En EspaÑol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Privacy screen for Pace Florida

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - March 10, 2014

From: Pace, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Privacy screen for Pace Florida
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We live in the Florida panhandle and I wondering what we could use as a natural fence line between our property and the neighbor's. I love the look of oleander, but upon research found it to be toxic. We have a 2 year-old and one on the way, which makes this DEFINITELY not an option. We were thinking of bamboo, but so many people say it spreads uncontrollably, but maybe there's a type that doesn't? Ultimately I'd love a flowering plant that reaches at least 6 feet and would grow quickly. Thanks in advance!

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is dedicated to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown; in your case, Santa Rosa Co., FL. on the far western tip of the Florida Panhandle.

In that light, Oleander is not recommended on two points: It is non-native to North America and poisonous in every part. From Wikipedia:

"Nerium oleander is an evergreen shrub or small tree in the dogbane family Apocynaceae, toxic in all its parts. It is the only species currently classified in the genus Nerium. It is most commonly known as oleander, from its superficial resemblance to the unrelated olive Olea. It is so widely cultivated that no precise region of origin has been identified, though southwest Asia has been suggested. The ancient city of Volubilis in Morocco may have taken its name from the Berber name oualilt for the flower. Oleander is one of the most poisonous of commonly grown plants."

Plantings for natural privacy screens is a very popular subject right now. Here is one we answered just a few minutes ago, although it is from Northern Kentucky. Previous answer. Besides giving you information on one of the few native bamboos, Arundinaria gigantea (Giant cane), that plant is also native to your area according to this USDA Plant Profile.

Since you did not give us information on how much sunlight your site has nor whether you wanted evergreen plants, we will search for suitable plants, check that they are native to your area and you can follow each plant link to our webpage on that plant for further information, making your own choices. We prefer to recommend a variety of shrubs for this purpose, as they will be denser and also while one may be in full bloom and looking spectacular, another may be gathering its strength before it begins to bloom. It's more interesting than a line of the same plant and, should something  go wrong with that plant, you won't lose your whole privacy screen at once.

Plants for a "living fence" for Pace FL:

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) USDA Plant Profile

Illicium floridanum (Florida anisetree) USDA Plant Profile

Ilex glabra (Inkberry) USDA Plant Profile

Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle)  USDA Plant Profile

Rhododendron austrinum (Orange azalea) USDA Plant Profile

Viburnum dentatum (Southern arrowwood) USDA Plant Profile

 

From the Image Gallery


American beautyberry
Callicarpa americana

Florida anisetree
Illicium floridanum

Inkberry
Ilex glabra

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Orange azalea
Rhododendron austrinum

Southern arrowwood
Viburnum dentatum

More Shrubs Questions

Shrubs that non-toxic to horses but that they won't eat
October 29, 2011 - I am looking for a low maintenance, low water, green shrub that horses won't eat and will not be toxic to them. I want to hide my neighbors corral and keep down dust on my side. The horses have "l...
view the full question and answer

Failure of fragrance in Sweet Shrub (Calycanthus floridus) in Illinois
April 30, 2006 - I have a sweet shrub bush that I took from the root of another one. Every year it blooms but never has even a smidgen of fragrance. The bush it came from was very fragrant. Should I do something to th...
view the full question and answer

Can rose Zephirine Drouhin damage brick from Springfield IL
August 22, 2010 - Can ZÉPHIRINE DROUHIN damage brick?
view the full question and answer

Woluld like a list of plants, shrubs, and ground cover native to Magnolia, TX.
May 27, 2011 - I would like a list of plants, shrubs, and ground cover that is native to Magnolia, TX that is deer resistant but also non toxic to dogs.
view the full question and answer

A method for killing nandina and ligustrum with herbicide
October 19, 2012 - Is there an effective herbicide that can be painted on the stumps of Nandina and Wax-leaf ligustrum to keep them from growing back? Thanks so much!
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center