En Espa—ol

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

Friday - July 12, 2013

From: Columbia, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Deer Resistant, Vines
Title: Climbing vines that are deer resistant
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

Please find plants that are climbing vines and are deer resistant

ANSWER:

Deer resistance is a relative thing, depending upon the availability (or not) of other more desirable food.  So there is no guarantee.  But I have in mind several vine species, ranging from the very deer-resistant Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria) to Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper), which deer love to nibble on.  The following species are probably in between in their palatability.  Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina jessamine), Campsis radicans (Trumpet creeper), Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine), Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle), Clematis crispa (Swamp leatherflower) and Celastrus scandens (American bittersweet).

In my experience, deer do not bother Carolina jessamine or Crossvine, but they love Trumpet creeper.  Actually, that works out well, because Trumpet creeper tends to produce underground runners that send up shoots in areas where you don't want them to be.

You did not tell me what sort of site you have for the vines.  Some of the above species prefer full sun while others will grow in shade.  Some are evergreen and others deciduous.  Some grow to a greater height than others.  Reading about them on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Native Plant Database will give you the information you need to choose a vine suited to your needs.

I have observed that here in Texas (where the deer are rather small), any foliage at least 4 feet above the ground is not eaten by deer.  And they do not generally eat stems free of leaves.  So if you protect your vines until they grow high enough, you can enjoy most of the ones I have listed.

Most of the species listed above should be available at one of your local plant nurseries.  Some are shown in the images below.

 

From the Image Gallery


American wisteria
Wisteria frutescens

Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Carolina jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens

Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

Swamp leatherflower
Clematis crispa

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

More Deer Resistant Questions

Deer resistant plants for wet area in northern California
July 10, 2010 - In Napa/Sonoma/Calif mountains, deer resistant plants, shrubs that tolerate much water and full sun? Area is in 'spring area' and a butterfly bush drowned. Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant plants for Trinity, TX
March 23, 2013 - I need a list of deer resistant flowers, herbs and plants that would could be planted in Trinity, Texas.
view the full question and answer

Native, deer-resistant evergreen trees for Rhode Island
March 17, 2008 - What deer proof evergreens can I plant in RI that may make nice xmas trees in a few years?
view the full question and answer

Deer resistance of maple leaf viburnum in Austin
November 20, 2009 - Looking on the Texas Plant Information Database for Maple Leaf Viburnum, I donít find any information about deer (whitetail or axis, southern edge of Edwards Plateau) resistance. Other sites give mixe...
view the full question and answer

Need ground cover plants to grow in the shade a large oak in San Antonio, TX
March 09, 2015 - We have a large backyard in San Antonio covered with live oak and red oak. Since grass does not do well in this shade / bright shade area I would like to plant a low growing ground cover and then add...
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