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

Sunday - December 28, 2008

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Narrow, evergreen shrub for privacy
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in San Antonio and my backyard is all driveway except for a 2-3' space in front of a 6 ft chain fence. I'd like to find an evergreen narrow shrub for privacy. Would Nandina be a good choice? I need something fast growing, narrow, and not decidious.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants says:  "No! no! no!  not Nandina!"  Nandina domestica (heavenly bamboo) is an invasive non-native plant from China and Japan and we would never recommend using it in landscaping.   Below are some beautiful, evergreen native alternatives.  Your best bets are probably the first two.  They will provide the thickest screen and they can be trimmed to keep them from becoming too wide for the area:

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) and more information from the Aggie Horticulture Database.

Morella cerifera [syn. Myrica cerifera] (wax myrtle) and more information from the Aggie Horticulture Database.

The next two are a bit slower growing, but trim well into a hedge:

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) with more information from the Aggie Horticulture Database

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac) with more information from the Aggie Horticulture Database.

The final two make a prickly evergreen hedge—in case you wanted to keep the neighbors from walking through it:

Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita) and more from the Aggie Horticulture Database.

Mahonia swaseyi (Texas barberry) and more from the Aggie Horticulture Database


Leucophyllum frutescens

Morella cerifera

Ilex vomitoria

Rhus virens

Mahonia trifoliolata

Mahonia swaseyi

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

My Mock Orange fails to flower in Redmond, WA.
July 06, 2011 - I planted a Mock Orange shrub about 5 years ago. The first few years, it only produced leaves but no blossoms. Then, last year, it finally produced 4-5 blossoms on 2 of the branches. This year, it a...
view the full question and answer

Hedge shrubs that attract butterflies & birds in Virginia
June 13, 2014 - Hi - I need recommendations for north VA hedge shrubs that attract butterflies and birds. Thanks
view the full question and answer

Low-growing plant for grave in boggy Newfoundland
May 30, 2008 - I am looking for any suggestions on what type of plant I can plant on a grave. It is very boggy (peat)land. I want something that is hardy & not too tall. We have about 8 weeks of summer, July & Augus...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen flowering shrub for San Antonio, TX
May 20, 2013 - Need a suggestion for an evergreen flowering bush, 3 ft tall for shady area by front door. Have gardenia bushes there now - did well until we had a hard freeze and have struggled ever since. Ideas ple...
view the full question and answer

Declining wax myrtles in Katy, TX
August 24, 2009 - My wax myrtle bushes were thick and green except for a few on the NE side 6 months ago when we bought the house. Now they are thin, leggy, and dropping leaves like crazy. They seem to be dying one bra...
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