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 Shrubs Questions

Carolina allspice (Calycanthus floridus) in Jasper TX
October 27, 2011 - Carolina allspice (calycanthus floridus) grows in my yard in East Texas. It is native to the eastern U.S., but I notice there is a variety whose distribution extends through Louisiana. Since I live in...
view the full question and answer

Problems with yellow lantana in Smoaks SC
June 05, 2010 - My yellow lantanas are about five years old - big and beautiful, but beginning last year, the blooms are small and part of the tiny petals are brown or black. Can you tell me what I can do about this ...
view the full question and answer

How to keep persimmons from staining patio
August 10, 2008 - We have approximately 4 female persimmons bearing fruit around our back patio. Birds are carrying the berries to our patio and eating them which leaves a dark stain on our patio. I'm having to go o...
view the full question and answer

Non-toxic plants for dog yard from Freeport PA
June 24, 2012 - I'm looking for wildlife-friendly native plants that aren't toxic to dogs. I have a place for some small shrubs and/or flowers. And a climbing vine that I could train on a trellis would work espec...
view the full question and answer

Deer eating creosote bushes (Larrea tridentata)
November 04, 2008 - We have Creosote Bushes (Larrea tridentata) that grow wild on out 10 acres. The deer eat those plants all year 'round. Probably more in the dry times of the year. Just wanted to let you know that 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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center