Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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

Plants for a sunny, sandy site in Central Texas
January 22, 2015 - I live between La Grange and Schulenburg, Texas. My soil is sandy. Full sun, no trees. I am a senior citizen with limited funds who is allergic to Rye and Bermuda grass. I tried planting a lawn of...
view the full question and answer

Finding a manzanita species suitable for Fort Worth, TX
April 28, 2015 - Which manzanita shrub would thrive best in the Fort Worth, Tx. area? I was thinking of planting it in a large pot. Thank You!
view the full question and answer

Identifying Rhus lanceolata in Texas
April 28, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I think I've identified two small trees, 4 to 5 feet high at the back fence line and two in the front yard flower beds as prairie flameleaf sumac (or at least some kind of s...
view the full question and answer

Montezuma cypress trees for San Antonio
June 23, 2012 - Are Montezuma cypress trees good drought tolerant trees for your yard? I live 30 miles south of San Antonio; would this tree be good for this area?
view the full question and answer

Restoring fire damage in Bastrop TX
November 03, 2011 - I live in the Bastrop State Park area. We were severely affected by the wildfire and as we are trying to rebuild our home, we are being very aware of the particularities of the recovery process. We lo...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.