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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

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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Thursday - June 24, 2010

From: Lago Vista, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Deer Resistant, Shade Tolerant, Shrubs
Title: Deer-resistant shade shrubs for Lago Vista, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I purchased a home in Lago Vista, Tx. It has a very shady front yard. I want to plant some blooming shrubs that THE DEER WON'T EAT! I would prefer native plants for the area. What should I look for?

ANSWER:

It may be easier finding shrubs that will grow in the shade than ones that the deer won't eat. We'll try two approaches.

First, go to the Recommended Species page and scroll down to the Special Collections box. Select DEER RESISTANT. This will give you a list of 344 species of native plants that have some degree of resistance. Rember, a hungry deer will eat anything (almost). Notice that the list has herbs, shrubs, and trees so we need to narrow our search.

Go to the Narrow Your Search box on the right side of the page and make the following selections: Select Texas under State, shrubs under General Appearance, Perennial under Lifespan. Check Part Shade under Light Requirement, and Moist under Soil Moisture. You can ignore the bloom information for now. Click the Narrow Your Search button. This narrows your list to 22 plant species. You can get different lists by changing your selections for Light Requirement and Soil Moisture.

Clicking on the name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page whch gives plant characteristics, growth requirements, and images for the plants. By using this resource, you can select a plant that matches the growing conditions in your yard.

 

 

 

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