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

Monday - April 15, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Shrubs
Title: Deer Resistant and Drought Tolerant Pink-Flowering Shrub for Austin, TX
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

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.

ANSWER:

The first place to go to find a list of potential plants is our Native Plant Database.  Use the Combination Search feature instead of Recommended Species. This will provide a bigger selection with much more choice to narrow down. The volunteers and staff at the Wildflower Center who maintain the database have partners in different regions to help with these recommended species lists based on what is easy to access in local nurseries.

Under Combination Search, select the following categories: Texas, Habit – Shrub, Duration – Perennial, Soil Moisture – Dry, and Bloom Color – Pink (you can easily change this to another color). This will give you 22 plants to narrow down. Next you can narrow down your search further by indicating light requirement (sun, part shade or shade), size, and leaf retention (deciduous or evergreen).

When you have your list of a dozen or so potential plants, take a look at the list of plants that deer tend to avoid. Cross reference your potential plants list with the deer resistant plant list and you will have some good candidates for your garden.

Two possibilities that fit your deer resistant, drought tolerant and pink flowering criteria are:

Symphoricarpos occidentalis (Western snowberry) small pinkish-white blooms in June-July. Deer-resistant.

Anisacanthus puberulus (dwarf desert honeysuckle) reddish-pink blooms June-September (Another in this genus is listed as deer resistant so this one might be also).

Expanding your blooming color to any other color will give you more plants to put on your possibilities list. Remember to consider other aspects of the plant such as bark, fruit, multi-season interest, or form in addition to flower color.

 

From the Image Gallery


Western snowberry
Symphoricarpos occidentalis

Dwarf desert honeysuckle
Anisacanthus puberulus

More Drought Tolerant Questions

Cenizos browning in Houston
October 01, 2011 - After this horrible drought, I am committed to xeriscaping with native Texas plants. The few hibiscus that survived have been transplanted into pots and are thriving. I bid the tiny boxwoods a fond fa...
view the full question and answer

Drought affecting non-native Zoysia grass in Austin
November 06, 2011 - Due to the extreme drought here in Austin this year and the watering restrictions our Zoysia lawn has suffered and appears to be dead in many areas of our lawn. Will it come back? Is there anything w...
view the full question and answer

low-growing evergreen shrubs for thin soil
March 05, 2012 - Thanks to the winter freeze, we'll be starting fresh with the plants in the bed along the front of our house. The bed is about 13' long and faces the west, so it gets afternoon/ evening sun but no ...
view the full question and answer

Drought resistant flowering plants for Spring, TX
January 25, 2012 - Hi Mr. Smarty Pants. I live in Spring Tx. and wanted to plant a garden in my front yard. I'm looking for flowering plants that are colorful, easy to manage, and drought resistant but so far can't fi...
view the full question and answer

Drought Tolerant Shrubs and Perennials in San Jose, CA
July 18, 2013 - Hello I am a SLT home owner in San Jose, Ca. and want to plant drought tolerant shrubs and perennials. We don't have irrigation but plan to put a timer on a nozzle and run some lines. At least I am t...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center