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

Shrub for privacy screen
June 22, 2008 - Hi, We live in Aptos near the ocean. However, what you suggest to plant near our fence to screen out the one story house behind us. They have a large tree near in their backyard that sits against our...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen Hedge for Austin
November 28, 2010 - Hello, We live in Austin and have a yard that is almost fully shaded. We have a few burford holly bushes there, but would like to add some evergreen interest. We would love a tall hedge (around 8 ft...
view the full question and answer

Noise buffering by native plants in Austin, TX
March 30, 2008 - I live in Austin in a neighborhood that is bordered on one side by highway 183 and on the other by MoPac and the train tracks. Even though I am least a three blocks from the closest highway, the traf...
view the full question and answer

Need a privacy screen beside a pool in Las Vegas, NV.
June 15, 2012 - Hi, I need to plant a privacy screen fence next to the pool. There is only 4-5 feet between the wall and the pool. That leaves only about 2 feet for soil. What are my best options for non invasive r...
view the full question and answer

A nice-looking, fast-growing privacy hedge for Oregon
May 27, 2011 - Would you please suggest a fast growing option to create a privacy hedge? I need to get my husband off the boxwoods he is touting.. The ideal solution would grow to 8 feet high, look interesting all y...
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