Q: What can I plant in my backyard for privacy?

 

A: Many of us need some larger shrubs planted on the perimeter of our gardens for privacy. This can be a challenge as most shrubs will need some pruning to encourage a hedged effect. Many of our options want to become small trees. 

Evergreens are a good solution. Native options include the Barbados cherry (Malpighia glabra), with small leaves and pretty pink, fragrant blossoms it has a rambling growth, and stays around 5 feet with minimal pruning. It may get cold damage during winter, and that keeps it smaller. Also, there are dwarf options of the native wax myrtle. 

One of my favorite exotic plants is the sweet olive (Osmanthus fragrans) slow growing and upright. The flowers are tiny and incredibly sweet smelling. 

Different choices include natives for sun and well-drained soil, the silverleaf Texas sage and even agaves, which also offer protection… then for a wet, partly sunny spot, our Texas sabals. 

Native plants always encourage biodiversity as they support our local wildlife. 

Do your research and visit our local gardens and nurseries to see mature specimen shrubs. 

Suzzanne Chapman
Author: Suzzanne ChapmanEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Suzzanne Chapman, retired botanical collections curator at Mercer Botanic Gardens, promotes organic gardening, growing native plants, and protecting the environment. Send your questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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