En EspaŅol

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?


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
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

Friday - April 25, 2014

From: Dripping Springs, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Privacy Hedge for Dripping Springs, TX
Answered by: Larry Larson


We live in Dripping Springs, TX and are looking to find a suggestion for privacy hedges that are non-toxic to dogs, drought resistant, can handle rocky soil and full sun. We prefer flowering hedges. Can you give us some advice?


Your neighbors have asked quite similar questions a number of times!  Here’s a good selection of Mr Smarty Plants work that applies to your question (with lots of commentary and advice):

Landscaping plans in Kyle TX   [also concerned about toxicity to dogs]

Privacy screen for Canyon Lake, TX  

Natural privacy hedge for Kyle Texas  

A Bounty of Edibles for New Braunfels Texas  [supporting birds, bees, butterflies]

Patio Privacy Screen Suggestions for Central Texas 

Need small, fast growing trees for privacy screen in Buda, TX.  

Reviewing these; the following shrubs/trees are suggested:

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas cenizo)   [Flowering]
Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)  [berries & flowers]
Rhus virens (evergreen sumac)  [flowers]
Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)  [berries]
Sophora secundiflora (mountain laurel)  [flowers]
 Garrya ovata ssp. lindheimeri (Lindheimer's silktassel)
Juniperus ashei (Ashe's juniper or cedar)   maybe not so recommended!


From the Image Gallery

Leucophyllum frutescens

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Evergreen sumac
Rhus virens

Ilex vomitoria

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Lindheimer's silktassel
Garrya ovata ssp. lindheimeri

Ashe juniper
Juniperus ashei

More Privacy Screening Questions

Privacy shield for Long Island, NY
May 13, 2009 - I live in Long Island New York (Smithtown), Zone 6, I think. My yard has mostly shade and I would like to plant something for privacy along my back fence because my neighbors house is close and their...
view the full question and answer

Small tree with blossoms for screen in Corpus Christi, Texas
July 26, 2010 - We are looking for something to plant along a back fence for privacy but don't want it to be a bush. What might work like a crepe Myrtle in the Corpus Christi area that would blossom towards the to...
view the full question and answer

Draought-tolerant screening shrub for Shasta County, California
July 08, 2015 - It has been suggested to me that I plant phodocarpus 'maki' along my fence for needed privacy due to it's dimensions. I need something that does not grow too wide. I would not be pruning them as I ...
view the full question and answer

Hedgerow plants non-toxic to horses
April 07, 2012 - What would be a good, fast growing, hedgerow plant that is NON-POISONOUS TO HORSES? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen in Idaho
February 15, 2010 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, I need to add privacy to a chain link fence. The fence is shaded by large trees.They add shade from up high but little privacy at fence level.What would you recommend I plant...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center