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

Monday - February 09, 2009

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Privacy screen for pool in Round Rock, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have a pool in our backyard and neighbors quite close on both sides. There is only a cedar fence between yards and we are desperate for some privacy! We are looking for a fast grower that will grow over 6 feet. The pool pipes prevent us from digging on one side of the yard so we will have to plant in a large planter box or use trees that will screen and can grow in containers. Can you think of anything that fits that description? Thank you!

ANSWER:

We can tell you that what you don't want is trees. Tree roots often extend three times the height of the tree, go looking for water, and have no scruples about breaking up concrete and damaging pipes. A tree would need a container about the size of your pool to even hope to survive. So, let's look at some evergreen shrubs. Even they are going to need really big containers, so be sure and talk to the people at the nursery about how big and how aggressive the roots are going to be. We are going to go to our Recommended Species section, select Central Texas on the map, and NARROW YOUR SEARCH by asking for "Shrubs" under Habit. Then we'll take a look at the results, and try to find some shrubs that will have good screening qualities, be evergreen and will grow to 6 to 8 ft. tall. This is a good time to plant shrubs, before the heat begins (which could be tomorrow, this is, after all, Texas).You will notice that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center recommends only plants native both to North America and to the area in which they are being planted. Plants native to an area are already accustomed to the environment in terms of moisture, soil and so forth, and will thus need less fertilizer, water and maintenance. 

Follow the link on each plant to its individual page on our website to learn how tall it will get and other information on flowering, etc. When looking at plants for a pool area, remember that the term "evergreen" is something of a misnomer. Any plant will replace leaves virtually year round. Old leaves drop off and new ones grow in, so there will always be the need for cleanup to keep debris out of your pool and filter. When you find some shrubs that you think will work for you, go to our Native Plant Suppliers section, type in your town and state in the "Enter Search Location" box and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed companies and landscape and environmental consultants in your general area. They all have contact information so you can inquire if they have what you are looking for and directions, etc. 

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) - this can get too tall, but you can ask about dwarf versions

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush)

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac) 

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)


Ilex vomitoria

Leucophyllum frutescens

Rhus virens

Morella cerifera

 

 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Need evergreen privacy screen for Austin, Texas
October 11, 2010 - I need an evergreen privacy screen. I live in southern Travis County and have a 450 ft property line that has a view to about 10 -12 neighbors back yards. I need something that won't be nibbled by ...
view the full question and answer

Fast growing, tall evergreens for privacy in Buda, Texas
June 09, 2007 - I need to plant fast growing tall evergreens along a western 6 ft privacy fence. The function is privacy, and sound deadening. Our western privacy fence is along a 2 way noisy highway. Please advise a...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for plants to form a privacy hedge in Charleston, WV.
April 05, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Pants, I live in zone 6 and an looking for an evergreen privacy type hedge that grows no taller than 10'-12'. I am not interested in any boxwood type of hedge. The evergreens would be ...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screening from Prosperity SC
May 19, 2013 - I need to know what would be a good tree to plant for blocking my neighbor's home it needs to be an evergreen and slender in the space it would take.
view the full question and answer

Evergreen tree for privacy screen in Collin County, Texas
May 26, 2010 - I am looking for a shrub or tree that will serve as a privacy screen. I would like it to grow very tall and be thick to help provide some privacy. I live in Collin County, and the area where the tre...
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