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 - June 24, 2012

From: Oxford, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Deer Resistant, Groundcovers, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Deer Resistant Groundcover for lower Michigan
Answered by: Larry Larson

QUESTION:

What ground cover is deer resistant for a sunny location in lower Michigan?

ANSWER:

Mr Smarty Plants method for searching out suggestions is to pull up the “Recommended Species” list and sort that for the requested characteristics.  In this case, I used the MI Collection and sorted this for “Sunny” and “0-1” feet high. This approach gave me 8 candidates.  You have to read the plant record to find out about "Deer Resistance".  Deer Resistance, when noteworthy, is found in the “BENEFIT” section for each plant.  As groundcovers are just about perfect for deer food, beware of any that have notations indicating food value for either wildlife or people.

Using this method, I found four plants to suggest.   Allium canadense (Meadow garlic) and Viola sororia (Missouri violet) are listed as having high Deer resistance – and Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman's breeches) was listed as Moderate.  Interestingly [to me], Opuntia humifusa (Devil's-tongue) is in this listing without a Deer resistance annotation, but they do very well escaping the deer down here!

I also checked as to what previous Mr. Smarty Plants answers said about groundcovers.  This one asked about both deer resistance and sandy soil.
The rest of the questions did not specifically ask about Deer Resistance, but if you like any of these suggestions, just check the “BENEFIT” comments.  All of these questions come from Michigan:
Groundcovers for Central MI
Evergreen Shrubs for Detroit 
Memorial Garden in N. Michigan  
Plants for Shady, low-traffic area

 

From the Image Gallery


Meadow garlic
Allium canadense

Meadow garlic
Allium canadense

Missouri violet
Viola sororia

Missouri violet
Viola sororia

Dutchman's breeches
Dicentra cucullaria

Low prickly pear
Opuntia humifusa

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Butterfly and Pollinator Plants for Indianapolis Garden
June 23, 2015 - I live in Indianapolis, IN and would like to have a native garden. I'd be especially interested in plants that help butterflies and bumble bees. There's a fairly dry area on the west side of the hou...
view the full question and answer

Need plants for new wrought iron planter in Spicewood,TX.
April 10, 2012 - I live in Spicewood, Texas, and have just purchased some really nice wrought iron window boxes for my patio railing. What would be the best and prettiest plants to use? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Overwintering Ruellia brittoniana in Missouri
October 03, 2015 - I live in Missouri and have five beautiful Mexican Petunia or Ruellia brittoniana planted and established in my landscaping. With winter fast approaching, I would love advise on how to winterize the p...
view the full question and answer

Mosquito-deterring plants for shady hillside
July 05, 2011 - We have a part to full shaded hill side/ native woodland area that was once covered with english ivy..we managed to get rid of all the ivy but now we are overtaken with violets..maybe they are even na...
view the full question and answer

Flowering plants for shady garden in Bastrop
July 02, 2010 - We live in Bastrop, 8 miles west of the Historical district. We have a small flower garden in a shady spot around 25 feet from the back patio of our home. We'd like to find out what native plants, f...
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