7 Hedge Plants to Grow in Florida

Hedges are a great way to create privacy on your property. Which hedge plants should you consider?

Landscaping can be a difficult task. There are so many trees and shrubs to choose from; you must figure out what and where to plant them. Planting privacy hedges may be the best landscaping decision for your lawn and garden. 

However, due to the intense heat, humidity, and salt, many homeowners in Florida struggle to choose a hedge plant despite the various beautiful options. Because different parts of Florida have different growth zones, you must choose a plant that is suitable for your zone.

Hedges are an excellent complement to any landscape. They can provide privacy by blocking the neighbor’s view and reducing the noise from a busy street. Let’s take a look at seven hedges that grow well in Florida.

1. Arborvitae

Depending on their usage and variety, arborvitae may be considered a tree or a shrub. Either way, they produce dense foliage and turn into bushes with scale-like leaves. They make a dramatic statement and work great as screens. These plants are beautiful when used to line a property, a large driveway, or as a single showpiece plant. It can resist drought but not saline conditions.

No pruning is necessary to retain the symmetrical teardrop or globe shape typical in arborvitae. The smooth, dense foliage is a lovely deep green that complements the other greens in the yard. 

It grows to 20 feet tall and nearly as wide, making it suitable for specimen planting in formal settings. Plant the arborvitae in full sun to moderate shade and well-drained soils for best results.

tall and thick arborvitae trees

2. Bottlebrush

Bottlebrush is a flowering evergreen perennial with gorgeous flowers that attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. It has dense foliage, grows quickly, and produces stunning red flower spikes from spring to fall. It is available in upright and cascading varieties with colorful blooms. 

Reaching a mature height of 10 to 20 feet, bottlebrush can be used as a hedge or screening plant. This hedge prefers full sun and wet, well-drained soils. Pruning up to one-third of the leaves early in the spring can encourage more flowers. 

red and green bottlebrush bushes

3. Boxwood

There are over 45 varieties of boxwood to choose from on the market, with mature heights varying from 36 inches to 12 feet. However, some specimens can grow up to 30 feet tall. 

Most are classified as small to medium shrubs. Boxwood is commonly found in coastal areas on sandy soil and hammocks. The plant’s small leaves grow closely together. These bushes produce cream flowers with a greenish tint in the spring.

4. Clusia

Clusia has dense foliage that is resistant to drought and salinity. Its large, green, oval leaves give it a tropical look. Clusia grows as a dense hedge with thick olive-green leaves that branch out towards the ground.

This shrub grows 25 to 30 feet tall and 15 to 25 feet wide, boasting 3-inch white and pink flowers that bloom overnight throughout the summer.

Clusia grows well in full sun to moderate shade and in well-drained soil, making it an excellent screen. It grows slowly and thrives in coastal locations and under poor soil conditions. Once established, Clusia is low-maintenance and drought-tolerant. 

fresh, green and healthy clusia bush

5. Gardenia

Gardenias feature dark evergreen foliage with beautiful double white blossoms that bloom all winter. The best lighting condition for gardenias is bright shade. Although, full sun is preferable in cooler parts of the state.

Gardenias grow best in acidic soil with a pH of 5.0 to 6.0. Because it enjoys extra nitrogen, you will get the best results from feeding it with composted chicken manure.

little white gardenia flowers

6. Cocoplum

This native of South Florida has a great texture and a beachy appeal. It also produces a delicious plum that many animals consume. The plant has small leaves, and new growth usually has red tips. They’re excellent as hedge shrubs or privacy plants, and they may grow to a height of 15 feet, although they’re typically kept trimmed to around 4 feet.

Cocoplum grows well in full sunlight, does not require fertilizer, and is a low-maintenance plant that can be trimmed for a more formal appearance or left to grow naturally. It is resistant to pests and diseases and therefore does not need much care once established.

thick bush of cocoplum plants

7. Allamanda Bush

Allamanda bush may be the easiest to grow of all the plants found in South Florida. It produces bright green leaves and plenty of yellow flowers. Allamanda bushes are evergreen and, to some extent, salt-tolerant.

The golden trumpet-shaped flowers bloom intermittently throughout the year, most notably in the summer. All this lovely shrub needs for maintenance is an occasional pruning to show off its naturally graceful shape.

The allamanda bush’s size and color make it a superb garden accent, hedge, solitary specimen, or privacy screen. If the bush variety is too large for your needs, consider the dwarf variation. Keep them trimmed to 3 feet when they’re young and 4 or 5 feet when they’re older.

Phillis Butler
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