En EspaŅol

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?


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
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

Tuesday - March 07, 2006

From: Baytown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Evergreen fast-growing native shrubs for privacy shield in Baytown, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Dean Garrett


A gas well is going in across the road. We need a fast growing native tall shrub to line our property next to the road. It needs to maintain its leaves in the winter also. We hope to cut down on the dust and noise that the well will produce. We live in Baytown TX. Since we have about 200 feet that will need to be filled, it needs to be economical also.


Here are five recommendations ranked by maximum height from smallest to largest:

1. Dwarf wax myrtle, Morella pusilla (5-6 feet)
2. Wax myrtle, Morella cerifera (6-12 feet)
3. Cherry laurel, Prunus caroliniana (15-20 feet)
4. Yaupon, Ilex vomitoria (12-25 feet)
5. Eastern red-cedar, Juniperus virginiana (more than 40 feet)

All are evergreen and commercially available. All but the yaupon are relatively fast growing. You might consider planting a combination of both the wax myrtle and dwarf wax myrtle interspersed with the cedar and the cherry laurel. Your particular habitat and soil may favor better growth in one or more of these. You can then add more of the ones that grow more rapidly and give better cover to your view of the gas well. The slower growing yaupon will add variety and interest as well as berries for birds and other wildlife.

You can find nurseries in your area that specialize in native plants by visiting the National Suppliers Directory.

More Shrubs Questions

Chlorosis in yaupon from San Angelo TX
April 08, 2012 - Thank you for your information on the yaupon holly. We just finished clearing out the mulch and the red ground cover that popped up. I will quit watering it as much as the rest of the plants. Our y...
view the full question and answer

Is Ilex glabra a Good Substitute Hedge for Boxwood?
November 08, 2013 - I am planning a new garden in my yard (Mercer County, NJ). My site is south-facing, average water and average soil. The aesthetic look that I want is formal; a tightly sheared hedge of small leaves ab...
view the full question and answer

Plants for soil with basalt outcroppings in Idaho
March 30, 2008 - We have basalt (lava) outcropping in part of our back yard and know we'll have to search for pockets of soil in which to plant. Any suggestions about what trees or shrubs would have a chance in thes...
view the full question and answer

Sun loving plants for flower bed by the pool in Weatherford Texas
October 03, 2011 - We have a 40' long x 2 1/2' wide flowerbed along our pool. It is in full sun with the pool deck across the front and a 6' privacy fence across back. Also, the level of the bed is 18" below the l...
view the full question and answer

What is the name of the Texas Wildflower that smells like grape koolaid?
March 28, 2014 - Can you tell me the name of the Texas wildflower that smells like grape koolaid? I live in north west Texas and every spring, the low growing purple flowers line spots along the roadside. It's a joy ...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center