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
4 ratings

Saturday - October 20, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Plants repellant to snakes
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Is there anything a gardener can plant to keep snakes away, especially poisonous snakes? Are there plants that attract snakes (Our dog was bitten by a cottonmouth right near our back porch a couple of weeks ago. He's ok now). I looked online and couldn't find anything.

ANSWER:

First, I want to point out that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is centered on the care and propagation of plants native to North America. The snakes you'll see around Austin are most definitely native, but they're not plants. However, you did ask if we knew of plants that attract or repel snakes. Frankly, no. Snakes do just as well in really hostile deserts and lush tropical settings. They are well adapted to their surroundings.

We found this University of Mississippi website Repelling Snakes. They cite many good points about management of habitat, closing possible points of entry and eliminating debris or brush piles where the snakes can hide. It is a very complete study, and says that although there are a number of folklore "fixes" for snakes, nothing has been proved to be positively repellant to the little slithery creatures.

If you happen to come upon a magic potion, we'd like to hear about it, too!

 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Vines non-poisonous to dogs from Madison WI
June 09, 2013 - Are there any vines or crawlers that are non poisonous to dogs? Everything I am finding is poisonous, I want to plant some vines up a fence on their kennel run.
view the full question and answer

Memorial Tree Safe for Horses in Oregon
March 28, 2013 - Hi! I just lost my 33 year old beloved mare, Glory! She was my childhood horse and we have had her basically her whole life. We are looking for a special tree out in the pasture for her! She is bu...
view the full question and answer

Are palm leaves poisonous?
August 18, 2008 - Are palm tree leaves poisionous? Because my dad was doing yard work and was stuck by a palm tree leaf in his calf. His calf has swollen and in he thinks it broke off in his calf.
view the full question and answer

What to do if Mexican buckeye seeds are eaten
September 09, 2011 - What to do if seeds of the Mexican buckeye are eaten? I didn't know they were toxic. Please let me know as soon as you can. Thank you
view the full question and answer

Does Helasia diptera absorb toxic substances from Dover Plains NY
March 09, 2012 - Dear Mr. Plants, Halesia carolina is described as absorbing toxic substances: herbicides, pesticides and pollutants from water, air and soil. Does Halesia diptera do the same? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

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