Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

QUESTION:

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.

ANSWER:

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

Fast-spreading desert-type tree with thorns in yard
July 21, 2014 - There is a fast spreading tree in my backyard - many multiple almost symmetric flat green oval leaves on either side of the stem (sort of like a moringa tree but this is not that). Grows straight up, ...
view the full question and answer

Invasive introduced sandburs in Maui, Hawaii
November 12, 2008 - I live in Maui, Hawaii & I have a serious problem with Cenchrus spinifex and/or Coastal sandbur grass (weed!) it is everywhere, in my flower beds, in my gravel yardscape. Every time I pull it out it d...
view the full question and answer

Killing a century plant from Burton TX
August 08, 2013 - How do you kill the century plant, they are taking over?
view the full question and answer

Non-native ligustrum in non-native fescue in Medina TX
May 22, 2013 - Is there an effective way to kill baby ligustrums coming up in my fescue yard without harming the grass?
view the full question and answer

Dwarf oyster plant dying in Sunrise FL
July 06, 2012 - WHAT WOULD BE KILLING MY DWARF OYSTER PLANTS
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.