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
1 rating

Tuesday - July 26, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Privacy Screening
Title: Alternate native plants for bamboo as a privacy screen in Austin, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

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 planted in the Oak Hill area of Austin, TX. Thank you!

ANSWER:

The short answer is yes and no, but first a word from our sponsor. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plants grow natively. The one species of bamboo that is native to North America is Arundinaria gigantea ( see also) It prefers moist habitats, and may not present the look that you want.

The other species of bamboo that you see in landscapes are non-native, and as such, fall outside the focus of the Wildflower Center. We catch heat for that stance (see previous question), but native plants are what we do.

One of the attractions to bamboo plants is that they are some of the fastest growing plants on the planet. This also means that some of them can be terribly invasive, and terribly hard to get rid of.

What I would like to do is point out some alternatives to using bamboo as a privacy screen. Mr. Smarty Plants is continuously receiving inquires about which plants to use for privacy screens, so he is going to refer you to several previously answered questions on this topic. Its like a sharing of the ancient wisdom of the “Green Gurus” if you will. Most of these will be from Texas.

In these answers, you will find directions for using our Native Plant Database, and lists of plants that have been suggested for various locations. Some of the answers have links to other previous questions that Mr. Smarty Plants has answered.

6810

6639

4355

1887

5327

In an attempt to appear fair and balanced, here is a link to the Texas Bamboo Society.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

TIF 419 Bermudagrass vs. Zoysia
September 03, 2008 - I'm currently faced with the decision to sod my yard with TIF 419 or Zoysia. Zoysia is double the price so my knee jerk reaction is to go with Bermuda. Proponents of Zoysia claim it requires less m...
view the full question and answer

List of North American plants grown in other countries
August 17, 2008 - I am working on a childrens story and would like to let the teachers who read this book know where some of the native plants in my book grow throughout the world, or if they grow outside of the USA. p...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
May 12, 2012 - I don't know if they are native or not, My mom bought some plants at an event at the Dallas Convention Center that all had rocks and little dirt that they sat on. The bases of the plants were large a...
view the full question and answer

Fruit fly maggots attacking non-native Grumichama in Lake Worth FL
March 12, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants How do I prevent fruit fly maggots from attacking my Grumichama fruit?
view the full question and answer

Replacement for non-native Italian Cypress in Austin
July 10, 2011 - I would appreciate your assistance with some native plant options to replace Italian Cypress trees in the Arboretum area of Austin, TX. I have 12 of the trees on the north side of the house to obstru...
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