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

Ilex vomitoria

Evergreen sumac
Rhus virens

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Leucophyllum frutescens

Vachellia farnesiana

Bluewood condalia
Condalia hookeri

More Privacy Screening Questions

Need a shrub to conceal a privacy fence in Knightdale, NC.
August 03, 2011 - Could you recommend a medium-sized shrub/bush (max height of 6-7 feet) to plant along a privacy fence (purpose is to conceal the fence from the street view per HOA)? I live in Zone 8.
view the full question and answer

Plants for privacy hedge in North Las Vegas
October 29, 2007 - My lot is in North Las Vegas. Looking to plant something that will be a privacy hedge. Full sun with horrible soil. Local nursery suggested the following: Green Cloud and Gray Cloud Texas Sage, Feat...
view the full question and answer

Noise buffering by native plants in Austin, TX
March 30, 2008 - I live in Austin in a neighborhood that is bordered on one side by highway 183 and on the other by MoPac and the train tracks. Even though I am least a three blocks from the closest highway, the traf...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrubs for screening in Hays County, Texas
January 26, 2010 - Help! I bought 2 acres in Driftwood and built a small house. Last year, the neighbor moved in a dilapidated old mobile home right on the fence line and I feel all my peace is gone. What is the fast...
view the full question and answer

May 01, 2015 - Greetings! I am hoping to gain privacy on a 30' swath with existing 6' privacy fence, I need about 14' of height to hide unsightly apartments. Location is full sun without a nearby spigot, I can ...
view the full question and answer

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