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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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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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November 08, 2014 - 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?
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Fast-growing screen for New York
June 04, 2010 - I need a fast growing screen to put along my fence due to undesirable neighbors who moved next door to my summer place. Small lot: 25'x25' . The side is south and the lot is partially shade w sandy s...
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Plants to augment a privacy fence in Virginia Beach.
February 24, 2009 - I live in Virginia Beach, VA and I have a small back yard about 75 ft deep and 60 ft wide. We have a six ft privacy fence but still have many undesirable views over the fence I would love to block out...
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