En Español

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
1 rating

Monday - July 21, 2008

From: ELMIRA, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Evergreen privacy hedge and drought-resistant garden
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am looking for a hardy evergreen hedge for privacy in Northern Michigan. I have sandy soil. Also am interested in planting a drought garden with mostly sun in same sandy soil.

ANSWER:

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) is very hardy and also can grow very tall, up to 90 feet. However, it can also be kept pruned into a very thick evergreen hedge. University of Connecticut lists several cultivars of interest, including dwarf ones.

Thuja occidentalis (arborvitae) is another candidate. It also has a number of cultivars to choose from listed by University of Connecticut and Ohio State University.

The final suggestion for an evergreen hedge is Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock) with smaller cultivars listed by Ohio State University and University of Connecticut.

You can find plants that are commercially available and suitable for landscaping in Michigan, by choosing the state from the map on our Recommended Species page. When you have the list of over 150 species, you can use the Narrow Your Search option to choose the characteristics you want under Habit (general appearace), Light requirement and Soil moisture. Here are a few species that will do well in full sun and sandy, dry soil:

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Helianthus strumosus (paleleaf woodland sunflower)

Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine)

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick)

Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda (shrubby cinquefoil)

Amorpha canescens (leadplant)


Juniperus virginiana

Thuja occidentalis

Tsuga canadensis

Aquilegia canadensis

Asclepias tuberosa

Helianthus strumosus

Lupinus perennis

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda

Amorpha canescens

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Eliminating Claytonia virginica in Varna IL
April 13, 2010 - How do I get rid of or control Claytonia virginica? It is starting to take over my lawn.
view the full question and answer

Survivability of Texas wildflower seeds in Zone 5A or 5B
October 13, 2006 - What are the recommended hardiness zones for Texas wildflowers? Could these seeds survive in a 5A and 5B climate? If so, when would be the correct time to plant seeds for zone 5A/5B?
view the full question and answer

Companion plants for non-native Santolina virens
March 23, 2015 - Can you recommend companion plant options for Santolina virens? The companion plant would be planted randomly and interspersed with the santolina and needs to be no taller than 12 inches because of th...
view the full question and answer

Root lengths of Central Texas wildflowers
March 10, 2009 - I'm looking for lengths of the roots of wildflowers of Central Texas. It would be particularly helpful to know the really long ones. Any native prairie flowers or grasses would do.
view the full question and answer

A&M maroon bluebonnets for Hawaii
July 10, 2011 - My daughter graduated from Texas A&M and has moved to Hawaii. She would love to have the maroon bluebonnets developed by A&M to plant in her new home. How would she need to prepare the seeds since t...
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center