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 - February 24, 2009

From: Virginia Beach, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Plants to augment a privacy fence in Virginia Beach.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I live in Virginia Beach, VA and I have a small back yard about 75 ft deep and 60 ft wide. We have a six ft privacy fence but still have many undesirable views over the fence I would love to block out as much of the year as possible. Is there a plant, tree, shrub, etc..that you can recommend we plant that will grow fairly quickly without overcrowding my yard and blocking out the sun? I would be happy with 3-4 trees spaced out in the yard or something to plant in a row or a mixture of both. Thanks in advance,

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants often gets questions about plants that are suitable for privacy hedges, and these four plants are often recommended for this purpose.

Wax myrtle, Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) an evergreen shrub growing 6-12" ft. tall. See more at Aggie Horticulture Database

Yaupon, Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) a picturesque, evergreen shrub growing 12-25 ft tall. Female plants produce an abundance of red berries. See more at Aggie Horticulture Database

Sweet bay magnolia Magnolia virginiana (sweetbay) This is a slender tree or shrub with pale grey bark, 12-20 ft. tall. The solitary, fragrant flowers are 4-6 in. across, with 9-12 velvety-white petals 2-3 inches across. See more at NC State University

Eastern redcedar Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) This evergreen usually reaches a height of 30 - 40 ft. but can be pruned to form a hedge. There are dwarf varieties available that would make this easier. Contact UConn Plant Database or North Carolina State University.

For more information about Virginia shrubs, go to our website and select Recommended Species. Click on Virginia on the map, and you will get a list of 122 commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in Virginia. If you chose the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option and chose Shrub in the "Habit" window, your plant list shrinks to 30 shrubs suitable for Virginia. Clicking on any name on the list will take you to the NATIVE PLANT DATABASE page for that plant. There you can learn characteristics of the plant, such as habitat, size, growing conditions, benefits, etc. The ADDITIONAL RESOURCES box toward the bottom of the page can link you to further informatiion sources on Google. Visit our Suppliers Directory for help in locating nurseries theat sell the plants you chose for your hedge.




Ilex vomitoria

Magnolia virginiana


 

 


 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

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

Privacy Hedge for Maryland Porch
July 03, 2014 - I am working on a screen/fence, which is a barrier hedge between our house and our next door neighbor's house to add privacy to our screen porch and dining area, especially in winter. The fence would...
view the full question and answer

Plants to hide utility boxes
July 16, 2008 - What are suggestions for plants to plant around utilities boxes (3 of them clustered together) to effectively camouflage them but be attractive. We will outline a larger area in brick, plant evergree...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen tree for privacy screen
May 01, 2009 - I live out in the hill country in Volente, TX. I'm looking for a fast growing, native evergreen tree variety that would make a good privacy screen. I don't want a hedge, but I do want to replace a...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen for wet area in Florida
February 08, 2010 - What are the best type of bushes/trees to plant in a low-lying area which is very wet--has sitting water after rainfall and drains slowly that is fast growing and serve as a good privacy border near f...
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