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 - June 15, 2012

From: Las Vegas, NV
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Need a privacy screen beside a pool in Las Vegas, NV.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Hi, I need to plant a privacy screen fence next to the pool. There is only 4-5 feet between the wall and the pool. That leaves only about 2 feet for soil. What are my best options for non invasive root shrubs or small trees that grow up to 10-12 feet height. thank you,

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants is having trouble visualizing the situation that you have. Is there already a wall around the pool?
 Lets deal with the tree first; most 10 - 12 ‘ trees are going to have a crown about the same diameter and a root system that is at least twice that size. That doesn’t sound like a good fit, so lets look at shrubs which will have less invasive root systems.

We’ll start by going to  our Native Plant Database and use the Combination Search option. Select Nevada under State, shrub under General Appearance, and perennial under Lifespan. Check  sun under Light Requirement, and dry under Soil Moisture. Click the Submit combination Search button and you get 49 native species that meet these criteria. Clicking on the scientific name of each species will bring up its NPIN page that contains the characteristics of the plant, its growth requirements and, in most cases, photos. As you go through the list, look for  plants that match your growing conditions. Be aware that you will probably need to prune the plants you select as they grow to keep them within the space that you have.

Here are a few possibilities
Rhus virens (Evergreen sumac) 

Ceanothus greggii (Desert ceanothus)

Purshia tridentata (Antelope bitterbrush)

For some help closer to home, you might contact the folks at the Clatk County office of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.
 

 

From the Image Gallery


Evergreen sumac
Rhus virens

Desert ceanothus
Ceanothus greggii

Antelope bitterbrush
Purshia tridentata

More Privacy Screening Questions

Screening Plants for Cape Cod
June 17, 2014 - I need to plant some fairly high growing leafy plants/bushes/trees for privacy and as a sound barrier in (the remains of) a pine forest in Cape Cod, MA. The pines grow tall and skinny so that we can s...
view the full question and answer

Plants for privacy hedge in North Las Vegas
October 29, 2007 - My lot is in North Las Vegas. Looking to plant something that will be a privacy hedge. Full sun with horrible soil. Local nursery suggested the following: Green Cloud and Gray Cloud Texas Sage, Feat...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen for pool in California
November 24, 2009 - Hi, We have new neighbors overlooking our pool and peering into our house. We want to put up a privacy screen along our back fence that runs the length of the pool, but the border running along the ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for privacy screen in Austin
March 11, 2008 - I would like some suggestions for plants to form a privacy screen between our backyard and our neighbor's. The site is shady, under old Texas Ash and pecan trees, and is located in North central Aust...
view the full question and answer

Barrier Shrubs for North Carolina
July 11, 2015 - Need a spiny barrier shrub that will grow in North Carolina shady rain forest (4,000 feet elevation) to deter trespassers wading down a creek from climbing on a private nature path that we constructed...
view the full question and answer

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