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 - February 06, 2013

From: Glen Rose, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Hiding a chicken house from Glen Rose TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

To hide a chicken house, which do you recommend, crape myrtles or chinese photinias?

ANSWER:

First, here is a previous Smarty Plants answer that tells you what we think of photinia. What we think is "don't do it."

Second, another previous Smarty Plants answer that discusses the also non-native Lagerstroemia indica (Crape Myrtle).

Since we explained in both those previous answers why we don't recommend non-native plants, we will go to our Native Plant Database and find some shrubs native to your area in Somervell County, TX. Following that link to our database and using the Combination Search, we will select on "Texas" for the state, "shrub" for Habit or General Appearance and "evergreen" for duration, so you will have coverage year-round.

Our highest recommenation would go to Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon). It is a tough evergreen shrub which will remain fairly dense year-round.

Two more that we would also recommend but might be slightly out of their native range in Sommervell County are Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo) and Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle).

Follow each link to our webpage on that plant, read growing conditions, light requirements, soil and water needs. Woody plants, such as trees and shrubs should be planted in late fall or winter, before the sizzling heat of summer comes along.

 

More Shrubs Questions

Low evergreen drought-resistant shrubs for area in partial shade
January 03, 2014 - I promised my mom to help her with some new plants for her house, so here goes. She lives near Waco on Blackland clay soil. The problem area is right in front of the house. It only receives a few hour...
view the full question and answer

Need a drought resistant, maintenance free tree in Thomasville, GA.
April 20, 2012 - I have been through many tree forums and asked several nurseries about a good tree to plant but nobody has provided an adequate answer and I hope you can help. I live in SW Georgia (Zone 8) and need ...
view the full question and answer

Trees & Shrubs for a NY Slope
July 03, 2012 - Our community has a large steep slope (100'high by at least 600' wide) that is sunny & dry. The builders planted "wild flower seeds" on the slope that is now just weeds. We would like to know what...
view the full question and answer

Cool, wet summer effect on evergreen sumac
August 28, 2007 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I have 3 evergreen sumac bushes that I planted as a screen between my house and my neighbors two years ago. They are located in a part of our yard that receives a lot of runof...
view the full question and answer

Pruning of non-native Senna bicapsularis from Ocean Springs MS
April 04, 2013 - I have 4 Senna plants (cassia bicapsularis) that I planted late last spring. They about 3-4 feet tall but are very gangly with leaves at or near the tips only. How should I prune them to encourage g...
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