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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Saturday - May 04, 2013

From: Simpsonville, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shade Tolerant, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Privacy screen from Simpsonville SC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My neighbor cut down his part of our shared woods so now we see his whole "outside patio area". What kinds of fast growing shade loving trees and shrubs can we plant on our property line that will completely block our view of him?

ANSWER:

Before we begin, let us give you some caveats (that means we can't do everything you want us to)

1.  The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but also to the area in which those plants have evolved; in your case, Greenville Co., northeastern South Carolina. This helps ensure that plants chosen are already accustomed to climate, soils and rainfall when you plant them.

2. Fast-growing woody plants (trees and shrubs) tend to be short-lived. The speed of growth can depend on the amount of sunlight, the soil and temperature.

3. Completely blocking out a view would probably take years to achieve. We suggest a group of different types of plants, with different heights and textures, to distract the eye and focus on the attractiveness of the plants nearer the viewer.

With all that in mind, we will go to our Native Plant Database, scroll down to Combination Search, select South Carolina on the drop-down menu for State, "tree" under Habit, and "part shade" (2 to 6 hours of sun a day) under Light Requirements. We will run succeeding searches with "shrub," "grass" and "herb" (herbaceous blooming plant) under Habit, leaving other specifications the same. We will check to ascertain that each plant we select does grow natively in your area. You can follow each plant link on our list to our webpage on that plant to determine growing conditions, soil moisture and type, etc. There were many more selections in each category, so we invite you to utilize the database and go looking for plants that suit you better.

Trees for Northeastern South Carolina:

Ilex opaca (American holly)

Juniperus virginiana (Eastern red cedar)

Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon)

Pinus taeda (Loblolly pine)

Prunus angustifolia (Chickasaw plum

Vaccinium arboreum (Farkleberry)

Shrubs:

Kalmia latifolia (Mountain laurel)

Rhododendron maximum (Great laurel)

Herbaceous Blooming Plants:

Agalinis purpurea (Purple false foxglove)

Aruncus dioicus (Bride's feathers)

Grasses or Grass-like:

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Schizachyrium scoparium (Little bluestem)

 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern swamp privet
Forestiera acuminata

Eastern red cedar
Juniperus virginiana

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Loblolly pine
Pinus taeda

Chickasaw plum
Prunus angustifolia

Farkleberry
Vaccinium arboreum

Mountain laurel
Kalmia latifolia

Great laurel
Rhododendron maximum

Purple false foxglove
Agalinis purpurea

Bride's feathers
Aruncus dioicus

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

Little bluestem
Schizachyrium scoparium

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