En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - An evergreen, deer-resistant shrub for Memphis

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: Memphis, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: Deer Resistant, Shade Tolerant, Shrubs, Trees
Title: An evergreen, deer-resistant shrub for Memphis
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

I need an evergreen, deep to partial shade, deer resistant shrub or tree. Does such a plant exist?

ANSWER:

If you are mainly looking for an evergreen screening plant, I would suggest Ilex opaca (American holly), Juniperus virginiana (Eastern red cedar), Prunus caroliniana (Cherry laurel) or Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon).  These are all shade tolerant and deer-resistant. Cherry laurel would probably be the fastest grower.  If you would like to try smaller, more showy plants, consider Rhododendron carolinianum (Carolina azalea), Rhododendron catawbiense (Catawba rosebay), or Rhododendron maximum (Great laurel).  These rhododendrons might be happier in more eastern (higher elevation) parts of Tennessee, but if you see them growing in the Memphis Botanic Garden they should be suitable for you.  Vaccinium angustifolium (Late lowbush blueberry) and Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle) are relatively low-growing species that would grow well in partial shade.

Most of these plants should be available in one of your local plant nurseries.  I attach images of some of these species from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Image Gallery.

 

From the Image Gallery


American holly
Ilex opaca

Eastern red cedar
Juniperus virginiana

Cherry laurel
Prunus caroliniana

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Great laurel
Rhododendron maximum

Late lowbush blueberry
Vaccinium angustifolium

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

More Deer Resistant Questions

Native plants both deer resistant and good for erosion from North Oaks MN
August 23, 2012 - We have several partially sunny areas on hills that are prone to both deer and erosion. Our goal is to reduce runoff in an effort to preserve the watershed that provides tap water to many citizens of ...
view the full question and answer

Using Erosion Mats to Discourage Deer in Buda, Texas
June 09, 2011 - I have a small back yard that has turned into a throughway for a large herd of deer. Whenever I try to grow grass the deer pull out the grasses. The more I water it, the more deer traffic. I was wo...
view the full question and answer

Deer eating creosote bushes (Larrea tridentata)
November 04, 2008 - We have Creosote Bushes (Larrea tridentata) that grow wild on out 10 acres. The deer eat those plants all year 'round. Probably more in the dry times of the year. Just wanted to let you know that t...
view the full question and answer

Flowering Deer Resistant Ground Cover for Dry Rocky Soil: Alabama
March 26, 2012 - My question has been partially answered in the FAQ but I live in Birmingham where the soil is clay and rocky so it's a little different. I want to plant on a rocky slope (small rocks like the size of...
view the full question and answer

Have deer eaten the flowers of my Esperanza?
June 16, 2009 - My wife and I planted an Esperanza plant and it seemed to be doing well. It had numerous blossoms and we were excited at the prospect of having a beautiful plant that was alledgedly a "deer proof" ...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center