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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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 Privacy Screening Questions

Evergreen shrub for screen in Bellville, Texas
October 03, 2009 - Would you please recommend a dense evergreen for a living screen in Bellville, TX (Austin County) that will receive full sun? Fast growing and a minimum height of 8' are preferred.
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Covering dead arborvitae with non-native ivy from Niles MI
April 14, 2013 - I have a severely thinning arborvitae hedge. It is probably too shady, but I want the privacy. I'm thinking of planting something like ivy to fill the gaps. I know it will probably kill the hedge, bu...
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September 28, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I need a tree for screen and privacy. Our neighbors are building a second story. We will loose our privacy and our patio will be like a fish bowl. I will plant it about 2 fee...
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Construction problems on site in Mansfield OH
April 28, 2012 - Last year we had a rectangular above ground pool put in the person who "leveled" for use did a terrible job and basically dug a huge hole for us to put our pool in. The back side of the pool is abou...
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