Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

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 - November 08, 2014

From: Canyon Lake, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Care of non-native Buddha Belly bamboos
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I have several budha belly bamboos. They froze down last winter. I have got them back to 5 ft. I need them around 8-10 for privacy. Any suggestions? Also how to I protect them this winter?


Our focus and expertise at the Lady Bird Johnson Wilflower Center is with plants native to North America and Bambusa ventricosa (Buddha's Belly Bamboo) is native to Southern China.  Therefore, we are NOT the ones to be asking about its care.   I suggest that you search the internet for its care using its botanical name, i.e., "Bambusa vetricosa care".

We can suggest, however, several plants native to the Canyon Lake area that would make good privacy screens and, being native, VERY unlikely to freeze during the winter.  They should also withstand other environmental challenges such as the soil type, heat and drought conditions.  Since you are seeking privacy screening I assume you want something that is evergreen.   Here are a few native shrubs that are found in Comal County, are evergreen and would make good privacy hedges:

Garrya ovata ssp. lindheimeri (Lindheimer's silktassel)  Here is more information from Aggie Horticulture.

Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon)  Here is more information from USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Rhus virens (Evergreen sumac)  Here is more information from Aggie Horticulture.

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel)  Here is more information from Arid Zone Trees.

Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo)  Here is more information from American Beauty Native Plants.

Acacia farnesiana (Huisache)  Here is more information from Aggie Horticulture.

Condalia hookeri (Bluewood condalia)  Here is more information from Aggie Horticulture.


From the Image Gallery

Lindheimer's silktassel
Garrya ovata ssp. lindheimeri

Ilex vomitoria

Evergreen sumac
Rhus virens

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Leucophyllum frutescens

Vachellia farnesiana

Bluewood condalia
Condalia hookeri

More Non-Natives Questions

New plant introductions in Georgia.
October 15, 2009 - Can you list 5-10 brand new plants to the marketplace this 2009-2010 season for my area in GA? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in non-native Mexican Ruda
July 14, 2006 - I hope that you can help me. I planted some Mexican Ruda in a large pot. Planted it in good soil. The plant is not doing well. It's droopy and drying out. I watered it every other day. It is in t...
view the full question and answer

What causes peach fruit to ooze sap?
July 27, 2009 - I have a peach tree at our new house. The peaches are small and yellow but appeared healthy. Now it looks like they are oozing or weeping sap out of several places on each one. I dont know if its a di...
view the full question and answer

Request for seeds or cuttings for Malvaceae from French Botanical Garden
September 03, 2011 - hello We create a botanical garden devoted to the Malvaceae, can you help us by sending us seeds or cuttings? friendly the director jean-marie Jolicard botanical garden beaulieu 23170 LÚpaud F...
view the full question and answer

Blossoms blowing off non-native navel orange tree from Ocala FL
September 08, 2009 - Why do the blossoms blow off navel orange tree?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.