Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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

Carolina cherry-laurel
Prunus caroliniana

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Great laurel
Rhododendron maximum

Late lowbush blueberry
Vaccinium angustifolium

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

More Trees Questions

Transplanting native yaupon into yard in Lowake TX
June 08, 2010 - I have lots of wild yaupon in my pasture,can I transplant it to the yard?
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of Magnolia grandiflora in Las Vegas NV
January 17, 2011 - I live in Las Vegas, NV and have several Magnolia Grandiflora trees. They were doing well until 2 years ago when they started losing their leaves. The leaves turn brown or very dark on the edges. One ...
view the full question and answer

Native landscaping plants for Sherman, Texas
December 19, 2007 - We are starting from scratch on landscaping our new yard. We live in Sherman, TX and I would like to use plants and flowers that are native to Texas and have a good chance of surviving. What are you...
view the full question and answer

Native wild plum trees for Johnson County, Texas
December 24, 2012 - What native wild plums will grow in southern Johnson County? And where can I find the trees locally? Thank you
view the full question and answer

At what age does Possumhaw (Ilex decidua) begin to flower in Pflugerville, TX?
January 13, 2011 - At what age does a female possumhaw (Ilex decidua) usually bloom and set fruit? Or is there a way to identify the female other than by the presence of berries? I grew a number from seed and want to ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.