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

Tuesday - November 24, 2009

From: Oceanside, CA
Region: California
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Privacy screen for pool in California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, We have new neighbors overlooking our pool and peering into our house. We want to put up a privacy screen along our back fence that runs the length of the pool, but the border running along the pool is only 2 feet wide. Is there something we can plant that will grow tall but won't be invasive to our pool? The planting area is about 2-3 feet from our pool. We were thinking of a trumpet vine. Is that invasive and do you have any other suggestions? Are there any tree-like privacy screens that aren't invasive? (I do not like junipers) Thank you very much!

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants wouldn't recommend Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper) since it isn't native to Southern California.  There are records of it from Northern California, but not in your area.  There are other vines native native to your area, but few are evergreen—I am assuming you want something evergreen. There are, however, evergreen trees/shrubs that aren't junipers.    Shrubs/trees have the disadvantage of being wider than your 2 foot area, but most can be pruned to fit the space available.  Here are some recommendations:

EVERGREEN TREES/SHRUBS:

Arctostaphylos densiflora (vine hill manzanita) is evergreen.  Here are more photos.

Cercocarpus montanus (alderleaf mountain mahogany) is semi-evergreen.

Lyonothamnus floribundus ssp. aspleniifolius (Catalina ironwood) evergreen and here are photos.

Prunus ilicifolia (hollyleaf cherry) is evergreen and here are photos. This one makes a good narrow pruned screen.

Heteromeles arbutifolia (toyon) is evergreen.

Garrya elliptica (wavyleaf silktassel) is evergreen and here are photos and more information.

Malosma laurina (laurel sumac) is evergreen and here are photos.

Morella californica (California wax myrtle) is evergreen and here are photos.

Dendromecon harfordii (Harford's tree poppy) is evergreen and here are more photos and information.

Malacothamnus fasciculatus (Mendocino bushmallow) is evergreen and here are photos and more information.

Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) is semi-evergreen.

VINES:

Calystegia macrostegia (California morning glory) should remain evergreen with adequate summer water.

Clematis lasiantha (pipestem clematis) is deciduous.

Clematis ligusticifolia (western white clematis) is deciduous.

Keckiella cordifolia (heartleaf keckiella) should be evergreen in San Diego County.  Here are photos.

Lonicera hispidula (pink honeysuckle) is deciduous.  Here are more photos and information.

Vitis californica (California wild grape) is deciduous.  Here are photos and information about Roger's Red cultivar.

Here are a few photos from our Image Gallery:


Cercocarpus montanus

Heteromeles arbutifolia

Simmondsia chinensis

Clematis lasiantha

Clematis ligusticifolia

Lonicera hispidula

 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Evergreen plants for a windbreak
June 13, 2008 - Our church has need to plant a windbreak. We would like fast growing native plants, preferably evergreen or really early 'leafers' to protect us from our windy season beginning in mid/late February....
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing evergreen shrub/tree as a screening fence
January 25, 2008 - Our commercially-zoned property is adjacent to a residential area. The city planning and zoning board has said okay to a vegetation boundary instead of a fence for blocking headlights. The requireme...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen for Santa Rosa CA
May 13, 2009 - I am looking for a very fast growing privacy hedge/screen, 15-20 ft., requires not much pruning. I want an evergreen with not a lot of mess. The area gets full sun and after the plant is established...
view the full question and answer

Privacy Hedge for Dripping Springs, TX
April 25, 2014 - We live in Dripping Springs, TX and are looking to find a suggestion for privacy hedges that are non-toxic to dogs, drought resistant, can handle rocky soil and full sun. We prefer flowering hedges. ...
view the full question and answer

Need plants to provide a privacy screen in Cedar Creek, TX
March 31, 2015 - We need to screen out neighbor's house. What can we plant (fast growing tree or hedge) in partial shade? Area is dry in summer, but does get soggy during heavy rain. We live east of Austin in Cedar C...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center