Hedge plants for landscaping a Florida garden help increase privacy, improve its aesthetics, and act as a noise barrier. However, finding the best plants for a Florida hedge is a challenge. Florida's unique climate means that hedge plants should tolerate moisture, full sun exposure, coastal air, and periods of drought.
The good news is that there are many options when it comes to planting a hedge in Florida. Many fast-growing shrubs and bushes are well-suited to Florida's growing zones and climatic conditions. Some are evergreens that maintain privacy around your property year-round. In addition, many ornamental plants suitable for southern hedges are easy to care for and require little care.
In this article, you will learn about the best native plants for growing a hedge if you live in Florida. Also descriptions and pictures oflow-maintenance landscape plantshelps you choose the best type of shrub to plant in your garden.
What Are the Best Florida Hedge Plants for Privacy?
Thebest plants to grow in florida for privacyare fast-growing, evergreen plants that tolerate at least six hours of sunlight. Some examples of privacy hedging plants in Florida are English laurel, Florida boxwood, Leyland cypress, Clusia and Cape jasmine - all have dense evergreen foliage and fast growth and are perfect for growing as a hedge.
When looking at a list of plants to grow as a natural protective screen in the Southeast, it's important to consider Florida's growing zones. North and central Florida are typically USDA zone 9. In contrast, south Florida is in zones 10 and 11. Some Florida-friendly plants also thrive in coastal regions and sandy soils.
Fast growing hedges for Florida
Planting fast-growing hedge shrubs will help you achieve landscaping goals faster. So what are some of the fastest growing plants suitable for Florida? Fast-growing Florida hedge plants include wax myrtle, viburnum, English laurel and 'Green Giant' thuja. These fast-growing plants grow 0.3 to 0.6 m taller each year.
How to Choose Privacy Hedge Plants for Florida
Before planting evergreen shrubs as a hedge or screen plant, it is important to consider local conditions. The perfect plants for hedges should be able to withstand full sun, grow in poor soil, and require little maintenance. Also, growing hedges in north and central Florida (zone 9) require them to withstand cold and frosty winters.
But suppose you live south of Lake Okeechobee. In this case, you should choose shrubs from a list of plants that are suitable for USDA zones 10 and 11.
17 Florida Hedge Plants (With Pictures)
Let's take a closer look at a wide range of deciduous and evergreen shrubs suitable for growing a hedge around a Florida landscape.
English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus)
English laurelis a superb fast growing evergreen shrub used as a privacy hedge in Florida gardens
English laurel is a popular hedging plant in north and central Florida due to its rapid growth and tolerance to drought, sun, salt, and cold winters. The characteristics that make English laurel suitable for a hedge or screen are its wide spread, dense evergreen foliage, glossy leaves and adaptability to sun or shade. English laurel is also one of the fastest growing hedge plants.
Also calledcherry laurelThis evergreen hedge plant grows 3-6 m tall and up to 3.5 m wide. Other landscape features of the English laurel areClusters of white flowersbloom in spring, glossy green leathery leaves and black cherry-like fruits.
Portuguese laurel (Prunus lusitanica)
Portuguese laurel is a versatile, low-maintenance evergreen shrub forPrivacy hedge and living fence in Florida
Portuguese laurel is a perfect plant to grow as a hedge in a Florida landscape. The evergreen shrub plant has shiny dark green, leathery leaves, reddish stems, white flower clusters andsmall red berries. Suitable for USDA zones 4 through 9, this plant is ideal for privacy screens, windbreaks, and hedges.
Portuguese laurel has a dense, spreading, bushy habit—perfect for hedges in north and central Florida. The shrub grows 7.5 m high and 4.5 m wide. TheDrought tolerant plant thrives in full sunand well-drained limestone or sandy soils. In addition, it is tolerant of wind, sun and heat.
Thuja Green Giant (Thuja folded x standishii'Green Giant')
For a fast-growing Florida hedge plant, choose an evergreen shrub-like arborvitae tree like Thuja 'Green Giant'
TheArborescent variety'Green Giant' is a hardy hedging plant suitable for growing as an evergreen hedge in North Florida. This majestic thuja has a conical to pyramidal habit. The shrubby tree has dense foliage composed of soft sprays of glossy green leaves. It can grow 12 to 18 m high and wide.
Thefast-growing "green giant"grows at a rate of 5 feet per year (1.5 m). However, if you need a smaller variety, adjust the varietygrow a live fence in floridais the dwarf tree of lifeThuja folded x standishii'Virginian'. This compact shrub grows up to 4.5 m tall.
North Florida landscape uses for the 'Green Giant' thuja include privacy hedges, windbreaks, noise barriers, or as an accent plant.
Florida boxwood (Schaefferia frutescens)
Florida boxwood is a popular evergreen hedging plant in landscaped gardens in South Florida
One of the most popular hedge plants in Florida residential gardens is the native Florida boxwood. This small to medium-sized, fast-growing, evergreen shrub is suitable for South Florida in USDA zones 10 and 11. It features yellowish-green lanceolate leaves, dense foliage, and clusters of small white flowers.
