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
1 rating

Tuesday - April 09, 2013

From: Burleson, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Privacy Screening
Title: Privacy hedge for Burleson, TX.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I moved out to the country away from the hustle and bustle only to find that I have less privacy out there because of open land. I hear children screaming and dogs barking from 1/4 mile away. I want to plant a privet hedge and am thinking of using wax leaf ligustrum. I have 7 1/2 acres and cannot afford to cover the entire fence line. I have some mature ones on another property. Can I propagate and if so what type of propagation is best? It will be next to a fence where we keep cows. If they are able to reach some of the branches, will the wax leaf make them sick? Do you have a suggestion for something that would work better and grow quicker?

ANSWER:

Unfortunately, there are no plant screens of any kind that will silence screaming children and barking dogs. 

For a visual screen, we can give you a couple recommendations.  Juniperus virginiana, Juniperus ashei or Juniperus pinchotii might work for you as evergreen screens.  Of these species, Juniperus virginiana is probably the most attractive and the most likely to be available in nurseries.  Cattle will not eat juniper leaves.

Because the mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated solely to the study and promotion of native species, we cannot recommend any Ligustrum species or any other non-native plants.  Privets (Ligustrum spp.) are particularly problematic invasive species in Texas and should not be planted by anyone.  In many areas, privets have overwhelmed entire ecosystems.  We strongly encourage you not to plant privets on your land.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Do Salvia coccinea and Salvia occidentalis occur in Hawaii
April 27, 2008 - Aloha, Would you please happen to know if the salvia occidentalis and the salvia coccinea are growing in a wild state in Hawaii, the quantity (small or large areas? What are the weather conditions ...
view the full question and answer

How to Deal With Goutweed?
June 12, 2015 - Hi, I'm wondering what plants (groundcover) would best compete against goutweed. It's coming up all around some existing potentilla shrubs and some nice bulbs and prairie perennials. I would hate to...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of non-native, invasive English Ivy from Davidsonville MD
March 19, 2014 - Just moved and need to rid the well established Ivy planted on the steep slope area around the back and side of the house as it is taking over the bushes on the top and trees in forested area at botto...
view the full question and answer

Best time to plant non-native Crape Myrtle in Fulshear TX
July 01, 2010 - When are the best times to plant Crape Myrtles? My husband and I have just moved to Fulshear, TX (just slightly west of Houston) and being summer, I didn't think this was the best planting period. ...
view the full question and answer

Liriope spicata for erosion and dust suppression from Bonifay FL
August 16, 2011 - I want to plant Liriope 'spicata'. I know it can be aggressive and that's what I want. We live on dirt road and need something by road for help in erosion and it's also hard to mow this are...
view the full question and answer

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