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

Tuesday - November 02, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Year-round privacy screen of evergreen plants.
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We need a year-round privacy screen of evergreen plants.

ANSWER:

It's understandable to want evergreen plants for this purpose, so you can enjoy your privacy year-round. A plant native to your area is conditioned by millennia of experience to deal with the climate of the area, resist disease and get by on the rain and soil that is available. The farther north you live, the fewer evergreens are going to be available, but there are some that are very hardy. Most of the members of the genus Ilex, holly, have species that stay green with glossy leaves and red berries (on the female trees). One example is Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) which is evergreen, 12 to 25 ft., high, low water use, and can grow in sun, part shade or shade. Another holly, Ilex opaca (American holly) grows as far north as New York, and makes an excellent outdoor Christmas decoration. If you live in Texas, you might enjoy a shrub that is more ever-blue than evergreen, the Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) It has blue-green, furry leaves, is  2 to 8 ft. tall, blooms white, pink, and purple year-round, depending on rain, and grows in sun or  part shade. A good one for the Southwest is Mahonia swaseyi (Texas barberry), 3 to 6 ft. tall, blooms yellow February to April, needs sun.

 

From the Image Gallery


Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

American holly
Ilex opaca

Cenizo
Leucophyllum frutescens

Texas barberry
Mahonia swaseyi

More Privacy Screening Questions

Drought-tolerant shrub for privacy screen
November 23, 2007 - Is there some kind of drought resistant bush or thorny plant we can rim our property with to stop all the foot traffic through our yard? We don't care if it's pretty, just something thick and/or th...
view the full question and answer

Native evergreen trees or shrubs for privacy screen in South Carolina
April 02, 2008 - Mr. Smarty Plants, we recently lost a grove of eleven 30+ year old white pine trees in a storm this month. They provided a natural 42'x30' screen to the front of our property and home. What type o...
view the full question and answer

Living fence line from Thomasville GA
November 04, 2012 - I would like to create a natural fence line on my property in South Georgia. They need to be pretty dense and horse, cow, goat friendly, growing to a height of about 4ft, preferably quickly! Do you ...
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

Privacy hedge for Palm Springs CA
July 04, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants I have a 6 foot block wall, and my house is elevated, and I need a privacy hedge or tree (even flowering) to create more privacy. I do not want to use Ficus as I hear they can d...
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