Native to Florida, boxwood grows 15 to 25 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide. The shrub grows well in partial sun and shade and tolerates sandy or loamy, well-drained soil. It is ideal for a privacy screen as its dense, evergreen foliage remains year-round.
Other landscape uses in South Florida gardens include afounding work, a border plant or a buffer strip.
Clusia Busch (Clusia guttifera)
Clusia guttifera is a popular hedging plant in tropical countries and in South Florida in zones 10 and 11
Clusia is an excellent screen plant with a shrubby habit for growing a dense hedge in southern gardens. The heat-loving, sun-tolerant, low-branched shrub grows 6 to 7.5 m tall and wide. However, it is easily pruned and maintained at a height of around 1.5 to 3 m.
AClusia-Heckeis characterized by its dense foliage of small glossy, waxy, leathery leaves, a rounded crown and red flaking bark. Once established as a hedge, Clusia tolerates salty air, drought and poor soil. It also has excellent pest resistance in South Florida's warm, humid climate.
Eugenia (Syzygium panic)
Eugenia is a fast growing evergreen shrub that makes an excellent low maintenance hedging plant in Florida
Eugenia is apopular hedge plantin central and southern Florida for its excellent heat tolerance and dense, evergreen foliage. This attractive shrub is a fast grower and is easy to care for, reaching 1.5 to 1.8 m in height. It is ideal for securing large or small compact gardens.
Eugenia is popular in southern gardens for its creamy powder-puff flowers, attractive foliage, and small red berries.
Aside from planting as a flowering hedge, other landscaping uses for Eugenia include the following:
- Shielding to conceal unattractive areas
- Increased privacy from nosy neighbors
- Use as a noise barrier
In addition, due to its shallow root system, it makes an excellent base plant.
An image of Jatropha Integerrima, commonly known as Peregrina or Spicy Jatropha
Jatropha is a spectacular shrub that grows as a flowering hedge in central and southern Florida landscapes. The evergreen foliage consists of lobed leaves contrasting with showy red or pink five-petalled flowers. With a height of 1.5 to 2.4 m, the hedge plant is easy to care for with regular trimming.
One of the attractive features of a jatropha hedge is that it blooms constantly. Attracting butterflies and pollinators, this outstanding shrub maintains a touch of red color in a southeastern landscape all year round. It is ideal as an evergreen hedge, privacy screen, entryway accent or to hide unsightly garden features.
Viburnum shrubs for privacy
Sweet viburnum (pictured) has clusters of white flowers and can be grown as a hedge plant or as a living fence in North Florida
SeveralViburnum shrub varietiesare ideal if you want to plant a flowering hedge in North Florida. Viburnum shrubs are known for their showy foliage of glossy green leaves and spectacular clusters of white flowers followed by clusters of red or black berries. Viburnum hedges also offer an attractive privacy screen for your front yard.
Depending on the species, viburnum shrubs reach heights of 1.2 to 3 m. The best varieties for growing a deciduous hedge in North Florida are the following:
sweet snowball (The most fragrant viburnum)— This shrub is suited to full sun in USDA zones 7 through 9.
Sandanwa Snowball (Hanging Snowball)— Grow the plant in North Florida as a hedge that grows in the shade.
Chindo Sweet Viburnum (Viburnum awabuki'Chindo')— This is an evergreen variety suitable as a hedge or privacy screen in North Florida.
If you want to grow an evergreen snowball hedge in South Florida, choose the ornamental snowball shrubLaurturist (snowball thin). This is suitable for growing in full sun in USDA zones 8 through 10.
wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera)
Wax myrtle is a shrubby tree that can be grown as a Florida hedge plant in full sun to part shade
The wax myrtle is a beautiful oneevergreen native plantsuitable for growing as a hedge throughout Florida in zones 7 through 11. The shrubby tree is characterized by light olive green leaves, small tubular flowers, and bluish-white drupes. Wax myrtle also has delightfully aromatic leaves and extremely fragrant flowers that give the shrub year-round scenic value.
The wax myrtle grows 6 to 7.6 m high and up to 3 m wide. The hedge plant thrives in most regions of Florida - from the Panhandle in the north and south to West Palm Beach, Naples and Miami.
Wax myrtle is not only a great hedge plant, but is also used as a privacy screen, noise barrier or as asmall ornamental tree.
Leyland-Zypresse (Cypress x leylandii)
Leyland cypress can grow into a tall tree but can be pruned and kept shorter as a hedge screen
Leyland cypress is oneConifer used as a hedge, Privacy Screen, Wind Screen, or Noise Barrier in North, Central, and South Florida. The fast-growing evergreen conifer has clumps of soft green, scaly leaves that grow atop reddish-brown branches. Suitable for Florida's growing zones 6 through 10.
The Leyland Cypress is one of the fastest growing conifers for use as a hedge plant. The majestic tree grows between 18 and 21 m high and 3 to 4.5 m wide. It also has an impressive growth rate of 3 to 4 feet (1 - 1.2 m) per year.
Its dense foliage makes the Leyland cypress a perfect choice for creating a secluded or private backyard.
