En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Need shrubs to plant alongside a swimming pool in Tampa, FL.

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

Native plants for southwest exposure in Tulsa OK
April 24, 2008 - I want to plant something in a bed on the South side of my house with some Western exposure. The space is in a bed that would share space with a Red Tip Photinia (next to the house)& liriope( on the ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for screen in Colleyville TX
March 12, 2009 - My soil is pure sand that goes down as far as I can dig. I am needing native plants to use as a screen, that grow to be 6-10 ft. tall. Also, since my plantings dry out so quickly, would it be helpfu...
view the full question and answer

Chlorosis in yaupon from San Angelo TX
April 08, 2012 - Thank you for your information on the yaupon holly. We just finished clearing out the mulch and the red ground cover that popped up. I will quit watering it as much as the rest of the plants. Our y...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Podocarpus macrophyllus in Ft Worth TX
November 12, 2011 - I know this question does not pertain to a native plant but I've spent too much time not finding an answer to my question. I have many mature Podocarpus macrophyllus bushes at my house I purchased in...
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

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