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 - 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

Vines for fence in Bentonville, Arkansas
June 12, 2013 - I have about 600 LF of 8ft high chain link fence I would like to grow vines on in Northwest Arkansas for screening. I would like some to cover quickly but be maintenance friendly. I heard alternating ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for privacy screen in Edgewood TX
September 10, 2009 - Can you recommend a large fast growing tree, shrub, etc. that can give me some privacy from my neighbor across the street that likes to use his binoculars? I live in East Texas on about 10 acres.
view the full question and answer

Native trees for privacy screen in Central Texas
October 24, 2007 - I live in the hill country outside of Austin,TX in somewhat rocky terrain. I wanted to plant a tree for a privacy screen to hide a neighbor's house. I was considering a Leland cypress. What are yo...
view the full question and answer

Large evergreens for screen in Seattle
November 20, 2010 - Our building would like large evergreens to help with freeway noise (it's right across the street with a large green belt around it.) Which Northwest Evergreens would work best? We need tall and wide...
view the full question and answer

Trees for privacy screen
August 08, 2012 - Hello, We'd like to plant a privacy screen to hide our view of an adjacent apartment complex. Ideally the trees or other plantings might be a native species, and preferably they would eventually rea...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center