Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Wednesday - June 17, 2009

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Low privacy hedge in Houston
Answered by: Janice Kvale

QUESTION:

I am looking for a fast growing, dense (for privacy) shrub/s or plants, that will get at least 3-4+ feet high for a mostly shady area. Thanks.

ANSWER:

Let's see: fast growing, dense, shady, and relatively short. Got it. Our suggestions are for lower growing shrubs that do well in shade (less than 2 hours sun daily) or part shade (2-6 hours sun daily). Most are fast growing and most are attractive to birds or butterflies. Only evergreen shrubs are included to ensure year-round privacy. The above-noted constraints limited our list. We suggest that you select one species and use that for the entire length of your planting.

Read detailed descriptions for these perennials at our website and look for others that may strike your fancy. Go to Explore Plants and then Native Plant Database. From there you may click on Combination Search. Then select your location, General Appearance (type of plant desired), and Life Span. Check the requirements of your site: light and moisture level of soil. When you have made your decision, go back to Explore Plants and click on Suppliers to find a source in your area for your selection. Alternatively you can find detail on specific shrubs at Native Plant Project, a site that also covers planting shrubs. Here are our suggestions:

Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita), looks a bit like holly, 3-6 ft, dense, part shade or shade. Sweet smelling yellow blossoms develop into edible red berries. Armed with thorns.

Coursetia axillaris (Texas babybonnets), fast growing, dense, 5-7 ft. part shade.

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow), spreading dense shrub, 2-9 ft., shade or part shade, red or white flowers.

Thelypteris kunthii (Kunth's maiden fern), dense, 2 1/2 - 5 ft, shade or part shade. no flowers.

 


Mahonia trifoliolata

Coursetia axillaris

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

Thelypteris kunthii

 

 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Plants to augment a privacy fence in Virginia Beach.
February 24, 2009 - 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...
view the full question and answer

Native Texas shrub for privacy screen in hot area
August 31, 2007 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a lot facing dead west which I'm sure you can understand is brutally hot in the summer. I'm putting in a pool in my backyard and would like to plant a native Texas...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen privacy screen 8 feet or less
January 29, 2016 - In needing to plant an evergreen privacy screen, what is the tallest Ceniza variety? I'm having great difficulty finding an evergreen hedge material 8' or less. After having taken a class in pla...
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

Screening plants for Alaska
March 28, 2009 - Just purchased a house and want more privacy along the fence lines. Which plants would work well in the cold environment but provide privacy without taking over the yard.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.