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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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

QUESTION:

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?

ANSWER:

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

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Evergreen sumac
Rhus virens

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Cenizo
Leucophyllum frutescens

Huisache
Vachellia farnesiana

Bluewood condalia
Condalia hookeri

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