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

Monday - December 22, 2008

From: Bainbridge, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Native shrubs for wildlife and screening in Georgia
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Bainbridge, GA. I have 3 acres and want to plant for wildlife. I would like to plant fast growing native shrubs along the 400' of road that will benefit wildlife and shield us from the traffic. Suggestions?

ANSWER:

Lucky you, you live in an area that will happily support several good evergreen shrubs, all of which have benefits for wildlife, with berries, nectar sources and shelter for nesting, Two of them are members of the Ilex or holly genus and all three are dioecious which means that the berries appear on the female plant but it is necessary that a male plant of the same species be within 30 to 40 feet of the female for pollination. With a hedge that long, you can easily place a few males along the length, which will provide sufficient pollination for many females. The berries of all of the hollies are known to be mildly toxic, but the birds thrive on them, and it seems less likely, in the large area you have described, that children would be snacking on the berries. These plants are all relatively fast-growing and depending on how many shrubs you are willing to purchase and plant, could be anywhere from 6 feet apart (for faster fill-in) to 12 feet apart, as they frequently have a spread equal to their projected height. All can be trained to be small trees, but you would probably prefer to leave them as shrubs for maximum density and privacy. They are all native to Georgia and should be commercially available. For sources, go to our Native Plant Suppliers section, type your town and state in the "Enter Search Location" box and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed companies and landscape consultants in your general area. Our suggestions are:

Ilex glabra (inkberry) - 6 to 12 feet in height and spread

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) - 12 to 25 feet in height

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) - 6 to 12 feet in height and spread, fragrant foliage, attracts a number of birds


Ilex glabra

Ilex glabra

Ilex vomitoria

Ilex vomitoria

Morella cerifera

Morella cerifera

Morella cerifera

 

 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Shade Trees for Flagstaff AZ
June 14, 2015 - I live in Flagstaff, AZ and in need of good shade trees all around the house. We live in the Doney Park area (east of Flagstaff) and it is very windy in the spring time. We need the trees for priva...
view the full question and answer

Screening plant for pool in Cleburne, Texas
March 15, 2009 - I recently put in a very large pool. I need to plant something for fast growing, taller than an 6 ft fence for privacy. The property isn't so appealing behind my pool. When standing on my deck, I ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for a barrier hedge
October 13, 2008 - 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'...
view the full question and answer

Evergreens for privacy in VA
June 24, 2012 - I need fast growing evergreens or large shrubs, flowering or non-flowering, for privacy. They will need to flourish among large oak and hickory trees that are 75 plus years old. We don't want to dama...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for shrubs for a screening barrier along a fence line in Austin, TX.
July 24, 2009 - Hi! I am new to Austin and I live in a town home community that backs up to an existing neighborhood. There is no screening on my fenceline, which is only about 30 feet from my back porch! I also ha...
view the full question and answer

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