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

Locating Rosa rugosa for Massachusetts
May 09, 2006 - There is a shrub that grows out on the Cape especially at the beach. I have always called it Beach Rose and I have heard other people call it a Beach Plum. However, the most recent picture of a Beac...
view the full question and answer

Replacing yellow bells with hibiscus from San Antonio
July 03, 2012 - Help! Will the roots of the yellow bells keep sprouting if I've removed the shrub? I'm replacing it with a hibiscus shrub. Will it do well in the same spot where the yellow bells were?
view the full question and answer

Pruning of wax myrtle in St. Augustine FL
May 30, 2009 - How severely can we prune our wax myrtle? It had grown 10 feet tall and very spindly and we want it to be a border hedge in front of the preserve in back of our yard.
view the full question and answer

Low-Maintenance Hedge for Massachusetts
February 17, 2014 - I want to put in a native low-maintenance hedge in a sunny spot with plants that can take dry soil. I would like the plants to grow to less than 4 feet wide. It can be an informal hedge, but I don't ...
view the full question and answer

Drought tolerant privacy plants for Flagstaff AZ
March 19, 2013 - We need a fast growing drought tolerant tree that will grow in Flagstaff AZ/Parks AZ. Neighbors are hoarders and we want privacy fence to cover the mess. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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