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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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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

 

 

 

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