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Are there any Deer Proof Natives with Woody Growth?

Are there any Deer Proof Natives with Woody Growth?

As a kid, I remember watching Bambi and thinking deer were the cutest animals ever. But as a grown-up, I know that deer can be a real pain in the garden. They love to munch on our favorite flowers and plants. In my own garden, the biggest pests are my four ducks and my giant tortoise. So, when a customer came in asking about deer-proof natives, I joked that it's more likely to see a unicorn in Dallas than a deer. But then I remembered that Texas is a big place and deer are everywhere!

With deer hunting season just around the corner, it's important to remember that deer will eat just about anything they find tasty. So, when we say "deer proof," it means that the plant has a scent or texture that deer don't like, or it's poisonous or prickly. But keep in mind that deer's tastes can change, so what they don't like one year, they might like the next.

Here's a list of some native plants that are woody in growth, but are not tasty to deer:

close up of Flame acanthus, Anisacanthus quadrifidusFlame Acanthus

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. Wrightii

This Texas native shrub is also known as the Texas firecracker. It's a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide. It has bright red-orange flowers that bloom in the spring and summer and is a favorite of hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators. Deer tend to avoid this plant.

close up of Anacaho Orchid Tree flowers on warm backgroundAnacaho Orchid Tree

Bauhinia lunarioides

This rare Texas native is a beautiful tree with delicate leaves and showy white or pink flowers that look like orchids. It grows best in well-drained soils and is hardy in zones 7 to 10. It's a great specimen plant or container plant for small gardens.

Fragrant mimosa flower, Mimosa borealis

Fragrant mimosa

Mimosa borealis

This small shrub is known for its fragrant pink puffball flowers in the spring. It's a great plant for xeric gardens, but be careful, it has thorny branches.

close up of Fragrant Sumac, Rhus aromatica

Fragrant Sumac

Rhus aromatica

This Texas native shrub is known for its low-growing habit and rambling root suckers. It has colorful leaves and a lovely aroma. It's a great plant for adding color and fragrance to your garden.

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So, if you're looking for a garden that's deer-proof, these plants are a great place to start. They're all native to Texas and are tough enough to handle our hot summers and cold winters. And the best part? They're all beautiful and add something special to your garden. So, go ahead and plant them, and let the deer munch on someone else's flowers!