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

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 Vines Questions

Does Virginia creeper cause a rash?
July 09, 2015 - Does Virginia creeper cause a rash to everyone or those who are only allergic as in an allergy like a peanut allergy? Is it something that should be avoided like poison ivy? And does the sap stick to ...
view the full question and answer

Vine for a trellis in Illinois
June 21, 2008 - I live in Nortrhern Illinois and am trying to keep my garden as native as possible. I would like to grow something on a trellis in part sun. It looks like a regional clematis is a possibility, but d...
view the full question and answer

Vine for a fence in San Saba County, Texas
October 22, 2012 - I want to plant vines on a deer proof fence close to my house for privacy. Are there any vines that stay green year round? Also what breed of vine would you recommend for several hundred feet of fenc...
view the full question and answer

Controlling pumpkin vine in British Columbia
July 15, 2008 - I have never grown pumpkins before but decided to try one plant this year. It seems to be taking over my small garden space. Can I prune it back? I only want one or two pumpkins for my grandchildre...
view the full question and answer

Plants wilting too quickly in Toledo OH
May 27, 2012 - The garden I have had recent issues with plants wilting all too quickly. I would like to know what types of plants would be hearty for the climate in Toledo, Ohio. I have a partly sunny front yard and...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center