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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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

 

 

 

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