En Español

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

Sunday - March 15, 2009

From: Cleburne, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Screening plant for pool in Cleburne, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

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 have a 6 ft privacy fence, but my deck is built up so, people going to the diving board can look over at the next doors UGLY BURNED DOWN HALF STANDING BARN. Is there anything I can plant that will completely block this view? I was thinking baboo? The area needed to be blocked is about 50 yards in length. I will be planting this in front of a redwood fence 50 ft in length. If you can think of anything that I can plant, please let me know...

ANSWER:

Our focus and expertise are in plants native to North America. The only bamboo native to North America is Arundinaria gigantea (canebreak bamboo) and there are two subspecies Arundinaria gigantea ssp. gigantea and Arundinaria gigantea ssp. tecta.  The A. gigantea ssp. tecta is the shorter of the two, growing only to about 8 feet tall; whereas, the A. gigantea ssp. gigantea can grow up to 30 feet tall.  This giant cane or canebrake bamboo does require lots of water so that might be a factor in your decision to plant it.  Also, bamboos can be invasive since they spread quickly by rhizomes (underground stems). You certainly would want to consider installing a barrier to keep it from spreading out of control.

Assuming you want an evergreen plant for screening year round, here are three other possibilities: 

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) can grow into a tall tree (>40 feet), but it can be an effective dense screen if you plant them close together and keep them pruned.  They also have berries that attract birds.

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) grows 15-25 feet high and female plants produce red berries that attract birds.

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle) is an evergreen vine, but if you wanted to extend your fence upwards by a couple of feet with a trellis, trumpet honeysuckle growing on it would make a good screen.  It attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.


Juniperus virginiana

Juniperus virginiana

Ilex vomitoria

Ilex vomitoria

Lonicera sempervirens

Lonicera sempervirens

 

 

 


 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Shrubs and trees to protect beehives in Godley TX
April 06, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Is there a (relatively) fast growing native small tree or large shrub (NOT cedar) that tolerates Johnson County clay, full sun, sometimes damp and sometimes dry soil with no...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen in Kansas City, MO
April 04, 2012 - Hello, I am located in Kansas City, MO and am looking for a wall/screen plant. Last year I used a wall of sunflowers and loved them, however I want something more hardy and something I don't have to ...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for plants to form a privacy hedge in Granbury, TX.
April 14, 2011 - We live on a rocky hill in Hood County, Tx. and need suggestions for evergreen anything that will provide privacy. Red Cedars were added in October 2010 and it looks as if half of those are dying. He...
view the full question and answer

Hedge plant for Maui.
February 17, 2009 - Question: I live in Pukalani, Maui, Hawaii and would like to put a "living fence" around my yard for some privacy. Ideally, I want something that is going to grow fast and about 8+ feet tall for a h...
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

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center