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

Wednesday - July 24, 2013

From: Redwood City, CA
Region: California
Topic: Deer Resistant, Vines
Title: Deer Resistant Vine for California
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

What can I plant to cover a retaining wall in Redwood City, CA that will grow down on it (no dirt below) that deer will not eat? I have just about given up. I have tried jasmine and Gelsemium and regular ivy. What about fig ivy?

ANSWER:

In looking at our website, there is one plant that is listed in the Plant Database for California that is also a Deer Resistant Species and is in the vine category. It is Maurandella antirrhiniflora (snapdragon vine). It is a dense groundcover that has interesting rose-purple flowers. The plants die back in the winter but it is a perennial. Perhaps you should give it a try.

Also the California Native Plant Society have an article online about deer resistant native plants by Melanie Hopper. She suggests that plants with a fast rate of growth will survive deer grazing. Here is her vine recommendation: California wild grape (Vitis californica) is a deciduous rampant vine that has appealing lush leaves; however, it survives some munching as it grows so quickly it is soon out of reach.  It also regenerates itself rapidly.  The variety ‘Roger’s Red’ (V. californica X vinifera) turns a blaze of red in the fall, and juicy grapes attract the birds.

Lastly, fig ivy or creeping fig (Ficus pumila) is not a native plant, so it wouldn’t be in our database.  But a quick look online revealed numerous sources that did identify it as deer resistant.

 

From the Image Gallery


Snapdragon vine
Maurandella antirrhiniflora

Snapdragon vine
Maurandella antirrhiniflora

Snapdragon vine
Maurandella antirrhiniflora

More Deer Resistant Questions

Native shrub for Chesterfield VA
April 02, 2014 - Need a native shrub for the north side of our house that is deer resistant, not overly sensitive to wind, and can tolerate clay soil. Preferably 3-8 feet. Thanks for your help.
view the full question and answer

Native grasses for New York to feed deer
January 02, 2010 - What native grasses do you recommend to encourage deer forage in feed plots?
view the full question and answer

Need a deer resistant plant that will grow in clay soil in Missouri.
June 22, 2009 - I need a plant or bush that is deer resistant and that will grow in clay soil. Can you help me?
view the full question and answer

Cenizo for border of school garden from Cedar Park TX
January 27, 2014 - Hi. We're starting a school garden in Central Texas, and instead of building a fence along one side, we'd like to plant a hedge. Ideally, it would grow tall enough to deter deer from jumping over, b...
view the full question and answer

Are Hollyhocks deer resistant?
April 07, 2010 - Are Hollyhocks deer resistant?
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