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

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

Plant screen for Comfort TX
November 23, 2009 - My house sits on a hill between Fredericksburg and Comfort. Darn, if my neighbors didn't build so close to my property line that I can see into their cabin when the trees drop their leaves in the f...
view the full question and answer

Hiding a chicken house from Glen Rose TX
February 06, 2013 - To hide a chicken house, which do you recommend, crape myrtles or chinese photinias?
view the full question and answer

Shrubs/ Trees for Privacy Screening on Cape Cod
April 17, 2012 - Hi, I need a recommendation for a row of trees/shrubs that I can put on my boundary line to block my neighbor. It's in a wooded area that I could thin somewhat. I would need them to be fast growing...
view the full question and answer

Non-poisonous, non-allergenic plants for privacy fence
March 15, 2012 - I'm looking to put in some plants to create a privacy fence against one side of my property. I'd like a mix of plants that grow well together in order to create a diverse look. I need something ever...
view the full question and answer

Need plant suggestions for a 700' long privacy screen in Wimberley, TX.
May 27, 2011 - I live in Wimberley. Tx Dot has ruined 700' of my side yard's (& back yard's) privacy by clearing all the plants/trees that had grown up in their right of way adjacent to our property. They're als...
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center