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 - June 22, 2007

From: austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Privacy plantings to replace invasive bamboo
Answered by: Joe Marcus


We are looking for good screening plants for our new house (the houses are very close). We like the way bamboo looks it is tall and narrow for the most part, but we do not want bamboo since it is invasive to native plants...do you have suggestions for plants that will remain relatively narrow and tall and work to create the privacy we desire. Thanks so much.


Two native plant species might work for you in your area (Central Texas).

Two selections of Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) may be good choices for your screen. 'Will Fleming' yaupon holly (I. vomitoria 'Will Fleming') has upright, very narrow, columnar habit and grows to around 12 feet in height. Some weeping yaupons (various cultivars), also have a generally upright habit, but their branches droop, giving the plant a "weeping" appearance. The ultimate height attained and other characteristics of weeping yaupons are variable according to the selection used.

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) is a fast-growing native that is generally upright in habit and can be pruned to maintain a pyramidal shape. However, it will eventually grow into quite a large tree if growing conditions are favorable.


More Invasive Plants Questions

Control of white clover (Trifolium repens)
July 18, 2008 - our yard was remediated by ARCO in Rico Colorado. they brought in soil that must have been from clover fields. the soil produces tense low growing and fast growing clover with white flowers. it is inv...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Japanese privet from Glendale AZ
December 26, 2012 - We have Japanese privet shrub and they seem to be suffering from a disease, need help.
view the full question and answer

Nativity of various bulbs
October 15, 2014 - Are the following bulbs native? Chionodoxa forbesii Camassia leichflinii Crocus Sprint tommasinianus Barr's Purple Hyacinthoides hispanica Narcissus 'Actea' Scilla siberica 'Spring Beauty' ...
view the full question and answer

Is it OK to plant Huisache in southern California?
June 15, 2009 - We have a wonderful huisache growing on a very dry rocky/dusty slope. It has now sprouted babies and we are delighted because we have room for several more on this slope. I have some room on our front...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen replacement for bamboo in Redding CA
July 27, 2009 - We have just removed bamboo from our backyard and need to replace it with a plant that will give us the same type of privacy. What plant would you suggest to plant along a fence line that will surviv...
view the full question and answer

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