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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - January 26, 2016

From: Cherry Valley, CA
Region: California
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Privacy Hedge Plant for CA
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

We recently moved into a new home right on the border of Cherry Valley and Beaumont, Ca. We are at an elevation of 2,900 ft. We are looking for a plant that we can use as a privacy hedge along our back yard fence which is 6' high. Ideally, the hedge would end up 8-10 ft high so as to block the view of our neighbors house behind us. In a perfect world, we'd want the hedge to be somewhat compact so as not to spill over the fence (or as little as possible) onto the neighbors side of the fence.

ANSWER:

There are many tall shrubs that you might consider as a privacy hedge along the back of your property. Start at the Native Plant Database and select State = CA, Appearance = Shrub, Light = Sun, Height = 6-12 feet, and Leaf = Evergreen (so that the plant provides year round screening).

This will give you a list of over 30 plants to consider. Taking a look at the individual shrubs, you have choices with different flower color and lots of forms to consider. Some, like Mahonia nevinii (Nevin's barberry) can be pruned to keep it somewhat narrow as you requested.

 

From the Image Gallery


Nevin's barberry
Mahonia nevinii

Lemonade sumac
Rhus integrifolia

Sugar sumac
Rhus ovata

Jojoba
Simmondsia chinensis

Coastal sage scrub oak
Quercus dumosa

Mexican flannelbush
Fremontodendron mexicanum

Red barberry
Mahonia haematocarpa

Tree poppy
Dendromecon rigida



Bush anemone
Carpenteria californica

Greenleaf manzanita
Arctostaphylos patula

More Shrubs Questions

Native plants suitable for rock garden in New York
March 26, 2006 - I'd like to start a rock garden. The area is very rocky, the soil is shallow and it's partially shaded. I'd like mostly perennials that flower from spring to fall. I hope to make some purchases fr...
view the full question and answer

Problems with yaupon from San Angelo TX
April 08, 2012 - We have a 3-yr-old yaupon holly entering its 3rd summer. We have put store-bought wood-chips under the tree several times since it was planted. A plant has grown under the tree, possibly out of the ...
view the full question and answer

Rose care for Austin
August 18, 2013 - I am a transplant from the Pacific NW and need to relearn rose care for Austin. When is the best time to cut back the roses, or do I even bother? I also need to find out how far back I can trimming a...
view the full question and answer

low-growing evergreen shrubs for thin soil
March 05, 2012 - Thanks to the winter freeze, we'll be starting fresh with the plants in the bed along the front of our house. The bed is about 13' long and faces the west, so it gets afternoon/ evening sun but no ...
view the full question and answer

Full Sun, Wind-Tolerant Shrubs and Vines for Steep MN Hillside
June 26, 2013 - My neighbor and I share a very steep, large (in total almost 200 ft. wide) west-facing hillside in Excelsior, MN on Lake Minnetonka. We both have a flat grass area at the bottom so the hillside does n...
view the full question and answer

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