Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - December 24, 2010

From: Porter, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Evergreen shrub for hedge in Porter, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We are trying to decide on what would be good privacy hedges (at least 6 ft. tall) to run down our long backyard chainlink fences. I'm allergic to Ligustrums and we have 2 dogs and a cat which I heard that oleanders are toxic, too, so if they are toxic to pets they aren't an option. I was thinking about red tipped fettinias, but someone said they are very prone to fungus diseases in our area (Porter). So with these things in mind what would you recommend?

ANSWER:

First of all, we wouldn't recommend any of the hedge plants you list.  They are all non-natives and what we are all about here at the Wildflower Center is "to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes."  Moreover, all the Ligustrum species and two of the Photinias (I think that is what you mean by 'fettinias') are in the Texas Invasives database.  Besides being a non-native Nerium oleander (Oleander) is highly toxic.

The Native Plant Society of Texas Houston Chapter in its Information Pages has an excellent collection of resources and recommended lists of plants for the Houston area near you.  Here are several evergreen shrubs/small trees that would make a good screening hedge that appear on one or more of their lists:

Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle)

Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon)

Prunus caroliniana (Cherry laurel)

Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle) is an evergreen vine that would grow very well on your chainlink fence and act as a screen.

Sabal minor (Dwarf palmetto)

Instead of picking just one of the above, you might consider using a combination of two or more of the above plants to make a more interesting privacy screen.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:


Morella cerifera


Morella cerifera


Ilex vomitoria


Ilex vomitoria


Prunus caroliniana


Lonicera sempervirens


Sabal minor


Sabal minor

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Identification of tree or shrub from Simms TX
February 13, 2011 - Thought you might have the expertise to help identify this tree/shrub? They were planted about 10 years ago and started in a pot about 2 feet high. I have photos but not sure how to send them to you; ...
view the full question and answer

Need shrubs to replace Mountain Laurel beside above ground pool in San Antonio, TX.
August 08, 2012 - We are getting rid of a Mountain Laurel because it is 5 ft. away from my above ground pool I want to plant at the base of the pool about 20 inches away some nice evergreen. Do you have any suggestio...
view the full question and answer

Privacy plantings in Texas
August 16, 2008 - Our home currently has a 4' chain fence. We are a family of 7 with younger aged children and are looking for more privacy. In lieu of a replacement fence, what would you recommend planting to provi...
view the full question and answer

Small shrubs for landscape in Kansas
April 20, 2013 - I am intersted in small shrubs for the landscaping in front of our house located in Topeka,KS. Many of the shrubs I looked at are 5 foot in width in height. The plants will receive morning sun.
view the full question and answer

Information about blackleaf elderberry
July 03, 2008 - I was given a blackleaf elderberry. Do I plant this tree in shade or sun? Also, does it require a lot of moisture? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.