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?


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

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


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.


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

Baccharis pilularis

Ceanothus velutinus

Tree poppy
Dendromecon rigida

Holodiscus discolor

Woods' rose
Rosa woodsii

More Drought Tolerant Questions

Plants for a sunny, sandy site in Central Texas
January 22, 2015 - I live between La Grange and Schulenburg, Texas. My soil is sandy. Full sun, no trees. I am a senior citizen with limited funds who is allergic to Rye and Bermuda grass. I tried planting a lawn of...
view the full question and answer

Replacing Drought-Stricken Cedars
January 16, 2012 - Hello, I live in Williamson County on a couple acres. We have several dead cedars as a result of drought; we're reluctant to cut them down because many of them provide a friendly barrier between us...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for a Sunny, Steep Slope in Maryland
April 29, 2013 - I need a groundcover for a sunny dry steep slope in Towson, Maryland. The slope goes from the parking lot down to a deck area.
view the full question and answer

Drought tolerant plants for IN
August 23, 2011 - What are some plants that would do well in an east facing area near my front door? I live in Indianapolis IN. I need something that is drought resistant and will fill in a 4x3 foot walled off area th...
view the full question and answer

Drought tolerant vine for Austin, Texas
May 17, 2014 - What kind of drought-tolerant vine can I plant outside my screened in porch in Austin, Texas, that will stay on a trellis and not grow into the screen?
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center