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

Thursday - June 20, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Pests, Deer Resistant, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Lily plants being chewed from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Something is chewing my lily plants to the ground. Any ideas what and do I stop them?

ANSWER:

There are 274 members of the Liliaceae (lily) family native to Texas and 34 plants native to Texas with the word "lily" in their common name, so identifying the plant is not likely to help us answer your question. However, if they are beng "eaten to the ground," in Austin, we are betting on deer.

From the University of Nebraska Plants That Deer Will Not Eat lists "Tiger Lily."

eHow Deer Resistant Tiger Lily

Yahoo answers:  "Deer like lillies...I don't think there is a kind they won't eat. You will need to fence them in."

So, that's two to one, deer won't eat tiger lilies. Lilium lancifolium (tiger lily) is native to northern and eastern Asia, so they won't be in our Native Plant Database anyway.

Garden Web, Asiatic Lilies and Deer  "Oh yeah. The deer love asiatic lily. Actually they love any plant in the lily family." Obviously, Asiatic Lilies will not be in our Native Plant Database, either.

Deer Resistant Plants Deer Repellants Don't Always Work Lists Lilium orientale (Oriental Lily) as one deer don't like. Another non-native.

So, here's the thing: If you have cows grazing in your garden, they will eat anything, and basically, so will deer. Deer tend to show up and eat after dark, so you may not realize they are in the neighborhood. It is very dry and hot this year, and deer will brazenly walk into your yard and eat your shoelaces if you are not moving fast enough.

We suggest you educate yourself on the plants deer will eat. We have a list of 344 native plants deer tend to avoid. Please read this paragraph that leads that list:

"Deer Resistant Species

Few plants 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 listed here to minimize deer damage to your landscape."

 

 

 

 

 

More Pests Questions

Is oak leucanium an invasive species in Texas from Laredo TX
April 02, 2013 - Is Parthenolecanium quercifex considered an invasive species in Texas? Does this insect attach itself to redbuds? I spotted and removed from my small 5ft Texas Redbud last year. It seems that it has ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with rusty blackhaw viburnum in Austin
May 07, 2010 - I have a four foot rusty blackhaw viburnum. Last summer the leaves turned reddish and in the late summer most of them fell off. This February the plant started to leaf out and then bloomed. It has ...
view the full question and answer

Tiny holes oozing sap from Austin
August 22, 2012 - My ash tree becomes loaded with butterflies on the trunk. At closer inspection, I see they are drinking sap which is coming from small holes in the trunk. Are the butterflies creating the holes? I ...
view the full question and answer

Use of saltwater to kill weeds in gravel in Hamilton Co. TX
May 26, 2010 - I want to get rid of weeds and grasses in our gravel driveway and parking areas. Which would be less harmful to the adjacent native plants and trees: saltwater or herbicide?
view the full question and answer

What is hollowing out my rosebuds in Austin, TX?
April 28, 2012 - I recently noticed some of my rose buds had been hollowed out from the inside. I have seen no evidence of insect though. What do you think it is and how can I treat the problem?
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center