Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Shrub for privacy screen
June 22, 2008 - Hi, We live in Aptos near the ocean. However, what you suggest to plant near our fence to screen out the one story house behind us. They have a large tree near in their backyard that sits against our...
view the full question and answer

Blocking out noise from pond pump in Holly MI
April 02, 2010 - My neighbor has a motor for his pond pump that faces my backyard--it is extremely loud and irritating after listening to it for 5 hours or more. Is there any type of shrub that I can plant to block o...
view the full question and answer

Large shrub or tree for front door in Houston
January 16, 2013 - I am in search of a shrub or tree to plant next to my front door. I want a showy medium sized shrub or tree (8 to 12 ft), decorative, and a privacy screen since my front door faces my next door neig...
view the full question and answer

Windbreak for Eastern Kansas
July 17, 2011 - I need to plant a fast growing windbreak near my lateral lines for a septic tank. We obviously can't have anything that would interfere with the laterals but I desperately need a North wind break. ...
view the full question and answer

Evergreens to replace a screening line of pine trees
December 02, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smartyplants, I lost a "screening" line of pines along my back property line to powerline trimmers & a blight. The area is quite damp & the soil full of clay which is now acidic from the...
view the full question and answer

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