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
1 rating

Saturday - June 30, 2012

From: Osteen, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Lists, Planting, Poisonous Plants, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Safe grazing for donkeys and goats from Osteen FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am having a very difficult time trying to find shrubs, hedges, plants, flowers, or trees etc. that are safe for donkeys and goats. We live in Zone 9 and have a small farm. I've had to pull every shrub that was planted at the farm when we bought the property due to them being poisonous to one or the other animal. Any help would be appreciated.

ANSWER:

Our attitude about donkeys and goats and gardens tends to be that you have to choose. Do you want to let your animals roam free, tasting whatever? Or do you want a landscaped yard? Slapping a donkey's nose and saying "no" when it tries to chew the (poisonous) leaves of a member of the Prunus genus (plums, cherries, peaches, etc.) might hurt the donkey's feelings, but it won't deter him. On the other hand, you can select a number of landscaping plants that are harmless to the donkey or goat, but those animals would then be happy to chew those plants down to a nub. Barriers of some sort is almost a necessity.

What do donkeys eat?

What do goats eat?

Plants that Goats Won't Eat

Previous Mr. Smarty Plants question on poisonous plants

Apparently you are not alone in your goat problems, we have answered several similar problems in just the last few days:

Palmdale CA

Eureka CA

To get back to your original problem, we are going to our Native Plant Database and search for plants native to Florida, particularly to the Valencia County area on the eastern coast. To teach you to use the database, we will use the Combination Search, selecting on Florida, and then one at a time on the type of plant under Habit. You did not mention sun or shade conditions, so we will leave you to use the database to make your own selections to better fit your requirements. Follow each plant link on our list to our webpage on that plant for light requirements, moisture needs, growing conditions, etc. Sometimes, on a poisonous plant, that will be stated on the webpage and, of course, we wouldn't choose that, but you will need to check the poisonous plants lists we referred you to above for each plant you are interested in.

Plants for farm in Osteen, FL:

Herbaceous blooming plants: Berlandiera pumila (Soft greeneyes)

Shrub: Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Tree: Diospyros virginiana (Common persimmon)

Grass: Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Vine: Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine)

 

From the Image Gallery


Soft greeneyes
Berlandiera pumila

American beautyberry
Callicarpa americana

Common persimmon
Diospyros virginiana

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

More Trees Questions

Laurel oak tree not leafing out in Pasadena TX
April 13, 2010 - Hurricane Ike blew down our red bud in the backyard. Had a large 25' laurel oak planted early March 2010. When it was put in the ground, the leaves were on it, but they were all brown and dried. T...
view the full question and answer

Pruning a Young Cercis canadensis (Redbud) Tree
April 05, 2014 - I have a redbud tree that was transplanted when very young (five years ago). It just started budding last year. It is growing very well but the branches are low. It's like it's growing out instead o...
view the full question and answer

Small tree for Houston
October 27, 2010 - I want to plant a tree southwest of my one-story house. The area is 25 feet wide, from the house to the power line. Desirable qualities include being a Texas native, deciduous, drought tolerant, and h...
view the full question and answer

Tree leaves being chewed in Austin
July 04, 2009 - We planted a Texas Redbud tree, and Monterey Oak (Mexican White Oak) in the front yard this spring and both have had their leaves eaten or chewed by something I cannot find on their leaves. At first I...
view the full question and answer

Tree resembling live oak, but with thorns
August 04, 2008 - I'm trying to ID a tree in our backyard, most of our trees are Live Oaks and the tree in question has a dark almost black and gray bark that looks just like a Live Oak. The leaves are similar but lig...
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