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

Privacy Hedge Suggestions for Tampa, Florida
May 15, 2014 - My back wall is made of stone and is about 6' high. We are very close to a busy road. I need a plant that will reach about 7-8 feet high or a hedge to reduce some of the noise. What plant/hedge would...
view the full question and answer

Noise reduction hedge from Austin
April 17, 2013 - Noise reduction hedge row in Austin. We back up to a very busy street and need a fast growing noise barrier. In a similar post for the Houston area, you recommended Gordonia lasianthus -loblolly bay. ...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen hedge for NY
February 26, 2012 - I am looking for a native evergreen shrub that could be used as a hedge or privacy screen on the Rockaway peninsula in Queens county. It is a beach community with sand soil ( except where it has been...
view the full question and answer

Need recommendations for privacy screen in Richmond, VA
February 27, 2013 - Hello, I read through the previous posts on privacy screen plantings in the Mid Atlantic region. There was a lot of great information, but I has a specific question that was not answered. I would li...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen for New York apartment balcony.
August 17, 2009 - Hello, I live in an apartment in New York City with an outdoor large balcony. I would like to buy evergreens to make the space more private. Do you have any suggestions on what type of plant woul...
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