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

Monday - February 28, 2011

From: Magnolia, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Need a fast growing shrub to quickly create a 6' privacy screen in Magnolia, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Can you please recommend a fast-growing shrub to quickly create a 6' plus-tall privacy screen in an area with mottled shade along a north/south oriented wrought-iron fence? This is under a canopy of pine, gum, and other native, east Texas trees and in clay/gumbo soil. There are no man made structures blocking sunlight. We live between Magnolia and Conroe, Tx. Thank you!

ANSWER:

That depends on your definition of quickly. Generally, plants that are annuals grow more quickly than perrenials. Plants such as Sunflower Helianthus annuus (Common sunflower) and Corn Zea mays can reach heights of over six feet in just a few months, but these are probably not what you had in mind. One of the fastest growing perrenials is said to be Bamboo whose optimal shoot growth can be 39" per day. Growing bamboo can be problematic, so you might want to consider something that grows more slowly.

An evergreen shrub that the "Green Gurus" frequently recommend is Wax Myrtle Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle). It is a 6-12 ft. shrub that can reach up to 20 ft., and is described by Floridata as being a fast grower. It can grow in full sun to partial shade, likes slightly acidic, moist, deep sands, loams, clay and is found all over east Texas.

To look for other possibilities, lets go to our Native Plant Database. After clicking on the link, scroll down to the Combination Search Box, and make the following selections: choose Texas under State, Shrub under Habit, and Perrenial under Duration. Check Sun under Light requirement ,and Moist under Soil moisture. Click the "Submit combination Search" button and you will get a list of 48 native species occurring in Texas that meet these parameters. Clicking on the name of each plant will bring up its NPIN database page that describes the plant's characteristics, its growth requirements as well as pictures.

Another option that would be faster growing would be an evergreen vine on a trellis, or on the fence if it is tall enough. Go back to the Native Plant Database, and proceed as before except choose Vine instead of Shrub under Habit. Click the "Submit combination Search" button and you will get a list of 24 vines from which to choose.

Three that might be possibilities:

Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine)

Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina jessamine)

Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle)


Morella cerifera


Bignonia capreolata


Gelsemium sempervirens


Lonicera sempervirens

 

 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Privacy screen from Simpsonville SC
May 04, 2013 - My neighbor cut down his part of our shared woods so now we see his whole "outside patio area". What kinds of fast growing shade loving trees and shrubs can we plant on our property line that will c...
view the full question and answer

Plants for privacy shield in Austin
May 19, 2010 - We are looking for a tall hedge on the lot line between us and our neighbors. Thinking Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry) would be a good choice. Question: how close should we plant them tog...
view the full question and answer

Need plant suggestions for a 700' long privacy screen in Wimberley, TX.
May 27, 2011 - I live in Wimberley. Tx Dot has ruined 700' of my side yard's (& back yard's) privacy by clearing all the plants/trees that had grown up in their right of way adjacent to our property. They're als...
view the full question and answer

Screening Suggestions in Brooklyn, NY
March 08, 2013 - My neighbor directly in back of me has shrubs that are growing all over my fence. Also his 9-foot-tall shed facing me is rusted. What can I do to improve my view so that I can enjoy my backyard more?
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

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