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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.

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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.

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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!

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Tuesday - September 03, 2013

From: El Sobrante, CA
Region: California
Topic: Drought Tolerant, Shrubs
Title: Fast-growing drought-resistant hedge for California
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

We're looking for a fast growing, drought resistant shrub that will grow in clay soil and can be used for a hedge around our property.

ANSWER:

California wax myrtle would seem to be an ideal choice.  It is relatively fast-growing and can be trained to form a compact hedge if desired.  It does require water when first getting established but is then drought tolerant.   Besides the fact that you have clay soil I and prefer drought-resistance am not sure what your site is like.  I will list a number of natives suited for a variety of climatic conditions in California.  Check them out for suitability in the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Plant Database. Some may need more moisture than you wish.

Baccharis pilularis (Coyotebrush), Ceanothus velutinus (Snowbrush), Chrysolepis sempervirens (Bush chinquapin)(see photos), Dendromecon rigida (Tree poppy), Eriogonum fasciculatum (Eastern mojave buckwheat), Holodiscus discolor (Oceanspray), Rosa californica (California rose)(check photos and more information) and Rosa woodsii (Woods' rose),

These plants may be available at one of your local plant nurseries.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Coyotebrush
Baccharis pilularis

Snowbrush
Ceanothus velutinus

Tree poppy
Dendromecon rigida

Ocean spray
Holodiscus discolor

Woods' rose
Rosa woodsii

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