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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - November 09, 2011

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Deer Resistant, Privacy Screening, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Additional screening under yaupons in Georgetown TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We live on a corner and have a berm along the south side of our yard which blocks our backyard from the street. It was planted with uprights yaupons. With the drought, deer have eaten the bottom portion of the yaupons, and our backyard is no longer screened. What would you suggest we plant under the yaupons to fill in the gaps?

ANSWER:

The deer have really been a factor in all kinds of plantings during this drought year. They have to eat, too, and will eventually get around to just about anything they can reach, including some plants on our Deer-Resistant Species list. Although there are a number of plants that would fill in that space beneath the nibbled yaupons, there's really not much use putting resources into something that is promptly going to be munched. Also, there is the issue of shade from the yaupons or perhaps other vegetation or walls.

We are going to our Deer-Resistant Species list, select on Texas and "grasses/grasslike" under Habit. We also selected on Height, 3 to 6 ft. Each one on this is list is considered highly deer resistant. Deer don't graze grass much, anyway, and several of these have sharp-edged leaves. Follow each plant link to find out what kind of sun exposure each needs, whether they are evergreen and how to propagate. Another good thing about grasses is that they have long fibrous roots that will help stabilize your berm.

Aristida purpurea (Purple threeawn)

Bouteloua curtipendula (Sideoats grama)

Muhlenbergia capillaris (Gulf muhly)

Nassella tenuissima (Mexican feathergrass)

Andropogon gerardii (Big bluestem)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Gulf muhly
Muhlenbergia capillaris

Purple threeawn
Aristida purpurea

Sideoats grama
Bouteloua curtipendula

Mexican feathergrass
Nassella tenuissima

Big bluestem
Andropogon gerardii

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Deer resistant plants for Pittsburgh PA
January 30, 2012 - What shrubs can I plant on a wet slope that gets partial sun that will help control erosion? They need to be something the deer won't eat! We have lots of deer.
view the full question and answer

Controlling non-native Pennisetum frutescens (Naked fountain grass)
December 07, 2014 - Three years ago I bought a pennisetum frutescans grass from a reputable online nursery. It gets no supplemental water, but it is taking over my yard. It is almost 7 feet wide now. Can you tell me how ...
view the full question and answer

Low Groundcovers for Pennsylvania
September 18, 2015 - Hi Mr Smarty Plants, I'm looking for a low growing grass or ground cover for an area that is between my neighbors horse fence and mine it is about 2 feet wide 30 ft long. It is impossible to mow and ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native smoketree for California City, CA
June 28, 2010 - I was wondering if you could tell me if it would be a good or bad idea to plant a Smoke Tree (most likely European) in the vicinity of a septic tank. We are looking for something which will provide a...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen native plants for slope in South Carolina
July 14, 2008 - We would like to plant an evergreen garden in our backyard, which is on a slope. It receives the sun from approx 9-4. We have an above ground pool, and patio area. Would also like a recommendation of ...
view the full question and answer

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