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
6 ratings

Monday - October 11, 2010

From: El Paso, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: FAST GROWING PRIVACY PLANTS IN EL PASO, TEXAS
Answered by: Mike Tomme

QUESTION:

Hello, First, I am totally ignorant of plants,trees planting,etc. However, I just moved to El Paso, Tx and find every home is surrounded by these hideous rock walls, which aren't nearly tall enough to serve a real purpose. Not to mention the "yard" is only about 10x10. My neighor and I should just share a patio since we have such a clear view. I need privacy fast! A fast growing hedge,bush,shade tree which doesn't atract birds/insects and that can be planted close to that wall!! Thanks!

ANSWER:

First of all, Mr. Smarty Plants only recommends native plants. Fast, growing, El Paso and native plant do not go together. Desert plants grow slowly or grow very quickly when there's moisture available, then go dormant. Secondly, any plant that doesn't attract birds or insects must be so obnoxious that you wouldn't want to be around it either.

I think the solution to your problem is better solved architecturally (raise the wall or put up a fabric screen). Alternatively, you can make friends with your neighbor and take a lesson from the plants you see growing around El Paso - adapt to your environment. 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Windbreak for Eastern Kansas
July 17, 2011 - I need to plant a fast growing windbreak near my lateral lines for a septic tank. We obviously can't have anything that would interfere with the laterals but I desperately need a North wind break. ...
view the full question and answer

Trees for privacy screen
August 08, 2012 - Hello, We'd like to plant a privacy screen to hide our view of an adjacent apartment complex. Ideally the trees or other plantings might be a native species, and preferably they would eventually rea...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen tree for screen behind a waterfall
July 25, 2010 - I want to plant 3 evergreen trees as a screen behind a waterfall and along a fence by my pool. We took down a wax myrtle due to winter/ice damage and the mess in the pool. I want male yaupon hollies...
view the full question and answer

Need a vine to cover a chainlink fence in the shade in Tarrytown, NY.
June 08, 2012 - Any advice for a vine to cover a chain link fence in shade
view the full question and answer

Evergreen tree for privacy screen in Granbury Texas
December 21, 2014 - We need to put an evergreen privacy screen between our barn and our neighbor's new 132' long, unattractive building, which runs along & is just 40' away from our fence line & where they have decid...
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
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center