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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.

 

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