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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Wednesday - March 25, 2015

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Deer Resistant
Title: Are Verbena Annuals Deer Resistant?
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

Are Verbena Estrella Pink Star annuals deer resistant?

ANSWER:

Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experimental Station have the following to say about deer resistant plants and Verbena hybrida cultivars ... 

Realizing that no plant is deer proof, plants in the Rarely Damaged, and Seldom Severely Damaged categories would be best for landscapes prone to deer damage. Plants Occasionally Severely Damaged and Frequently Severely Damaged are often preferred by deer and should only be planted with additional protection such as the use of fencing, repellents, etc. Success of any of these plants in the landscape will depend on local deer populations and weather conditions. Verbena are listed as being "seldom severely damaged."

For a list of deer resistant native species (or as much as can be), take a look at the Native Plants Special Collections web page at www.wildflower.org.

Few plants are completely deer resistant. Several factors influence deer browsing including the density of the deer population, environmental conditions such as drought, and plant palatability. Deer tend to avoid plants with aromatic foliage, tough leathery and/or hairy or prickly leaves or plants with milky latex or sap.

 

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