resistant?
view the full question and answer

Overwintering possumhaw seedlings indoors in Pflugerville, TX.
September 30, 2009 - Can possumhaw (Ilex decidua) seedlings be kept indoors over the winter? The goal is to protect them from deer and there is no other good option (i.e., no protected outdoor porch, etc.), unless you ca...
view the full question and answer

Flowering Deer Resistant Ground Cover for Dry Rocky Soil: Alabama
March 26, 2012 - My question has been partially answered in the FAQ but I live in Birmingham where the soil is clay and rocky so it's a little different. I want to plant on a rocky slope (small rocks like the size of...
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