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

Wednesday - March 04, 2009

From: Euless, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Wax myrtle for screening in Euless, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We need something to use as a screen along our back fence, to block the view of our neighbor's storage building. We are looking for a tall shrub that we can shape into a multi-trunked tree that will grow quickly to 12 feet tall and will spread to about 15 feet. We also would like it to be a bird-friendly native plant. Our local nursery suggested a Wax Myrtle. I have read several websites and find confusing info on the size to expect from a Wax Myrtle. Will it grow large enough in our location - - 12 feet tall and 15 foot spread?

ANSWER:

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) is an excellent choice for your purposes. It has fragrant foliage, is evergreen, seems to have few pests, and the birds love it. It is dioecious, which means that only the female tree will have berries, and there must be a male within about 50 feet for pollination and berry production to occur. According to our Native Plant Database, it can grow to 20 feet tall, although this could take it a while, but we're not sure you could expect that 15-foot spread. Why don't you plant two or three of the shrubs? You will get quicker coverage, and can include a male in the grouping to be sure you get berries for the birds. Wax myrtle is also a larval and/or nectar source to the Banded Hairstreak and Red-Banded Hairstreak butterflies.


Morella cerifera

Morella cerifera

Morella cerifera

Morella cerifera

 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Native evergreens for privacy in Crockett, TX
October 12, 2008 - I need advice on what tall evergreens I can plant along a fence line for privacy. I need trees that will be at minimum 8 to 10 feet tall at maturity, are aesthetically pleasing and provide privacy. ...
view the full question and answer

Non-Toxic Hedge for Wisconsin
December 17, 2015 - What would be a good non-toxic for dogs, privacy hedge about 3-6 feet tall for Wisconsin climate zone 4b?
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen in Kansas City, MO
April 04, 2012 - Hello, I am located in Kansas City, MO and am looking for a wall/screen plant. Last year I used a wall of sunflowers and loved them, however I want something more hardy and something I don't have to ...
view the full question and answer

Rejuvenating an old Wax myrtle hedge
February 15, 2016 - I have 8 wax myrtles that were planted about 9 years ago as a screen from our neighbors. They are about 12 feet high. During the past 9 months they are getting thinner and thinner. Two of them hav...
view the full question and answer

Screening Planter Recommendations for Lakeway TX
May 16, 2012 - I live in Lakeway in a townhome. The parking lot is directly in front of my unit so I always see headlights and cars. The HOA has agreed to build a planter about 4 feet high to help hide the cars. W...
view the full question and answer

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