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

Tuesday - April 15, 2008

From: Liberty Hill, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Plants for Liberty Hill TX in full sun
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We recently bought an acre of land in Liberty Hill, TX. We have a large planting area in the front that is devoid of any plant life. I would like to turn this into a semi shaded area with some annual showy flowers. The area is not manually watered, and receives full sun. We are also looking to create a natural looking hedge like barrier between our yard and the neighbors, also in direct sun and not manually watered.

ANSWER:

Let's start with barrier-like hedge plants. First of all, even though you won't be watering them on a regular basis, you may have to do a bit of watering to get them established. After that, the shrubs that I am going to recommend should do well with no supplemental watering. After all, they are natives that have to survive with the rains that fall in Central Texas. You would probably prefer evergreens if you are looking for a privacy hedge. Many of these also have the advantage of producing berries that attract birds and other wildlife. Here are a few suggestions:

Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita)

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo)

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar)

This redcedar can grow into a large tree, but can also be pruned into a hedge. Also, if you already have Juniperus ashei (Ashe's juniper) trees in the area (Mr. SP would be surprised if you didn't have at least a few), they can be pruned into reasonable trees or shrubs, too, to give you shade and privacy. They are definitely well-adapted to our climate, etc. You can keep them in check by further pruning and by cutting down small ones that crop up.

For the area where you want to grow perennial flowers, I suggest that you visit our Central Texas Recommended species pages. There you will find a large variety of perennials and annuals to choose from that do well in Central Texas. Mr. SP recommends that you include some native grasses with your flowers. For example, Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem) and Bouteloua hirsuta (hairy grama) are perennial clump grasses that are attractive even after they have died in the fall.

Here are a few perennial flowers from the list that should do well:

Melampodium leucanthum (plains blackfoot)

Lantana urticoides (Texas lantana)

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow)

Salvia farinacea (mealycup sage)

Thelesperma filifolium var. filifolium (stiff greenthread)

There are many more for you to choose from and, since your area is fairly large, you might like to read our article "Meadow Gardening" for recommendations on how to plant and maintain your area.


Mahonia trifoliolata

Ilex vomitoria

Morella cerifera

Leucophyllum frutescens

Juniperus virginiana

Schizachyrium scoparium

Bouteloua hirsuta

Melampodium leucanthum

Lantana urticoides

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

Salvia farinacea

Thelesperma filifolium var. filifolium

 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Screen for utility box in Seabrook TX
February 21, 2011 - Utility box cover: Thinking of using star jasmine on a three sided fence/trellis. Each side 3 ft sq. I can send a picture. Not sure best fence style to use or way to plant. Suggestions? Need cove...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing tree for privacy in Berkeley, CA
July 30, 2013 - Help. I need fast growing tree for backyard privacy. Where in Berkeley is there a tree nursery to Buy Pittosporum trees? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Privacy hedge for Palm Springs CA
July 04, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants I have a 6 foot block wall, and my house is elevated, and I need a privacy hedge or tree (even flowering) to create more privacy. I do not want to use Ficus as I hear they can d...
view the full question and answer

Need a shrub to conceal a privacy fence in Knightdale, NC.
August 03, 2011 - Could you recommend a medium-sized shrub/bush (max height of 6-7 feet) to plant along a privacy fence (purpose is to conceal the fence from the street view per HOA)? I live in Zone 8.
view the full question and answer

Plants for delineating property line
July 18, 2010 - I have a neighbor who does not mow his grass or take care of a strip that runs between my property and his. I would like to plant some inexpensive, low maintenance, shrubs, that would do well in full...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center