Plants For Screens - Knowledgebase Question

Santa Cruz, CA
Avatar for NESTOR3
Question by NESTOR3
October 27, 2002
I have a 2nd floor roof patio that is exposed to some afternoon wind in the summer. I would like to screen the wind some and also the patio next doo. I was looking at some of the smaller bamboos (heavenly bamboo and zig zag bamboo). They would have to be in planters and grow 4'-6'. Would welcome any suggestions of any other plant for this setup. Thanks, Bob.

Answer from NGA
October 27, 2002
Nandina (Heavenly Bamboo) will grow happily in containers and their dense growth habit will block wind and reflect noise, providing a sense of privacy on your patio. The only problem with Nandina is its painfully slow growth rate. If you purchase 4' shrubs, you'll have instant results. If you purchase smaller plants, it will take several years for them to reach mature heights.

Other shrubs suitable for the conditions you describe include Dodonaea viscosa (hop bush), Escallonia, Photinia fraseri, or Abelia grandiflora. All have reasonably rapid growth rates and all can be pruned to keep them at 5'-6' in height. Hope these suggestions help!

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