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

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)


Chamaecyparis thyoides

Cyrilla racemiflora

Ilex opaca

Ilex glabra

Morella cerifera

 

 

 
 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Plants to keep children out of yard
April 23, 2008 - I WANT TO PLANT SOMETHING ALONG A FENCE LINE TO KEEP CHILDREN OUT OF OUR YARD. NEEDS TO GROW FAST BUT NOT POISONOUS
view the full question and answer

Plants for a property line in Birmingham, AL
August 15, 2012 - I am looking for a plant to help establish a property line. Our neighbor's landscaping/mowing company has a large turnover, and the new employees always get confused about where the property line is...
view the full question and answer

Combining native shrubs for hedge in Austin
April 15, 2009 - Smarty, Please tell me what the definitions are for all the various water, soil moisture, drainage and light requirements mean. Are the definitions global? I live in Central East Austin and inten...
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant screening evergreens for CT
April 07, 2010 - I live in Connecticut, in a predominantly wooded environment. I am looking for a recommendation for a great screening tree, which I can use to block a view of Neighbors behind me. It would need to b...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen Privacy Screen for Maryland
November 19, 2012 - I am looking for an evergreen that will suffice to be planted as a privacy screen between my property and my neighbors. Looking to plant a row at the property line. The lot is shaded most of the d...
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