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

Monday - June 06, 2011

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Privacy hedge that can be trimmed
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

Please help us find a screening plant or tree (preferably native and evergreen with flowering and/or berries) which is non-invasive, not a vine, at least six feet tall if not taller, which can be easily shaped or trimmed without harm. We have a six foot tall bull-wire fence and the neighbors will want to cut the plant close to the fence on their side. We will want to keep it thick on our side. Our planting area is about two feet wide and borders our drive. Thank you so much!

ANSWER:

Here are a few suggestions that should satisfy your requirements.

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)  It is evergreen, has pretty red berries and makes a good wildlife plant. It is a great plant to use in a hedge because it grows dense and twiggy.  But it grows slowly so you would have to be very patient.  You need male and female plants to have berries.  But you can usually only buy female plants. These are pretty drought tolerant after they get established but like a little more water than some others.

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)This is a fast growing solution.  It is also a draw for the little myrtle warblers.  It will grow as a large shrub and can be trimmed.  It is evergreen and requires male and female plants to make the fragrant berries. Once established, it is drought and flood tolerant.

 Cupressus arizonica (Arizona cypress) is a beautiful, fast-growing evergreen that is used for windbreaks.  It grows 30-40 feet tall and 15 -20 feet wide.  It might be too large for your space, but it is often used as a screen

Juniperus virginiana (Eastern red cedar) This tree can also be used as a screen, especially if you choose one of the varieties well suited for that purpose.

 

From the Image Gallery


Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Eastern red cedar
Juniperus virginiana

Arizona cypress
Hesperocyparis arizonica

More Privacy Screening Questions

Need suggestions for plants to form a privacy hedge in Austin, TX.
April 14, 2011 - I live on a corner lot with the backyard facing a busy street. My lot is 4 feet lower than street level. I am looking for a privacy screen to plant along this North facing side. I have a canopy of ...
view the full question and answer

Hedge plant for Maui.
February 17, 2009 - Question: I live in Pukalani, Maui, Hawaii and would like to put a "living fence" around my yard for some privacy. Ideally, I want something that is going to grow fast and about 8+ feet tall for a h...
view the full question and answer

Alternate native plants for bamboo as a privacy screen in Austin, TX.
July 26, 2011 - Can you recommend a bamboo that I can plant, acting as a privacy screen, reaching at least 10'-12'? We are looking for a bamboo that does not spread, and can take the afternoon sun. It will be pla...
view the full question and answer

Eight Foot Screen for Austin, TX
September 01, 2011 - I'm looking for a fast-growing shrub to "extend" the height of my fence and provide privacy in my yard in Austin. My lot is pretty much full sun and very dry, mostly clay soil. 8' is my goal. Than...
view the full question and answer

Hedgerow to block sounds and scenes of traffic
May 01, 2011 - What would make the best year round hedgerow to block the sight and sounds of traffic 60 feet from my house?
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