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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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Thursday - June 20, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Pests, Deer Resistant, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Lily plants being chewed from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Something is chewing my lily plants to the ground. Any ideas what and do I stop them?

ANSWER:

There are 274 members of the Liliaceae (lily) family native to Texas and 34 plants native to Texas with the word "lily" in their common name, so identifying the plant is not likely to help us answer your question. However, if they are beng "eaten to the ground," in Austin, we are betting on deer.

From the University of Nebraska Plants That Deer Will Not Eat lists "Tiger Lily."

eHow Deer Resistant Tiger Lily

Yahoo answers:  "Deer like lillies...I don't think there is a kind they won't eat. You will need to fence them in."

So, that's two to one, deer won't eat tiger lilies. Lilium lancifolium (tiger lily) is native to northern and eastern Asia, so they won't be in our Native Plant Database anyway.

Garden Web, Asiatic Lilies and Deer  "Oh yeah. The deer love asiatic lily. Actually they love any plant in the lily family." Obviously, Asiatic Lilies will not be in our Native Plant Database, either.

Deer Resistant Plants Deer Repellants Don't Always Work Lists Lilium orientale (Oriental Lily) as one deer don't like. Another non-native.

So, here's the thing: If you have cows grazing in your garden, they will eat anything, and basically, so will deer. Deer tend to show up and eat after dark, so you may not realize they are in the neighborhood. It is very dry and hot this year, and deer will brazenly walk into your yard and eat your shoelaces if you are not moving fast enough.

We suggest you educate yourself on the plants deer will eat. We have a list of 344 native plants deer tend to avoid. Please read this paragraph that leads that list:

"Deer Resistant Species

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. Try using some of the plants listed here to minimize deer damage to your landscape."

 

 

 

 

 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Why is Rhus aromatica more deer resistant from Seattle
December 07, 2009 - I have a large area that I would like to cover with Rhus aromatica. My landscaper says that in his experience, Rhus typhina and glabra in this area are heavily browsed by deer. I noticed in your dat...
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Groundcover and Butterfly attractants for LaRue Texas
May 02, 2012 - LaRue, TX - Would like a native low growing plant as a groundcover. I would like it for six+ hours of sun, drought tolerant, and ones that butterflies might enjoy, while deer won't. Some winter int...
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Are there plants that are resistant to axis deer?
November 07, 2013 - Greetings! I live about 10 miles south of Kerrville, Texas, toward Medina. I wish to begin planting more natives on a plot we have recently purchased. Some plants will go inside a fence that deer...
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Deer resistant low-lying plants for Michigan
May 13, 2009 - I want to create a bed of low lying plants (under 4 ft.)in the front of my cottage. The soil is completely sandy and gets eastern sun in the AM. There are many deer in the area.
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Deer-resistant groundcovers for erosion control
September 26, 2012 - I need a ground cover (vine??) that will help me with erosion on a sloped front yard. It gets about 6-8 hours of sun and my main need is for something that the rats in our neighborhood will not destro...
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