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?

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
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

Wednesday - March 08, 2006

From: Richmond, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Native drought resistant evergreen plants for privacy hedgein clay soil in Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

My family would like to create privacy around our 4 acres of fence line. What native evergreen or fast growing bushes would work? We have terrible clay soil and need drought resistant plants.

ANSWER:

Here are four suggestions 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. Yaupon, Ilex vomitoria (12-25 feet)
4. Eastern red-cedar, Juniperus virginiana (more than 40 feet)

All are evergreen, drought resistant, tolerate clay soils, and are commercially available. The wax myrtles will need water until they are well-established, but then should do fine in drought conditions. All but the yaupon are relatively fast growing. If your soil is the shrink-swell waxy-type clay that's had the loamy topsoil stripped away, you might consider planting native grasses in with the native woody plants to break up the clays over time with their fibrous roots, allowing for better moisture retention. You might consider planting a combination of both the wax myrtle and dwarf wax myrtle interspersed with the cedar and yaupon. 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. 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 Trees Questions

Yellowing foliage on a lemon cypress from St. Charles MO
May 22, 2011 - I recently received a lemon cypress tree as a gift. After about a month we transplanted it outside and the foliage turned from a light green to a yellow color. Is this normal? The tree doesn't app...
view the full question and answer

Possible reasons for non-fruiting wild plum
March 10, 2007 - My grandfather has land in Lee County with thickets of wild plum, I believe creek plum is another name. However, they never seem to produce plums while thickets nearby on the roadside less than one mi...
view the full question and answer

Identificaation of different cultivars ofPrunus caroliniana
June 14, 2007 - How can you tell if you have a Carolina Cherry laurel or Carolina cherry laurel "compacta," or a Cherry Laurel-English? I have a line of four cherry laurels and one in the middle recently died an...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting time for Smoketree in Quebec
September 14, 2006 - I would like to transplant my smoke tree. It is two years old. When would be the best time of the year to transplant. I live in Zone 4.
view the full question and answer

Madrones in Michigan?
November 01, 2010 - Will a Arbutus menziesii (Pursh Pacific madrone) grow in Huron County Michigan? I'm at the "tip of Michigan's thumb".
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center