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?

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
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

Thursday - May 15, 2014

From: Tampa, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Privacy Hedge Suggestions for Tampa, Florida
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

My back wall is made of stone and is about 6' high. We are very close to a busy road. I need a plant that will reach about 7-8 feet high or a hedge to reduce some of the noise. What plant/hedge would you recommend? I live in Tampa, FL so it is very hot during the summer months.

ANSWER:

The first place to go to find a list of potential plants is our Native Plants Database.  There are two ways to find potential plants. Either use the Combination Search feature or the Recommended Species. The volunteers and staff at the Wildflower Center who maintain the database have partners in different regions to help with these recommended species lists based on what is easy to access in local nurseries.
Under Combination Search, select the following categories: State – Florida, Habit – Tree (or Shrub), Duration – Perennial, Light Requirement – Sun. 
Under the Recommended Species list, select Central Florida, then sort by height - 6-12 feet.
 
These search criteria will give you a list of plants to consider. Follow each plant link to our webpage for that plant to learn its growing conditions, bloom time, etc. At the bottom of each plant webpage, under Additional Resources, there is a link to the USDA webpage for that plant. Take a look there for more specific details about suitability before you put them on your final planting list.


Trees and shrubs that grow to 6-12 feet tall for consideration in Central Florida:


Asimina obovata (Bigflower pawpaw)

Cephalanthus occidentalis (Common buttonbush)

Dodonaea viscosa (Florida hopbush)

Ilex glabra (Inkberry)

Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle)

Vaccinium stamineum (Deerberry)


Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis (Common elderberry)

Quercus chapmanii (Chapman oak)

Ilex verticillata (Common winterberry)

When selecting your screening plants, consider the foliage type (evergreen vs. deciduous) and the soil moisture levels. Some of the above plants prefer more moist vs. dryer soils. Try to pick the plants that best match your garden conditions with their natural environment. Also Ilex verticillata and Ilex glabra are dioecious and needs both a male and female plant for the best fruiting.

 

From the Image Gallery


Common elderberry
Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis

Deerberry
Vaccinium stamineum

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Inkberry
Ilex glabra

Florida hopbush
Dodonaea viscosa

Common buttonbush
Cephalanthus occidentalis

Common winterberry
Ilex verticillata

More Privacy Screening Questions

Tall screening tree for Santa Barbara, California
August 20, 2011 - Hi, we live in Santa Barbara, California. We are looking for a tree between 20-30 feet high to block the neighbors two-story house yet the area we have to plant is 3 feet from the fence to the drivewa...
view the full question and answer

Need trees to screen view of parking garage in Houston, TX.
December 29, 2011 - We live in Houston, TX with a beautiful lot except a 4 story parking garage has been built behind us. How can we screen this and the lights out of site. It looks terrible from the second story espec...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen for garden and pool in California
October 13, 2008 - I need a fast growing screen for privacy. Here are the issues:1. we have a 3 story apartment building looking right into our backyard. so trees need to be at least 15' tall and dense. 2. we have a po...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs for privacy in wet area in Ohio
July 13, 2011 - I am looking for flowering shrubs for Ohio that reach 8-10 feet and can handle wet feet. I am trying to avoid building a wall for privacy and would like to use flowering shrubs instead.
view the full question and answer

Evergreen trees for screen in North Carolina
September 14, 2008 - Recently moved into a new "cluster" development where homes are very close together. Need to plant bushes / trees for privacy and would like fast growing ones that are good in the south. Attempted...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center