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

Tall screening tree for Santa Barbara, California
August 20, 2011 - Hi, we live in Santa Barbara, California. We are looking for a tree between 20-30 feet high to block the neighbors two-story house yet the area we have to plant is 3 feet from the fence to the drivewa...
view the full question and answer

Oak root resistant hedge for Southern California
December 28, 2013 - I live in Southern California and my cypress hedge has oak root fungus. What kind of hedge can I plant that will grow fast and be resistant to the fungus?
view the full question and answer

Large shrubs for privacy screen in VA
October 12, 2010 - Tonight my husband and I took down two large shrubs about 15' tall and spread across our yard to provide mostly privacy from the road and traffic noise. My question is this, since it's the front of ...
view the full question and answer

A privacy hedge for a shady spot in Austin, TX
July 02, 2012 - What is a good choice for a privacy hedge in west Austin in a predominantly shady area? I'd like it to be 8-12 feet, along the fence, so as to obstruct the view of the neighbor's yard.
view the full question and answer

Evergreen screen for newly constructed metal building
March 31, 2010 - Neighbor built a 12' tall metal building right by my gate. I want to screen it with fast-growing evergreen natives. I have lots of ashe juniper on my property, but none where I need it now! Can AJ...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center