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
2 ratings

Monday - October 13, 2008

From: Victoria, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Native plants for a barrier hedge
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Is there a native hedge I can plant to provide privacy? I have hostile neighbors behind me and would rather plant a hedge than put up a fence. I looked through the Virginia native species and didn't recognize any hedges. Thanks so much!

ANSWER:

It's a shame that Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita) probably wouldn't thrive in Virginia. A native of the desert Southwest, it is also called the "babysitter plant" because baby lambs could be encircled with it and not even the coyotes would come through it. But, of course, there is always the problem that something stickery on one side is stickery on the other side. 

We do want to caution you that, while we can probably suggest some plants that would grow pretty densely and make passage through them uncomfortable, they are not going to grow up overnight. It could easily be five years or more before you will have sufficient height to feel you are sheltered from activity on the other side. There will be expense and labor involved in purchasing and planting the shrubs, and you will need to get enough that they will begin to grow together in a not too unreasonable length of time. So, be sure and weigh those factors against the cost and labor of putting up a fence, which would give you quicker separation, if not quite as attractive. The plants we suggest will all be native to North America and to Virginia, because that is what the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is all about, plants that are already adapted to the area in which they are being grown, which means they will need less water, fertilizer and maintenance. Our selections are all evergreen, as we assume you want summer and winter privacy. They are not necessarily "hedge" plants, but will grow fairly quickly and densely. These plants are all commercially available, and if you want sources where you can purchase them, go to our Native Plant Suppliers section, type your town and state into the "Enter Search Location" box and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed suppliers and landscape consultants. 

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Rhododendron maximum (great laurel)

Ilex glabra (inkberry)

Ilex opaca (American holly)

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar)


Morella cerifera

Rhododendron maximum

Ilex glabra

Ilex opaca

Juniperus virginiana

 

 





 

 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Vines to Cover Brush Pile in Maryland
April 29, 2013 - We have a large brush pile on our property that we'd intended to burn, but it is big enough now that it would require the help of the fire department! I'm thinking I'd like to cover it with native ...
view the full question and answer

Hiding a chicken house from Glen Rose TX
February 06, 2013 - To hide a chicken house, which do you recommend, crape myrtles or chinese photinias?
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

Oak root resistant hedge for Southern California
December 28, 2013 - I live in Southern California and my cypress hedge has oak root fungus. What kind of hedge can I plant that will grow fast and be resistant to the fungus?
view the full question and answer

Need to know how to plant trees to create a windbreak in Ashburn, VA.
May 06, 2010 - I want to know how to plant trees to create windbreaks. I live on a slope of a hill, the front of the house is steep and the back of the house has neighbors in a cul de sac. I swear I live in a wind...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center