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
1 rating

Thursday - March 14, 2013

From: San Marcos, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Water Gardens, Deer Resistant
Title: Deer Resistant Pond Plants
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

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 planted area that is 18 inches deep for floating and subsurface plants and an area that is 2-3 inches deep, plus planting areas around the pond to encourage wildlife, etc. Any suggestions will be appreciated!

ANSWER:

Great idea to include more native plants around your natural swimming pond and also allow deer to drink and feed in the area too. Take a look at our Native Plant Database to see the recommended list of deer resistant species. Few plants though are completely deer resistant. 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. Try using some of the plants we have listed to minimize deer damage to your landscape.

Narrow down the list by just including the Texas natives, full sun and saturated soil to get the subset that will be most appropriate for your situation. There are over 25 plants to consider.

Grasses for the edge of your pond:

Bushy bluestem (Andropogon glomeratus)

Perennials for the edge of your pond:

Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

Rose-mallow (Hibiscus lasiocarpos)

Winged lythrum (Lythrum alatum)

River primrose (Oenothera jamesii)

Shrubs for the edge of the pond:

Wax myrtle (Morella cerifera)

In the pond:

Scouringrush horsetail (Equisetum hyemale var. affine)

Manyflower marshpennywort (Hydrocotyle umbellata)

Zigzag iris (Iris brevicaulis)

Virginia iris (Iris virginica)

American water-willow (Justicia americana)

Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) or on edge

Bigfoot water clover (Marsilea macropoda)

American lotus (Nelumbo lutea)

Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata)

Knotty Pondweed (Potamogeton nodosus)

Starrush whitetop (Rhynchospora colorata)

Bulltongue arrowhead (Sagittaria lancifolia)

Broadleaf cattail (Typha latifolia)

American eelgrass (Vallisneria americana)

 

From the Image Gallery


River primrose
Oenothera jamesii

Swamp milkweed
Asclepias incarnata

Rose-mallow
Hibiscus lasiocarpos

Cardinal flower
Lobelia cardinalis

Winged lythrum
Lythrum alatum

Scouringrush horsetail
Equisetum hyemale var. affine

Bushy bluestem
Andropogon glomeratus

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Starrush whitetop
Rhynchospora colorata

American lotus
Nelumbo lutea

Zigzag iris
Iris brevicaulis

Manyflower marshpennywort
Hydrocotyle umbellata

More Deer Resistant Questions

Deer resistant plants for erosion control on steep hill
June 28, 2009 - I would like control a steep hill behind my house that is red clay, northern exposure with little sun. What plants would you recommend that deer will not eat?
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant native plants for Eagle Scout project in Urbandale IA
April 27, 2013 - Mr. Smarty Plants, My son is planning his Eagle Scout Project doing some landscaping for the Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary. The facility has asked him to use only plants native to Iowa. Can you su...
view the full question and answer

Non-native mimosa as deer food in Colerain, NC
June 20, 2009 - I was wondering if deer eat any part of the mimosa tree? I have three good sized trees in my yard with seedlings popping up everywhere. Would it be profitable to transplant for deer habitat?
view the full question and answer

Determining best time to harvest deer grass seeds in California
September 06, 2006 - When is the best time to harvest deer grass seeds at about 4,000 feet in southern Riverside County California??
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistant and Drought Tolerant Pink-Flowering Shrub for Austin, TX
April 15, 2013 - Is there a pink-flowering bush that is deer resistant and drought tolerant that would do well in Austin, TX? If not pink flowering, any color of a flowering bush is fine.
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