Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Monday - February 08, 2010

From: Freeport, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Privacy screen for wet area in Florida
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

What are the best type of bushes/trees to plant in a low-lying area which is very wet--has sitting water after rainfall and drains slowly that is fast growing and serve as a good privacy border near fence? Want to hide neighbor's yard.

ANSWER:

Your question seems straight forward enough but the answer is not so.  If you plant trees and shrubs that are large enough and close enough together to immediately screen the view of your neighbor's yard you will very soon have a maintenance nightmare on your hands. The requirement of "fast growing" is relative ... the rest of the country thinks that everything in Florida is fast growing!

The best way for you to approach this challenge is to select a combination of trees and shrubs, some smaller (and less expensive) and a few larger, more mature ones.  Situate the larger ones strategically so they screen the view from more desirable spots in your yard (your patio, or perhaps your kitchen window!) and then place the smaller ones so that as they grow over the next 2-5 years, they will fill in the gaps. You will probably want evergreen plants as you are in a part of the country where you can enjoy the outdoors all year round.

You can start to select plants by visiting our Native Plant Information Network.  Do a Combination Search by selecting Florida and then narrow it by choosing "wet" conditions, the light requirements of your site and then trees or shrubs.  What you plant will ultimately depend on what you find at your local nurseries, but here are some evergreen plants we think might fit the bill. You may also find that some deciduous shrubs are dense enough and are bare for such a short time in Florida that you would like to include them as well.

Trees

Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic white cedar)

Cyrilla racemiflora (swamp titi)

Ilex opaca (American holly)

Shrubs

Ilex glabra (inkberry)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

 

 

 
 

More Privacy Screening Questions

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

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

Large shrub or tree for front door in Houston
January 16, 2013 - I am in search of a shrub or tree to plant next to my front door. I want a showy medium sized shrub or tree (8 to 12 ft), decorative, and a privacy screen since my front door faces my next door neig...
view the full question and answer

Looking for tree to absorb sound from neighbor's pool
August 09, 2012 - Our neighbors have put in a new pool with a harmonic pitch sound which resonates in my home. We have tried rubber mats and foam on the fence. Nothing is working. My pool guy suggested trees as the ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for a barrier hedge
October 13, 2008 - Is there a native hedge I can plant to provide privacy? I have hostile neighbors behind me and would rather plant a hedge than put up a fence. I looked through the Virginia native species and didn'...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.