Fast Growing Evergreen Privacy Hedge

brownthumb65(8B Florida)April 12, 2009


I need a fast growing privacy hedge and I am soooo confused. The local nursery suggested Viburnum Odoratissimum

(Sweet Viburnum)Is this is good idea? He said this variety wont shoot berries all over the yard so I wont have Viburnums spouting all over. I need something to grow FAST and keep spying nosy neighbors out of my yard!

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I read all about Cherry Laurel and decided against it. I also would like something that doesn't "turn into a tree" I have been doing the research on the Virburnums find quite a few pictures online that show it as a tree!! I would also like to share that I am willing to pay for something that is at least 4 ft in the pot because I need privacy NOW!

But need it to be a fast grower and especially to stay green all year!. Someone please help I am chewing my nails to the nub.

We are in Tallahassee Florida.

Thanks so much!

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I am not sure of your growing zone as I am 10a. A couple things off my head to research
bamboo (I think you will need to plant runners in zone 8 instead of the tropical clumpers. If so, you will need to install a barrier)

viburnums will get leggy and do not provide a lot of dense privacy after a while. I'm sure others closer to your area will chime in with more suggestions.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 2:13PM
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cjc45(9 Mount Dora FL)

Can you put up lattice and plant vines? How tall does it need to be?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 2:51PM
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jkrup44(9B FL)

If fast is what you are looking for, bamboo is the answer! There is almost nothing that grows faster than bamboo and it will provide you a great deal of privacy in a short period of time. Use a clumping variety that is well suited for your zone - I would certainly recommend that over the running type. Plant clumps 6 feet apart and within a year you will have privacy, within 2 years you will have total privacy and some nice shade. I am currently propagating some lovely Hawaiian striped bamboo from culm cuttings that I got from a neighbor on one side, in order to provide privacy from the neighbor on the other side. It is gorgeous! Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 3:23PM
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watermelon7(9 - 10)

Try Willow Hybrid Trees. One of the fastest growing trees on the planet. They can grow over 6 feet a year in the right conditions, grow in your zone, and fill out faster than any other hedge out there.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 4:14PM
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Just remember "fast growing" doesn't stop when you want it to. It will be forever rambunctious making you wish you'd never planted it.

I saw a very nice large leaf glossy viburnum that grew to a nice hedge (6')in a year, covering a chain link fence (don't know what kind it was). I would talk to a good landscaper or drive around some HOA communities and take photos of what you like (with close up of leaves to identify).


    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 5:21PM
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Walter's Viburnum

hardy through zone 7
butterfly larval host and berries attract birds
grows to 25 feet in any type of soil
no pest problems
makes a superior hedge
high drought tolerance once established

What's not to love ?

Here is a link that might be useful: Walter Viburnum

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 6:31AM
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brownthumb65(8B Florida)

Wow, you guys are real friendly on here! Thanks for all the comments. I know nothing about lattice and wondering won't that get knocked down by strong rain storms (like we're having right now) ?? I need to keep my neighbors eyes off my butt while I am in the garden so I want something to be at least 6 feet high but I don't want to wait 2 years! I am sorry, but I just do not like Bamboo :-( Thanks for the suggestion. My research with the Viburnum (so many different kinds) is that some are tree like after growing awhile and I need a BUSH from the ground up. Also I have found that the Viburnums grow really big and I would be pruning quite a bit to keep it around 6-7 feet. I am still researching things online and I will fill you in and ask more questions later. Thanks for the help!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 9:17PM
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The following link might provide some help. While it focuses on Central Florida, it still has some useful ideas for Zone 8.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hedges

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 8:54PM
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You might consider a privacy fence and then landscape that. It's instant privacy.

That's what we did when we put the pool in, because we don't want the neighbors looking at us skinny dipping :) And because we wanted to make sure neighborhood kids wouldn't sneak into our pool when we weren't home. That would be too dangerous.

With a privacy fence, you have a lot more time to plant what's perfect for you, even if it doesn't grow fast. So you can put, in front of it, whatever suits you, and even hang planters on it. It's a lot faster than just about any hedge you'll plant.

Some areas restrict them in the front yard. Ours is in the back. If it's a short area _ like the back of a narrow lot like ours _ they're not terribly expensive.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 11:07PM
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n&v has the best answer .
There is no plant that will grow quickly up to 6 or 7 feet in less than 2 years ,
stop growing for you and then need no trimming .
Walter Viburnum does not grow into a tree .
Take a look at some that have been planted in a yard for awhile .
My neighbor has them and the plants are just gorgeous .
They make the thickest most lush hedge for total privacy .

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 6:38AM
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brownthumb65(8B Florida)

Thanks for all the suggestions.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 7:34AM
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I thought Viburnum Odoratissimum would be a good idea as a fence line hedge. Planted a line of them to cover 120' front property line.
They have been awful. Disease prone, all sorts of insect pest, and likely a lot of the problems has been caused by the long term drought. These things are not as drought tolerant as reported, not here. Not on this sand soil I have in southern Pinellas.
In fact after looking around at where these things are used, due to how common they are and price they are a favorite at shopping centers and gov. buildings I an not unique with these pitiful things. All over they are sparse in growth with a ton of dead branches. Again I suspect this is because they are not getting enough water.
I will never use this junk again.
They have struggled for 8 yrs and only one of the 12 has done goodd. Aphids, thrips, scale, you name it they get it when they do grow like now.
What I have found working very well though it must be trimmed is the small tree/shrub, the native wax myrtle. Incredible how it thrives wet or dry and when trimmed produces a thick bush shrub privacy effect. However left on its own without trimming it will get a bit more tree like and that is fine too. It will sucker some but comparing these two plants for my purpose hands down winner is the wax myrtle.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 10:24AM
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In Florida fast growing means shallow root systems, one hurricane and they are on the ground. I agree with N&V also, use a fence than plant what you would really like.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 10:59AM
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brownthumb65(8B Florida)

Well, mph101, After exhausting research I have decided on the Wax Myrtle also!!! It was so funny that I logged in today and see that you have those also. I am in North Florida panhandle (Tallahassee) and have been living here since the hurricanes of 2004-2005 in south Florida drove us up here!!! So far we have not had much as in tropical storms and they have a million trees up here. The Wax Myrtles look beautiful and from what I have heard and read as long as you "take care of them" they will grow quickly. They prefer the sandy soil WET but like you said they do well in dry or wet.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 9:15PM
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BrownThumb65, I'm also in Tallahassee trying to solve the same problem. So, three years later, how big are they? What size did you start with and what time of year did you plant? How fast did they fill in? Did you prune? I'd love to see a photo and get an idea of how long you had short shrubs before they grew tall.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 6:19AM
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I pulled up most of my front yard and planted an assortment of bushes, not a hedge, as it's almost 20' wide. The Walter's Viburnum is kind of scraggly, doesn't offer much privacy. I've had the best luck with Wax Myrtle and Elderberry. These have been interplanted with leather fern and pygmy bananas. In three years, you can hardly see the house. Make sure you amend the soil well, that will make a huge difference in the speed and size the plant will grow.
In one spot I wanted something quicker, I put up six foot posts and nailed wire cow fencing between them and planted a number of vines. If I did it again, I'd only bother planting blue sky vine. It quickly covered the whole trellis (about 30 ft. long) and choked out all the other vines. It is usually covered with lovely blue flowers. Beware if there is a tree nearby, it will get into it, this vine is rightly called a thug.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 5:03PM
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