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

Sunday - July 18, 2010

From: Rock Hill, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Invasive Plants, Privacy Screening, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Plants for delineating property line
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a neighbor who does not mow his grass or take care of a strip that runs between my property and his. I would like to plant some inexpensive, low maintenance, shrubs, that would do well in full shade. I thought about planting pampas grass. I live near the North Carolina South Carolina line. What would be a good tree or shrub to plant that would help delineate my yard from his? Not too concerned with privacy.

ANSWER:

Please do not plant Cortaderia selloana (pampas grass).  It is native to South America and is considered to be invasive.  Please look at the South Carolina Recommended page to find a list of commercially available native plants suitable for landscaping in North Carolina. Using the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option in the sidebar you can select various criteria for your plant.  For instance, under GENERAL APPEARANCE, select 'Shrub' and under LIGHT REQUIREMENT select 'Sun - 6 or more hours' or whichever category applies to your situation.  You can also make selections from other categories.  Here are a few recommendations from that list, but you can make your own choices:

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) grows 6 to 12 feet high and is evergreen and the female plants have pale blue berries.

Lindera benzoin (northern spicebush) grows 6 to 12 feet high and is deciduous.

Physocarpus opulifolius (common ninebark) grows 3 to 10 feet high and is fast-growing and deciduous.

Rhus aromatica (fragrant sumac) grows 6 to 12 feet high and is deciduous.

Viburnum dentatum (southern arrowwood) grows 6 to 8 feet tall and is deciduous.

You could consider putting up some sort of lattice on the property line that could hold a vine.  There are two evergreen vines that grow in South Carolina, Gelsemium sempervirens (evening trumpetflower) and Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle).

You could also consider using a fern.  Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern) will grow in sun, part shade and shade but does require adequate moisture.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:


Morella cerifera

Lindera benzoin

Physocarpus opulifolius

Rhus aromatica

Viburnum dentatum

Gelsemium sempervirens

Lonicera sempervirens

Osmunda cinnamomea

 

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Nutgrass
September 12, 2008 - Hey Hi Barbara, I just read the information you gave about nut grass. I had wished for other options. Back to digging them out. Thanks for the information What about substituting cud zoo. S...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating black locust volunteers in Rockville MD
September 27, 2011 - I am a landscape designer whose client has a very large, mature black locust in her front yard. Not surprisingly, she also has multitudes of black locust volunteers popping up all over her yard. The...
view the full question and answer

Invasive spreading weed in Michigan that looks like a small pine tree
July 29, 2013 - I have an invasive spreading weed in my gardens. It has black root system, comes up looking like a small pine tree. The green breaks off when you try to pull it.
view the full question and answer

Control of non-native invasive Japanese Barberry from Enfield NH
April 22, 2014 - I recently bought a home that is bordered by woods and a sizable area of invasive Japanese Barberry growing on a steep hill in and around a stone wall making it that much harder to dig up. I've alway...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Invasive Plants
March 15, 2004 - How can I find out if a plant is federally listed as an invasive?
view the full question and answer

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