Fast growing hedges for Florida
Fast growing flowering shrubsmake excellent hedges to add beauty, colour, floral scents and texture to a southern landscape. So what are the best plants with flowers and shrubs suitable for Florida landscapes? Please read on to find out.
Azalea bushescome in a variety of flower colors and are beautiful as a flowering Florida hedge plant
Azaleas are attractive evergreen hedging plants that grow quickly in north and central Florida. Florida azalea shrubs are known for their showy flower clusters, sprawling habit, and attractive evergreen foliage. There are many varieties oftropical azaleasto choose from to create a beautiful informal hedge that blooms in late winter and early spring.
MostFlorida Surfacesthrive in USDA zones 4 through 9. The small flowering shrubs grow to 1 to 2.4 m tall and wide. Depending on the species, you can enjoy pink, yellow, red, white, and purple flowers.
Choose an azalea variety from the Encore series to grow a flowering hedge in South Florida in growing zone 10.
bottle brush (Callistemon spp.)
Bottlebrush is a tropical, evergreen, red-flowering shrub that can be used as a hedge plant in South Florida
The bottlebrush is a tropical, fast-growing plantShrub with unusual red flowersthat look like cylindrical bottle cleaning brushes. The evergreen shrub has lanceolate, aromatic leaves that grow on elegantly curved branches. In addition, the flaky-looking red flowers exude a lemony aroma. Bottlebrush shrubs are suitable for growing in South Florida.
Bottlebrush plants grown as a hedge in Florida grow to between 4 and 6 feet tall. The shrub is known for itsexotic flowers blooming in Floridaall spring and summer. Its landscape uses for tropical yards include planting foundations and growing in containers.
Cape Jasmin (Gardenia jasminoides)
The white flowers of the Cape jasmine bush add beauty and fragrance to Florida landscapes
Cape Jasmine is aattractive white flowering shrubwith rapid growth in the landscapes of Florida. The evergreen shrub produces beautiful white flowers contrasting with glossy dark green leaves and small orange berries. The attractive hedging shrub also has long flowering periods—it blooms year-round in South Florida.
Cape jasmine is a versatile plant, hardy in USDA zones 8 through 11. The beautiful ornamental shrubs grow to 1 to 1.8 m tall and wide. These tropical shrubs are great for creating flowering privacy screens or hedges around your property.
Paradiespflaume (Chrysobalanus icaco)
Paradise Plum is a fast-growing and low-maintenance deciduous shrub that can form a low-growing hedge in central and southern Florida
The paradise plum is a low-growing deciduous shrub that is ideal for landscaping in Florida because it grows quickly and requires little maintenance. Paradise Plum shrubs can be recognized by their leathery oval leaves, clusters of small greenish-white flowers, and pink or dark purple edible drupes.
Paradise plum bushes grow to a height of 1 – 3 m. Native plants are suited to Florida growing zones 10 through 12 and do best in full sun or light shade.
Busch Allamanda (Allamanda Schotti)
Allamanda bushes are tropical flowering shrubs that add bright color to South Florida landscapes and make low hedges
The Allamanda bush is a fast growing tropical shrub suitable as a hedge in South Florida. This Florida hedge plant is notable for itsbright yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers, dark green lanceolate leaves and relatively small habit.
The landscape shrub grows 1.2 to 1.5 m high and wide. She is suited to growing zones 10 and 11 in Florida in full sun and well-drained, moist soil.
Bougainvilleas are climbing shrubs that come in a variety of colors and are suitable for growing in central and southern Florida
In central and southern Florida, you can plant bougainvillea to create a spectacular hedge of brightly colored flowers. In warm climates, this evergreen shrub flowers regularly throughout the year. However, the fast-growing, climbing shrub needs a certain amount of support in order to be able to grow as a hedge or privacy screen.
Bougainvillea hat stachelige Dornencovers its woody stems. The sun-loving, fast-growing climbing shrub reaches 2.4 - 9 m in height and width. Aside from using it as a hedge in tropical landscapes, you can use the shrub as a flowering ground cover, wall borders, or for growing over a trellis or arbor.
Suitable for USDA Zones 10 through 12.
Oleanders are flowering shrubs with a variety of flower colors that can be grown in Florida as privacy hedges
Oleander is a fast-growing, tall, bushy, evergreen shrub that thrives in north, central, and south Florida. Due to its upright growth and dense branching, it is ideal as a privacy screen or flowering hedge. The tropical shrub has long, lanceolate, dark green leaves and funnel-shaped flowers in shades of orange, pink, red, white, and yellow.
Oleander bushes grow to a height of 1.8 to 6 m and a width of up to 3 m. It thrives in USDA zones 8 through 10. Aside from being used as a hedge, oleander shrubs are ideal for hiding eyesore, keeping out uninvited guests, or covering chain link fences.
One consideration when planting oleander shrubs is that all parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested. So it's a good idea to keep the plants away from children's playgrounds or where pets might chew on the leaves.
- Florida shrubs (flowering, evergreen, tendrils)
- The Best Flowering Trees in Florida
- Florida flowers (native and non-native)