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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Sunday - July 18, 2010

From: Rock Hill, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Invasive Plants, Privacy Screening, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Plants for delineating property line
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a neighbor who does not mow his grass or take care of a strip that runs between my property and his. I would like to plant some inexpensive, low maintenance, shrubs, that would do well in full shade. I thought about planting pampas grass. I live near the North Carolina South Carolina line. What would be a good tree or shrub to plant that would help delineate my yard from his? Not too concerned with privacy.

ANSWER:

Please do not plant Cortaderia selloana (pampas grass).  It is native to South America and is considered to be invasive.  Please look at the South Carolina Recommended page to find a list of commercially available native plants suitable for landscaping in North Carolina. Using the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option in the sidebar you can select various criteria for your plant.  For instance, under GENERAL APPEARANCE, select 'Shrub' and under LIGHT REQUIREMENT select 'Sun - 6 or more hours' or whichever category applies to your situation.  You can also make selections from other categories.  Here are a few recommendations from that list, but you can make your own choices:

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) grows 6 to 12 feet high and is evergreen and the female plants have pale blue berries.

Lindera benzoin (northern spicebush) grows 6 to 12 feet high and is deciduous.

Physocarpus opulifolius (common ninebark) grows 3 to 10 feet high and is fast-growing and deciduous.

Rhus aromatica (fragrant sumac) grows 6 to 12 feet high and is deciduous.

Viburnum dentatum (southern arrowwood) grows 6 to 8 feet tall and is deciduous.

You could consider putting up some sort of lattice on the property line that could hold a vine.  There are two evergreen vines that grow in South Carolina, Gelsemium sempervirens (evening trumpetflower) and Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle).

You could also consider using a fern.  Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern) will grow in sun, part shade and shade but does require adequate moisture.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:


Morella cerifera

Lindera benzoin

Physocarpus opulifolius

Rhus aromatica

Viburnum dentatum

Gelsemium sempervirens

Lonicera sempervirens

Osmunda cinnamomea

 

 

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