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?

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
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

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

Tree and vine for shade and privacy
June 03, 2008 - We recently added a deck in our backyard which faces west, we live in Circle C (southwest Austin). The afternoon sun is intense so we're looking to plant something along our fence line to provide sh...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen Privacy Screen for Maryland
November 19, 2012 - I am looking for an evergreen that will suffice to be planted as a privacy screen between my property and my neighbors. Looking to plant a row at the property line. The lot is shaded most of the d...
view the full question and answer

Competition between Horseherb and Chickweed
July 04, 2014 - Ok, sorry I did it wrong the 1st time!? I live in Houston, and I have chickens! I also have mass amounts of Horseherb, and I want to buy some chickweed seeds and plant it for my chickens! My question ...
view the full question and answer

Selection of shade tree and distance from house
February 19, 2008 - I live in California in zone 8b. I have seen the lists of trees for my area. I am still not clear on what tree to select. I would like to plant a nice tall shady tree very close to my house, but I wan...
view the full question and answer

Should Solanum eleagnifolium, silverleaf nightshade, be removed from yard
October 01, 2009 - I live in Upstate NY. I'm quite sure, after checking many sites/pictures, that I have a couple specimens of Silver Leaf Night Shade (Solanum elaeagnifolium) growing in the "wild" portion of my side...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center