En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - March 08, 2013

From: Dripping Springs, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Deer Resistant, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Do Deer Eat Orchid Trees?
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I have planted three anacacho orchid trees, however we have a lot of deer around us. Is this a tree they will want to eat? Do you have any ideas to keep deer away?

ANSWER:

Anacacho orchid trees (Bauhinia lunarioides) are trees that have a high resistance to deer. But deer will eat anything when they get hungry enough.

Bauhinia lunarioides is on our list of deer-resistant species. Few plants are completely deer resistant, though. Several factors influence deer browsing including the density of the deer population, environmental conditions such as drought, and plant palatability. Deer tend to avoid plants with aromatic foliage, tough leathery and/or hairy or prickly leaves or plants with milky latex or sap. It is worth trying Bauhinia to minimize deer damage to your landscape.

Bill Ward of the Boerne Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas has the following comments about orchid trees and deer,“Some people say the Bauhinia is deer-resistant. I don’t know if our subdivision deer munch on orchid trees, because ours are caged. Even if the deer don’t browse orchid-trees, these plants are just the right size for rutting bucks to batter with their antlers. And in our neighborhood, November is the prime time for bucks to do battle with shrubs and trees. I’ll cage any Anacacho orchid tree I plant in our yard.” He does have many compliments for this native tree. He says, “Judging from where it grows naturally, the Anacacho orchid tree is drought-resistant and prefers well-drained calcareous soil. Our orchid trees are planted in well-drained and sunny spots. Of course, I have to water them regularly the first couple of summers to get them well established. However, it’s been many years since I watered our oldest orchid tree at all. It’s a tough little tree."

 

From the Image Gallery


Anacacho orchid tree
Bauhinia lunarioides

Anacacho orchid tree
Bauhinia lunarioides

More Shrubs Questions

How to care for blueberries in Oregon
July 11, 2008 - New to oregon and to blueberry bushes - can you tell me the proper way to care for them - location-sandy, Oregon and unsure of which type of blueberry they are thank you
view the full question and answer

Natural location of Ceanothus impressus in California
May 21, 2006 - Where is Ceanothus impressus 'victoria' native? I need as specific as you can. Thanks much.
view the full question and answer

Can Monterrey Oak be topped into a bush from Austin TX
June 16, 2013 - I received a suggestion to use Monterey oak as privacy hedge by topping the small tree and letting it bush. I can't find any pictures or info on this being done though.
view the full question and answer

Failing to thrive of non-native rose bushes in Austin
September 24, 2012 - I live in NW Austin and I have lost one knockout rose bush this summer and it looks like another one is failing. The leaves on a cane turn yellow then brown. I do not see whiteflies or black spots o...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a sunny, dry slope in NY
March 01, 2010 - Looking for plants, native to area, that are quick growing to a height of approximately 6" to 12" for a steep slope comprised of shale in a sunny location.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center