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

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

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Need perennials for a long shady bed in Wantagh, NY.
May 25, 2010 - Looking for perennials to be planted in long narrow beds that receive mostly shade with late day sun. Reside in Long Island, New York. Thank you
view the full question and answer

Small area native plant gardening for an apartment
November 14, 2008 - Mr.Smarty, We live in an apartment and are fortunate to have a small area, 5'x5', and so want color! Here in Houston the winters don't freeze much and the summers are HOT. Luckily, we are in the ...
view the full question and answer

Plant that can move from outside to inside for Denton, TX
December 14, 2008 - I am looking for a plant that is either native to Texas or is well acclimated to the Denton TX area that can move from a covered outside area to an adjacent indoor area behind large glass walls, to a ...
view the full question and answer

Good evergreen screen and some shade plants for Plano Texas
November 03, 2010 - We live in Plano Texas. We have 15' between our house and our neighbor. We want to plant a divider/screen of something evergreen, about 6-15' (6-8' is better) and narrow, about 2-3' wide between t...
view the full question and answer

Ornamental plants for under live oaks
September 08, 2008 - What ornamental plant will do well under Live Oak trees?
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