Explore Plants

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
    
 

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)

 

 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Shrubs/ Trees for Privacy Screening on Cape Cod
April 17, 2012 - Hi, I need a recommendation for a row of trees/shrubs that I can put on my boundary line to block my neighbor. It's in a wooded area that I could thin somewhat. I would need them to be fast growing...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen hedge for Dallas-Fort Worth area
May 18, 2010 - Our red tip photina hedge is slowly succumbing to black spot and we'll need to replace it within the year. (Yes, I now understand red tips come in two varieties: diseased and about to become disease...
view the full question and answer

Trees to replace Ligustrums, and evergreen vines for privacy screen
January 21, 2008 - We had 3 ligustrum trees growing along a creek bank in our back yard and under the City of Austin power lines. Our backyard is on a terrace about 7 feet above the creek's flood plain. The Ligustrums ...
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

Need to know how to plant trees to create a windbreak in Ashburn, VA.
May 06, 2010 - I want to know how to plant trees to create windbreaks. I live on a slope of a hill, the front of the house is steep and the back of the house has neighbors in a cul de sac. I swear I live in a wind...
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.