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
1 rating

Tuesday - April 09, 2013

From: Burleson, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Privacy Screening
Title: Privacy hedge for Burleson, TX.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I moved out to the country away from the hustle and bustle only to find that I have less privacy out there because of open land. I hear children screaming and dogs barking from 1/4 mile away. I want to plant a privet hedge and am thinking of using wax leaf ligustrum. I have 7 1/2 acres and cannot afford to cover the entire fence line. I have some mature ones on another property. Can I propagate and if so what type of propagation is best? It will be next to a fence where we keep cows. If they are able to reach some of the branches, will the wax leaf make them sick? Do you have a suggestion for something that would work better and grow quicker?

ANSWER:

Unfortunately, there are no plant screens of any kind that will silence screaming children and barking dogs. 

For a visual screen, we can give you a couple recommendations.  Juniperus virginiana, Juniperus ashei or Juniperus pinchotii might work for you as evergreen screens.  Of these species, Juniperus virginiana is probably the most attractive and the most likely to be available in nurseries.  Cattle will not eat juniper leaves.

Because the mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated solely to the study and promotion of native species, we cannot recommend any Ligustrum species or any other non-native plants.  Privets (Ligustrum spp.) are particularly problematic invasive species in Texas and should not be planted by anyone.  In many areas, privets have overwhelmed entire ecosystems.  We strongly encourage you not to plant privets on your land.

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Need suggestions for plants to form a privacy hedge in Granbury, TX.
April 14, 2011 - We live on a rocky hill in Hood County, Tx. and need suggestions for evergreen anything that will provide privacy. Red Cedars were added in October 2010 and it looks as if half of those are dying. He...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen privacy screen in California
February 18, 2015 - Hello, My family and I just bought a house in Paradise CA. I want to.plant privacy plants that are native to northern California. I would like the plant to be green all year but drought resistant if...
view the full question and answer

Plants for pool area in Fort Worth
April 20, 2010 - We have a new pool in our backyard, and now also quite a bit of bare land to go with it. Looking for native grass suggestions and also shrubs/trees that I can plant around the pool area for privacy an...
view the full question and answer

Barrier Planting in Boston
January 29, 2013 - I live in the Boston area and a school is being built right behind my property. The school kindly left me a 100' barrier that includes some 40' high pines, a couple of tall oaks and some spindly po...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen screen for newly constructed metal building
March 31, 2010 - Neighbor built a 12' tall metal building right by my gate. I want to screen it with fast-growing evergreen natives. I have lots of ashe juniper on my property, but none where I need it now! Can AJ...
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