Contact Us Host an Event 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

Friday - March 19, 2010

From: Phoenix, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Privacy hedge plant for Phoenix, Arizona.
Answered by: Jackie OKeefe and Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi, Can you tell me what would be a good plant or shrub to block one side of an unsightly 6ft high wrought iron pool fence, and create some privacy. It would be full sun and the hot temperature of Phoenix, AZ.

ANSWER:

Because Maricopa County is in USDA Hardiness Zones 9a to 9b, with apparently higher elevations and lower temperature zones to the north and east of you, we are going to choose not just plants native to Arizona, but plants native to your area of Arizona. A plant native to northeastern Arizona would fry in your situation in southwestern Arizona.  We tried to find evergreen plants, for year-round privacy, but not all of these plants are evergreen.

From our Native Plant Database:

Anisacanthus thurberi (Thurber's desert honeysuckle) - deciduous, 6 to 12 ft., sun, low water use, pictures

Cercocarpus montanus (alderleaf mountain mahogany) - semi-evergreen, 8 to 20 ft., low water use, sun

Dodonaea viscosa (Florida hopbush) - evergreen, to 12 ft., blooms yellow August to November, low water use, sun

Mahonia haematocarpa (red barberry) - 3 to 8 ft., evergreen, low water use, sun

Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) - deciduous with persistent leaves, to 6 ft. tall, low water use, sun to part shade

Tecoma stans (yellow trumpetbush) - to 9 ft. tall, deciduous, blooms yellow April to November, low water use, sun or part shade

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Cercocarpus montanus

Dodonaea viscosa

Mahonia haematocarpa

Simmondsia chinensis

Dodonaea viscosa

 

 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

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

Drought-tolerant shrub for privacy screen
November 23, 2007 - Is there some kind of drought resistant bush or thorny plant we can rim our property with to stop all the foot traffic through our yard? We don't care if it's pretty, just something thick and/or th...
view the full question and answer

Privacy Screening Plant for New York Narrow Site
April 20, 2013 - I need privacy screening on the side of my house in Mount Kisco, New York located 40 miles north of New York City. The area gets plenty of sun but is somewhat narrow. What evergreen bushes or trees ...
view the full question and answer

Plant mistakes from Cedar Park, TX
April 09, 2014 - At our "Wilts End" in Cedar Park, TX. and are looking for a tall shrub/tree that will hide a 6-ft tall concrete wall and muffle the noise from a busy street. The wall forms a very wide-angled V shap...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen screen for newly constructed metal building
March 31, 2010 - Neighbor built a 12' tall metal building right by my gate. I want to screen it with fast-growing evergreen natives. I have lots of ashe juniper on my property, but none where I need it now! Can AJ...
view the full question and answer

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