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
15 ratings

Sunday - September 13, 2009

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Shrubs for fenceline in Houston
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in Houston, TX and would like your suggestion on what plants, trees or shrubs would work best to grow alongside a fence to hide a neighbor's backyard. We all have relatively small backyards.

ANSWER:

The Native Plant Society of Texas–Houston Chapter has a wonderful list of Native Plant Information Pages that includes, among other things, a list of "Native Shrubs" for the Houston area.  Here are some evergreen choices from that list that should do well along your fence line:

Morella cerifera [syn. = Myrica cerifera] (wax myrtle).  There are dwarf cultivars available so you want to be sure you pick one that isn't dwarf to use as a screen for your fence line.

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Cyrilla racemiflora (swamp titi) is semi-evergreen in the Houston area since the leaves that turn red in the fall generally stay on the tree until spring. 

Sabal minor (dwarf palmetto)

Evergreen vines would also be a possibility to use as a screen.  Here are some that are native to your area:

Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) is semi-evergreen.

Gelsemium sempervirens (evening trumpetflower)

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle)

You can also look for other possibilities in our Texas-East Recommended list.  You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option and choose 'Shrub' or 'Vine' from the General Appearance to limit the list to shrubs or vines for the East Texas area.


Morella cerifera

Ilex vomitoria

Cyrilla racemiflora

Sabal minor

Bignonia capreolata

Gelsemium sempervirens

Lonicera sempervirens

 



 

 

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Drought-Tolerant, Evergreen Groundcover for CA
August 21, 2014 - We are looking for a drought tolerant, evergreen groundcover for California. I am considering Sarcococca hookeriana and Cotoneaster dammeri but don't know if they're the best options for the area. I...
view the full question and answer

HOA chopping down wax myrtles from Katy TX
April 24, 2011 - My local HOA just chopped down 80+ wax myrtles saying that they lived out their life span..they are roughly 18-20 years old..is there a species of wax myrtles that lives only 20 years..or did they co...
view the full question and answer

Pruning and deadheading rosa rugosa while blooming
August 01, 2008 - Can you prune the dead flowers and branches of rosa rogosa while it is still blooming?
view the full question and answer

Lilac bush roots dangerous to house foundations
August 06, 2008 - Are lilac bushes dangerous to the foundation of a house? There is a lovely white-blooming lilac that grows against the house outside my bedroom window. My ex-husband said that the roots would destro...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen privacy screen
August 10, 2015 - We are looking for a good plant(s) that would provide a privacy screen by our fence. We were looking at clumping bamboo (maybe black) because it grows quickly and it not too thick. The new plants woul...
view the full question and answer

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