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?

Share

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
2 ratings

Friday - January 29, 2016

From: Temple, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Evergreen privacy screen 8 feet or less
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

In needing to plant an evergreen privacy screen, what is the tallest Ceniza variety? I'm having great difficulty finding an evergreen hedge material 8' or less. After having taken a class in planting Natives, it seems that this height is nearly nonexistent. Thanks for your help!

ANSWER:

Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo) does best in full sun where its maximum height is 8 feet.  It can be pruned to maintain whatever height you want below 8 feet.  Here is the description from Aggie (Texas A&M) HorticultureL. frutescens 'Compacta' is one variety that grows 4 to 5 feet high with a spread of 4 to 5 feet.

Other possibilities for a native evergreen shrub for a privacy screen are:

Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle ) grows 6 to 12 feet high and can be pruned and shaped.  Here is more information from Lee County Florida Extension Service.

Prunus caroliniana (Cherry laurel) can grow up to 30 or 40 feet but will make a dense shrub when pruned.  Here is more information from the Department of Agriculture Forest Service and from Mississippi State University.

You can search for the nearest nursery that specializes in native plants in our National Suppliers Directory.

 

From the Image Gallery


Cenizo
Leucophyllum frutescens

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Carolina cherry-laurel
Prunus caroliniana

More Shrubs Questions

Effective plant cover for utility boxes
June 15, 2007 - In Connecticut, we have utility boxes for underground electricity and cable located in front of our house. The builder has landscaped around them: first with rhododendrons and then azaleas and both ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for hanging flower boxes from Austin
July 27, 2013 - I have two long flower boxes 17" x 15" x 25 feet long one on the north side of the apt and one on the south made of metal suspended about four feet from the ground. One will get the morning sun and ...
view the full question and answer

Hedge options for Sag Harbor, New York.
October 11, 2010 - Hello, My fiance and I live in Sag Harbor, NY on the East End of Long Island. We would like to plant a hedge across our yard to separate the front and back and have privacy. Here is a picture o...
view the full question and answer

Trees and shrubs in Wisconsin
July 30, 2009 - I live in Hudson, WI, just across the border from Minn/St Paul and would like to create a privacy screen between my front yard and my neighbors yard. Right now it's full sun, but I want to plant a c...
view the full question and answer

Do Deer Eat Orchid Trees?
March 08, 2013 - I have planted three anacacho orchid trees, however we have a lot of deer around us. Is this a tree they will want to eat? Do you have any ideas to keep deer away?
view the full question and answer

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