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 - September 05, 2011

From: Tampa, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Transplants, Shrubs
Title: Need shrubs to plant alongside a swimming pool in Tampa, FL.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I Have a 3 1/2 foot gap between my pool screen and back fence. This gap runs about 30 ft. long. I would like to place small trees to look beautiful and to grow 6-8 ft. high to screen out my neighbors. The space is moist and shady. I planted East Palatka holly trees about 3 months ago and they have all died. I'm not sure if it was because the soil was too moist or if it had something to do with the salt/chlorine being so close to the pool. Please let me know if you have any suggestions. Thank you for your time!

ANSWER:

East Palatka holly tree is a hybrid  of Ilex opaca (American holly) and Ilex cassine (Dahoon) that was discovered in Florida in 1927, and is also known as Ilex x attenuata ‘East Palatka’. From this first link, we learn that the tree prefers well drained soil, will grow in sun and part shade, and has moderate salt/chloride tolerance.

Given the short life span of your plants, Mr. Smarty Plants is suspecting transplant shock, perhaps because the roots of the plants were just too wet. I’m including links to three sites that do a good job of explaining this problem, and give tips for preventing it.

North Carolina State University

Northscaping.com

Gardeningknowhow.com

I found two other links that should allay your concerns about the chlorine in the pool water. One is from a previously answered question, and the other is from Cooperative Extension in Harnett County in North Carolina.

To look for other plants that might work in your situation, go to the Recommended Species List on our Native Plant Database Page. Clicking on Central Florida will bring up a list of 239 commercially available native species suitable for planned landscapes in Florida. That’s too many plants for now, so go to the “Narrow Your Search” box and make the following selections: select Florida under State, shrub under Habit, and Perennial under Lifespan. Select part shade under Light Requirement, and Moist under Soil moisture. Click on the Narrow Your Search Button and your list shrinks to 54. Clicking on the scientific name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page that contains a description of the plant, its growth requirements, and photos. Look for plants whose growth requirements meet your growing conditions.

 

More Shrubs Questions

Need Small Native Shrub in Dallas, TX
September 17, 2010 - We live in Dallas and are looking for a dwarf bush that we can plant in the space between the sidewalk and the street in front of our house. It would receive full sun to partial shade. We would like...
view the full question and answer

Trees and shrubs for South Austin
April 18, 2011 - I live in South Austin about 5 miles east of LBJ Wildflower Center. Soil: about 2" apparently amended, about 2 inches black soil, then hard caliche. What trees or large shrubs would be able to sur...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrubs for full sun in North Carolina
October 21, 2009 - We need suggestions for native NC evergreen shrubs that will grow well in full sun for a school garden. Most of what I've found likes part shade. We need something that will not be over 10 feet or ca...
view the full question and answer

Leaf burn on hydrangeas
July 11, 2008 - What causes my leaves to burn on my healthy hydrangeas?
view the full question and answer

Suitability of Carolina Cherry Laurel for Bulverde TX
October 24, 2012 - The local Home Depot is selling Carolina Cherry Laurel Trees. They look beautiful. Is this a good tree for Bulverde TX..20 miles north of San Antonio? Can it survive? Will it be a high maintenance...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center