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?


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 - April 19, 2013

From: St. Martinville, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Lists, Privacy Screening, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Privacy Screen for Heavy Clay and Full Sun in Louisiana
Answered by: Anne Van Nest


What would be a fast-growing plant for privacy in Louisiana? I have heavy clay and full sun.


The first place to go to find a list of potential plants is our Native Plant Database.  Use the Combination Search feature instead of Recommended Species. This will provide a bigger selection with much more choice to narrow down. The volunteers and staff at the Wildflower Center who maintain the database have partners in different regions to help with these recommended species lists based on what is easy to access in local nurseries.

Under Combination Search, select the following categories: Louisiana, Habit – Shrub then search again for Tree, Duration – Perennial, Light Requirement – Sun, Leaf Retention - evergreen. This will give you 12 plants to consider after some plants were ruled out because they didn't like heavy clay. Next you can narrow down your search further by size, flower color, and soil moisture (dry, moist or wet) requirements. Once you have your list of a few possibilities, then consider their rate of growth and see if they meet your requirements.

Shrubs to consider:

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Lycium carolinianum (Carolina wolfberry)

Morella caroliniensis (Southern bayberry)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Trees to consider:

Ilex opaca (American holly)

Juniperus virginiana (Eastern red cedar)

Maclura pomifera (osage orange)

Pinus palustris (longleaf pine)

Prunus angustifolia (chickasaw plum)

Prunus carolianiana (cherry laurel)

Quercus virginiana (coastal live oak)

Sideroxylon lanuginosum ssp. rigidum (brazos bumelia)


From the Image Gallery

Ilex vomitoria

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

American holly
Ilex opaca

Eastern red cedar
Juniperus virginiana

Osage orange
Maclura pomifera

Longleaf pine
Pinus palustris

Chickasaw plum
Prunus angustifolia

Cherry laurel
Prunus caroliniana

Coastal live oak
Quercus virginiana

Brazos bumelia
Sideroxylon lanuginosum ssp. rigidum

More Trees Questions

Planning garden tasks in advance from Austin
January 03, 2012 - My yard was a disaster last year-grass and trees browning, early leaf fall on flowering plants, and water bills sky high, even with the limited watering days. What can I do this year to prevent this s...
view the full question and answer

Live oaks exhibiting white foam spots from Round Rock, TX
June 08, 2014 - We have several native very large Live Oak in our backyard, and this summer we have noticed white foam spots on the branches. We live in Round Rock next to the Williamson County Park. The spots look...
view the full question and answer

School children planting trees native to Oklahoma and North Texas
December 07, 2009 - Hello, I'll be going into grade school classrooms to teach children how to plant trees. Perhaps they will each plant a seed in a cup to take home to plant in their yard. I may even be able to get see...
view the full question and answer

Diagnosis of problem and treatment of damaged Cedar Elm
February 01, 2007 - Part of our mature Cedar Elm looked damaged last summer. We were advised by a landscape designer to spray it with Kocide in late January as a treatment. Is there an alternative to this? Should we h...
view the full question and answer

Why are the eastern red cedars in Bastrop/Travis County turning brown?
May 11, 2009 - I live on the Bastrop/Travis county, TX line and have many eastern red cedars on my property. About 10 of them are dying and it has happened quickly with the onset of the warmer weather. I noticed d...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center