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

Wednesday - June 26, 2013

From: Winston-Salem, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Privacy Screening of House Next Door in NC
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

Hello, I live in the house my parents bought in 1971 in Winston-Salem, NC. The house beside me is an eyesore and for sale at a very low price. I am afraid the condition of the house and yard next door will continue to deteriorate or I may end up with undesirable neighbors. I need to put up a privacy screen between my driveway and the yard next door ASAP (hopefully before the house next door sells). What kind of tree or bush grows best for my area, hopefully something fast growing that will provide a good privacy screen? The area is in partial sun.

ANSWER:

The first place to go to find a list of potential plants for your privacy screen 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: State – North Carolina, Habit – tree, shrub, Duration – perennial, Leaf Retention – semi-evergreen and evergreen, Light Requirement – part shade, Soil Moisture – moist, Size – 12-36 ft. You can narrow down this search further by indicating blooming time and bloom color too if you like.
These search criteria will give you several trees and shrubs to consider then you will have to look at the ultimate width to see if they will fit in your space, how dense of a plant you need, and how tall they have to be to screen your view. Follow each plant link to our webpage for that plant to learn its growing conditions, bloom time, etc. At the bottom of each plant webpage, under Additional Resources, there is a link to the USDA webpage for that plant. Take a look there for more specific details about suitability before you put them on your final planting list.

Some trees and shrubs to consider:

Ilex coriacea (large gallberry)

Ilex glabra (inkberry)

Ilex myrtifolia (myrtle dahoon)

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Juniperus virginiana var. silicicola (Southern red-cedar)

Leucothoe fontanesiana (drooping leucothoe)

Lyonia lucida (fetterbush lyonia)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Osmanthus americanus (devilwood)

Rhododendron maximum (great laurel)

Prunus caroliniana (cherry laurel)

Taxus canadensis (Canada yew) 

 

From the Image Gallery


Inkberry
Ilex glabra

Myrtle dahoon
Ilex myrtifolia

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Highland doghobble
Leucothoe fontanesiana

Fetterbush lyonia
Lyonia lucida

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Devilwood
Osmanthus americanus

Devilwood
Osmanthus americanus

Great laurel
Rhododendron maximum

Cherry laurel
Prunus caroliniana

More Privacy Screening Questions

Privacy screen for Canyon Lake, TX
February 07, 2014 - I need some help. I live near the Guadalupe River in Canyon Lake, TX and my backyard faces a busy street. I need a fast growing thick shrub for my backyard for privacy since I cannot afford a fence at...
view the full question and answer

Plants to augment a privacy fence in Virginia Beach.
February 24, 2009 - I live in Virginia Beach, VA and I have a small back yard about 75 ft deep and 60 ft wide. We have a six ft privacy fence but still have many undesirable views over the fence I would love to block out...
view the full question and answer

Screening plant for wall in Florida
February 26, 2010 - Hi Mr. Smarty Pants, I live near Tampa, FL and I want to put a line of privacy plants/hedges along a brick wall. The wall is 6' high with openings in the top 3' of the wall. The length of the w...
view the full question and answer

Shrub to screen backyard and block noise
March 14, 2009 - I'm trying to find a shrub to screen my backyard and block noise. I want something I can plant along the 60ft of my back fence that would get between 8 and 10 ft tall. I would like something that att...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs with fragrant flowers for screening in NY
October 27, 2010 - I'm trying to find a bush or shrub to screen my backyard and block noise. I want something I can plant along the fence that would get between 6 and 8 ft tall. Something neat, and if possible with fra...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center