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

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 Deer Resistant Questions

Deer Resistant Pond Plants
March 14, 2013 - I am looking for deer resistant aquatic plants to use around a natural swimming pond in San Marcos, TX. The plants will be used to filter the water in a separate section of the pond. There will be a p...
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant native plants for privacy fence in Bandera, TX
March 24, 2008 - I am trying to have a living privacy fence of some type of evergreen shrubs that would grow about 6ft tall and that would be deer resistant. It would be good if didn't need a lot of maintenance. Do y...
view the full question and answer

What is eating Eve's Necklace in San Marcos TX
June 16, 2011 - A small Styphnolobium affine in my yard is repeatedly being defoliated by something. It courageously leafs out again each time, even in the drought. There is a larger tree nearby that remains untouc...
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant groundcover for sunny hillside in California
November 17, 2009 - we are looking for a deer resistant, drought resistant ground cover that we can grow from seed. we have a large,partial sunny hillside, well drained,that is cover with oak leaves and pine needles..and...
view the full question and answer

Keeping deer and rabbits out of plants
June 23, 2007 - Are there plants that are both deer- and rabbit-resistant? Something is eating the plants that the deer seem to leave alone--snipping off the flowers at the top of the stems (ie, zinnias and plumbago...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center