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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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Tuesday - March 31, 2015

From: Cedar Creek, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Need plants to provide a privacy screen in Cedar Creek, TX
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

We need to screen out neighbor's house. What can we plant (fast growing tree or hedge) in partial shade? Area is dry in summer, but does get soggy during heavy rain. We live east of Austin in Cedar Creek.

ANSWER:

Lets try a two-pronged approach, and start by going to the NPIN Database  to come up with a list of plants. Using the Combination Search feature, Select Texas under state, Shrub under habit, and Perennial under Duration. Check Partial shade under Light Requirement, Dry under Soil Moisture, and 12 - 36 ft under Height. Click the Submit combination search Buton and you will get a list of 11 plants that meet these criteria. Clicking on the Scientific name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page that has the characteristics of the plant, its growing conditions, and in most cases images. Redo the search, this time selecting Tree under Habit, and your list will expand to 57. As you look at the choices, try to match up the plant with your growing conditions.

The second approach is to look at Previously Answered questions regarding privacy screening. I’ve selected several questions from Central Texas for you to consider. Click on the links below  to get more information about plants that can be used for screens. Some of the links have additional links for you to explore.

Pflugerville 

Buda 

Manchaca

Austin

 

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