Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Friday - March 19, 2010

From: Phoenix, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Privacy hedge plant for Phoenix, Arizona.
Answered by: Jackie OKeefe and Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi, Can you tell me what would be a good plant or shrub to block one side of an unsightly 6ft high wrought iron pool fence, and create some privacy. It would be full sun and the hot temperature of Phoenix, AZ.

ANSWER:

Because Maricopa County is in USDA Hardiness Zones 9a to 9b, with apparently higher elevations and lower temperature zones to the north and east of you, we are going to choose not just plants native to Arizona, but plants native to your area of Arizona. A plant native to northeastern Arizona would fry in your situation in southwestern Arizona.  We tried to find evergreen plants, for year-round privacy, but not all of these plants are evergreen.

From our Native Plant Database:

Anisacanthus thurberi (Thurber's desert honeysuckle) - deciduous, 6 to 12 ft., sun, low water use, pictures

Cercocarpus montanus (alderleaf mountain mahogany) - semi-evergreen, 8 to 20 ft., low water use, sun

Dodonaea viscosa (Florida hopbush) - evergreen, to 12 ft., blooms yellow August to November, low water use, sun

Mahonia haematocarpa (red barberry) - 3 to 8 ft., evergreen, low water use, sun

Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) - deciduous with persistent leaves, to 6 ft. tall, low water use, sun to part shade

Tecoma stans (yellow trumpetbush) - to 9 ft. tall, deciduous, blooms yellow April to November, low water use, sun or part shade

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Cercocarpus montanus

Dodonaea viscosa

Mahonia haematocarpa

Simmondsia chinensis

Dodonaea viscosa

 

 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Screen for utility box in Seabrook TX
February 21, 2011 - Utility box cover: Thinking of using star jasmine on a three sided fence/trellis. Each side 3 ft sq. I can send a picture. Not sure best fence style to use or way to plant. Suggestions? Need cove...
view the full question and answer

Plants for privacy shield in Austin
May 19, 2010 - We are looking for a tall hedge on the lot line between us and our neighbors. Thinking Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry) would be a good choice. Question: how close should we plant them tog...
view the full question and answer

Recommendations for a 700 ft. noise and privacy barrier in Georgia
January 06, 2009 - Need recommendation for a fast growing, non-invasive native plant for a 700' barrier (noise & privacy) in wooded area; the area is mostly hardwood with some pine, and a good understory is established...
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

Native trees for privacy screen in Central Texas
October 24, 2007 - I live in the hill country outside of Austin,TX in somewhat rocky terrain. I wanted to plant a tree for a privacy screen to hide a neighbor's house. I was considering a Leland cypress. What are yo...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.