En Español

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

Evergreen plant to cover parents' graves in Louisiana
June 30, 2013 - We want to plant ground cover on our parents graves in Plain Dealing Cemetery in north Bossier Parish LA. Soil is red clay/dirt. Want native plant, slow growing, short not tall plant, that might sta...
view the full question and answer

New Jersey Tea shrub wilting and losing leaves
December 30, 2013 - I have New Jersey Tea shrubs transplanted last spring from nursery stock (18 tall, grown local) I live in SE WI. They are planted in part shade. There has been 6" of snow on the ground for weeks now...
view the full question and answer

Muhlenbergia dumosa safe for horses from Austin
May 13, 2014 - Is Muhlenbergia dumosa safe for horses? Will horses eat it? I have a client who has a mini-horse who visits her property on occasion, and I want to ensure that what I plant is both safe for the hors...
view the full question and answer

Companion Plants for Texas Mountain Laurel
March 12, 2015 - I am building a garden from scratch and need help. I want to plant a Texas mountain laurel on each front section of my house in front of a window, and I also want to use Thumbelina Leigh English laven...
view the full question and answer

Native Plants for a Steep Slope in TN
July 15, 2014 - Hello, I live in Knoxville, TN and have a very steep slope in our backyard. There is a lot of water erosion causing our grass to be covered with red dirt. I would love to try to plant something on thi...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center