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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

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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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!

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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

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