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

Wednesday - May 16, 2012

From: Lakeway, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Container Gardens, Deer Resistant, Privacy Screening
Title: Screening Planter Recommendations for Lakeway TX
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I live in Lakeway in a townhome. The parking lot is directly in front of my unit so I always see headlights and cars. The HOA has agreed to build a planter about 4 feet high to help hide the cars. Would you please suggest some plants other than Primrose or Rosemary that we could plant in the planter to provide a screen from the cars. The plants need to be deer resistant. Thank you so very much

ANSWER:

You are most welcome.  We’re all about native plants, so you can be sure that if Mr Smarty Plants suggests a Primrose or Rosemary – It’ll at least be a native variety!  You’re safe though, none of my investigations came up with those.

My normal method of finding suggestions is to bring up the “Recommended Species” page for your area, then search that listing for the characteristics you want [such as size or shade tolerance].  Unfortunately, for “Deer Resistance” you actually have to read the Plant Record, it’s near the bottom in a section named “BENEFIT”.

 Here are four other Mr Smarty Plants answers for similar questions.   This one has suggestions for an eight foot high screen in Austin.  Another uses a different method to find a privacy screen for a shaded area in Austin.  Some people [and perhaps you] would like evergreen shrubs, and here is another set of recommendations for shade near Austin.

When I went though these, five plants struck me a good candidates for your situation. You should consider these:
Rhus aromatica (Fragrant sumac) – 6-12 ft., High Deer Resistance
Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle) – 6-12 ft, moderate deer resistance
Amorpha fruticosa (Indigo bush) – 6-10 feet, moderate deer resistance
Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo) – 2-5 feet, High deer resistance
Sabal minor (Dwarf palmetto) – 5-10 feet, distinctively different!

Finally, please consider that planters need a bit more care and consideration than my normal “Stick it in the ground and watch it grow” approach.  The Wildflower Center has an excellent “How-to” article on container gardening, please keep these suggestions in mind!   Enjoy your screen!

 

From the Image Gallery


Fragrant sumac
Rhus aromatica

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Indigo bush
Amorpha fruticosa

Indigo bush
Amorpha fruticosa

Cenizo
Leucophyllum frutescens

Dwarf palmetto
Sabal minor

More Container Gardens Questions

Planting time, either by acorn or container grown tree, of Shumard red oak
April 12, 2006 - Hello, I have a question on when is the best time to plant shumard red oak. I live in Zone 7. thank you
view the full question and answer

Replanting a blue agave in Rio Rancho NM
January 11, 2010 - I have acquired a Blue Agave, approximately 4-5 ft high. It still appears quite healthy. It was used over the holiday season for display purposes in a liquor store. Unfortunately, the root ball has be...
view the full question and answer

Containerized citrus foliage deformed
January 02, 2008 - I have three 2-year old potted grapefruit trees that have recently developed problems with the emergence of new leaves. The new leaves are stunted, deformed, often with wavy edges. Although it did ...
view the full question and answer

Small tree for Northern California backyard
March 05, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I'm looking for a small tree for backyard (west side of house). I'm replacing a Calif.Laurel which is not doing well because it is planted on a downward slope and gets too m...
view the full question and answer

Planting horsetail indoors from Collierville TN
November 12, 2012 - I would like to plant horsetail indoors. Can it handle the inside? Will it try to go dormant or it that a temperature trigger which means it will not go dormant?
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