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

Friday - June 15, 2012

From: Las Vegas, NV
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Need a privacy screen beside a pool in Las Vegas, NV.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Hi, I need to plant a privacy screen fence next to the pool. There is only 4-5 feet between the wall and the pool. That leaves only about 2 feet for soil. What are my best options for non invasive root shrubs or small trees that grow up to 10-12 feet height. thank you,

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants is having trouble visualizing the situation that you have. Is there already a wall around the pool?
 Lets deal with the tree first; most 10 - 12 ‘ trees are going to have a crown about the same diameter and a root system that is at least twice that size. That doesn’t sound like a good fit, so lets look at shrubs which will have less invasive root systems.

We’ll start by going to  our Native Plant Database and use the Combination Search option. Select Nevada under State, shrub under General Appearance, and perennial under Lifespan. Check  sun under Light Requirement, and dry under Soil Moisture. Click the Submit combination Search button and you get 49 native species that meet these criteria. Clicking on the scientific name of each species will bring up its NPIN page that contains the characteristics of the plant, its growth requirements and, in most cases, photos. As you go through the list, look for  plants that match your growing conditions. Be aware that you will probably need to prune the plants you select as they grow to keep them within the space that you have.

Here are a few possibilities
Rhus virens (Evergreen sumac) 

Ceanothus greggii (Desert ceanothus)

Purshia tridentata (Antelope bitterbrush)

For some help closer to home, you might contact the folks at the Clatk County office of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.
 

 

From the Image Gallery


Evergreen sumac
Rhus virens

Desert ceanothus
Ceanothus greggii

Antelope bitterbrush
Purshia tridentata

More Shrubs Questions

Holes in leaves of wax myrtle from Austin
April 30, 2011 - I just purchased 4 of the 5 gallon Wax Myrtles at the last spring plant sale and after planting them, they are getting eaten by bugs leaving holes in the leaves. I can't find any of the bugs doing th...
view the full question and answer

Fragrant native plants for San Antonio, TX
August 19, 2009 - I live in San Antonio, Texas, and I am re-landscaping my backyard after my dog ate some of the beautiful blooming oleander and had to spend some time at the vet's. My backyard is my sanctuary, and it...
view the full question and answer

Bottlebrush buckeye not leafing out from Newburyport MA
June 11, 2013 - We have a bottlebrush buckeye bush that has grown and blossomed for 16 years. This spring the bush failed to produce any leaves and there are no buds in anticipation of leaves. There are a few smaller...
view the full question and answer

Short evergreen shrub for Virginia
April 10, 2009 - I have been looking everywhere for an evergreen shrub that is 3-4 ft. in height, non-poisonous to humans, and that thrives in zone 7 to no avail. Please help!
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrub with fall color in Round Rock, TX
September 21, 2009 - I am looking for a shrub that has fall color much like the burning bush euonymus, but needs to be evergreen the rest of the year since it will be used as a foundation plant. Are there any plants that...
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