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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.

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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

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