Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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 - February 06, 2013

From: Glen Rose, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Hiding a chicken house from Glen Rose TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

To hide a chicken house, which do you recommend, crape myrtles or chinese photinias?

ANSWER:

First, here is a previous Smarty Plants answer that tells you what we think of photinia. What we think is "don't do it."

Second, another previous Smarty Plants answer that discusses the also non-native Lagerstroemia indica (Crape Myrtle).

Since we explained in both those previous answers why we don't recommend non-native plants, we will go to our Native Plant Database and find some shrubs native to your area in Somervell County, TX. Following that link to our database and using the Combination Search, we will select on "Texas" for the state, "shrub" for Habit or General Appearance and "evergreen" for duration, so you will have coverage year-round.

Our highest recommenation would go to Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon). It is a tough evergreen shrub which will remain fairly dense year-round.

Two more that we would also recommend but might be slightly out of their native range in Sommervell County are Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo) and Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle).

Follow each link to our webpage on that plant, read growing conditions, light requirements, soil and water needs. Woody plants, such as trees and shrubs should be planted in late fall or winter, before the sizzling heat of summer comes along.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Thorns on non-native orange trees
March 04, 2007 - I just moved into a new home that has orange trees in the yard. The tree trunks and limbs are thorny. What kind of oranges are they? How should I care for them? Is it ok to cut off the thorns so t...
view the full question and answer

Non-native invasive carrot wood tree losing leaves in Alpine CA
April 22, 2014 - My carrot wood tree is losing all of its leaves. The tree is about 15foot high & 13 years old. Could it be gophers? The tree was trimmed 1 year ago.
view the full question and answer

Return to original color of non-native crape myrtles in Henderson, TX
July 17, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I bought 3 Dynamite Crape Myrtles that were about 3 -4 feet tall (at Lowe's). In the late Spring, I planted 2 of them about 100 feet apart, in full sun, and left the other one in...
view the full question and answer

Propagation on bamboo in Washington State
August 30, 2008 - I have been trying for some time to grow bamboo in my garden. They rooted very well in the house but as soon as I put them in a large planter under the fir trees they turned yellow.They have a large h...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native mandevilla in Southport NC
July 11, 2009 - I have planted a mandevilla and the leaves look healthy. It produces buds, but something is cutting them off. Right next to it is a mandevilla that is blooming profusely. Any ideas?
view the full question and answer

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