Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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
3 ratings

Saturday - January 15, 2011

From: La Honda, CA
Region: California
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Deer resistance of non-native photinia from La Honda CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Is photinia deer resistant?

ANSWER:

Not particularly. In a difficult year, deer will eat your shoestrings if you don't keep moving. Among the other things that photinia is not are: native to North America, and resistant to diseases. From a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer, here is more information on the photinia:

The red-tip photinia is non-native to North America, originating in the Far East. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are committed to the planting, protection and propagation of plants native to North America. Native plants are recommended because they are adapted to an area's soil, rainfall, heat (or cold), and so require less water, less fertilizer, less maintenance. Unfortunately, the red tip photinia has been widely overused because it is cheap, fast-growing and the red leaves in the Spring are quite attractive.

In this Mississippi State University Extension Service Red-tip Photinia Almost Eliminated, you will likely find out more about the fungal threats to the plant. Here is a quote from this article:

"Red-tip is highly susceptible to the fungal pathogen known as Entomosporium that causes leaf spots and ultimately defoliation. The disease has all but eliminated Red-tip from the list of recommended shrubs for Southern landscapes. In fact, the disease is so widespread that one plant pathologist jokingly explained that there are two types of Red-tip, those that have the disease and those that are going to get it! So, even though newly planted Red-tip bushes may stay disease free for many years, ultimately they will succumb to the inevitable."

Cotton Root Rot is also responsible for the loss of many ornamental plants in clay soil, and photinias are especially vulnerable. This article by Lynn Rawe from the Texas A&M Home Horticulture site describes the symptoms. There is no cure.

There is no reason why you should not plant photinia; then it will have two ways to die-deer browsing or fungal diseases.

 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Shade Tolerant, Deer Resistant, Evergreen Hedge Suggestions for CT
April 30, 2013 - I think I am asking for a lot, but here we go… Is there a deer tolerant evergreen that can grow in the shade and create a hedge of 5 feet tall here in CT? I am not opposed to ivy covering a fence if t...
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers for hillside in Northern California
November 19, 2012 - I have read numerous posts on here, but I have not found my exact situation. I live in Northern California. I am looking for some type of ground cover to grow on a hillside. Directly above the hillsid...
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistant Plants for East Texas
March 29, 2010 - We have a lake house at Lake Cypress Springs, between Mt Vernon and Winnsboro, in East Texas. Can you suggest some deer-resistant plants/shrubs that have the potential to last? I understand deer wil...
view the full question and answer

Protecting guavas from deer
August 06, 2007 - I have large guavas that the deer love to tear up rubbing their new antlers. When do I need to re-cover the plants with anti-deer nets to be sure to get ahead of them? One night too late and they ar...
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant plants for Anderson SC
October 27, 2010 - I usually plant pansies in the fall & impatiens in the spring under a large oak tree which gets afternoon sun. My impatiens were beautiful early on, but then were annihilated by something. I think i...
view the full question and answer

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