Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Thursday - October 30, 2014

From: Glendale, CA
Region: California
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Need shrubs for a privacy screen in Glendale CA
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


Dear. Mr. Smarty Plants I need to grow a tall hedge 15-20 feet minimum to block a condo complex which overlooks my back yard. I need a fast growing hedge which is non toxic to dogs and one which roots will not destroy concrete. I do not like. Italian cypress. Carolina cherry and Japanese yew were my choice and discovered they are toxic to animals I like in Glendale. California. Partial sunlight. Hard dirt Thank you


Mr. Smarty Plants often gets questions about privacy screens, so he is going to refer you to a previous question  from your neck of the woods. Be aware that privacy screens don't really grow as quickly as you might like

One of the plants mentioned, Lyonothamnus floribundus ssp. aspleniifolius (Fernleaf catalina ironwood), sounds like it may be a possibility for your situation.

more images and even more images.


More Shrubs Questions

How to Prune a Mountain Laurel to make it more tree like in Hendersen, NV
April 28, 2011 - How do I prune a Texas Mountain Laurel into a tree? Just bought a 15 gal. with two trunks above the crown. Was told that multiple trunks are their natural growth, which is OK. But all research call...
view the full question and answer

Teucrium resistant to Verticillium Wilt?
April 20, 2015 - Is Teucrium frutescans, or Bush Germander resistant to Verticillium Wilt? I cannot find it on a list anywhere.
view the full question and answer

Evergreen flowering shrub for North Augusta GA
July 12, 2009 - I need suggestions for shade-loving evergreen flowering bush that will grow 6 feet or so, besides azaleas.
view the full question and answer

Cenizos browning in Houston
October 01, 2011 - After this horrible drought, I am committed to xeriscaping with native Texas plants. The few hibiscus that survived have been transplanted into pots and are thriving. I bid the tiny boxwoods a fond fa...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs to hide neighborhood area in Philadelphia
April 04, 2010 - I live on a lane in Philadelphia, PA. Across the street from my home is a small hill with trees and beyond that is a driveway and homes. The neighbors that live in the homes dump their tree cuttings, ...
view the full question and answer

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