Would you like to improve your home privacy without fencing? Try fast-growing hedges for privacy screens.
These hedges not only help in blocking your neighbors from seeing you in your courtyard but are also animal deterrents and provides safe habitats for birds.
This article lists the 13 best fast growing hedges that you can use for privacy screens.
These plants are fast-growing, less invasive, and, are easy to maintain and keep alive. Therefore, you get to enjoy a good cover within a short period while saving money and time.
In most places, there are no restrictions to growing these shrubs but you need to first check with your local authority on what species are allowed in your locality.
Also, get permission from your local planning offices before planting if you border a public place. This way, you will grow your hedge without fear of authorities asking you to cut it down in the future.
13 Fast Growing Hedges for Privacy Screens
1. Oleander (Nerium oleander)
Oleander is a fast-growing drought-tolerant evergreen shrub with beautiful flowers some of which are fragrant. It is easy to care for and grows in a broad range of soils.
Moreover, Nerium oleander is tolerant of sea spray therefore, a beautiful choice for the colorful beachside landscape.
This plant thrives throughout much of Florida and you'll find it planted alongside highways and interstates in Florida. Its ability to handle the heat and car exhaust is so admirable.
Keep your oleander at a shrub height through pruning. The shrubs form a mounded shape up to 10 feet wide. Some oleander dwarf cultivars include Petite Pink and Petite Salmon. These cultivars reach up to 4 feet in height and work well in smaller spaces without pruning.
Caution: Oleanders contain cardenolide glycosides (a naturally occurring toxin) that, when ingested in certain quantities, can be harmful and even fatal to pets and humans.
Also do not burn any plant parts for disposal as the toxins become airborne and might lead to respiratory difficulties when inhaled.
2. Pittosporums (Pittosporum tobira)
Pittosporums also commonly known as Japanese mock orange is a tough, rapid growing evergreen shrub native to southern Japan and China. It is commonly grown in mid and coastal South Carolina.
According to the US Department of Agriculture plant hardiness, pittosporums are hardy to zones 8a through 11.
This hedge plant is popular in most landscapes due to its attractive, dense evergreen foliage and mounded form, along with adaptability to many growing conditions.
Additionally, they are excellent in salt tolerance thus well suited for planting near the beach.
At maturity, the species can reach 8 to 12 feet or more in height, with a 12 to 18-foot spread. Pittosporum responds well to pruning, hence you can maintain yours at smaller sizes for many years.
If you want compact growth, try cultivars such as MoJo and Wheeler’s Dwarf, they have been selected for compact growth, some reaching as little as 2 to 3 feet tall at maturity.
Pittosporum tobira is nontoxic to horses, cats, and dogs.
3. Clumping bamboo (Bambusa multiplex)
Commonly known as Hedge Bamboo, Chinese Dwarf Bamboo, or Oriental Hedge.
Bambusa multiplex is an evergreen tight growing plant excellent as a visual screen as well as a sound barrier. Clumping bamboos grow outward in a circular manner at a relative pace of 2 to 12 inches per year, all without endangering the neighborhood.
This excellent hedge plant may reach a height ranging between 10 and 20 feet at maturity for most species.
For best performance, plant your bamboo in a loamy acidic, high organic matter moist soil and expose it to full or partial sun.
4. Bottlebrush (Callistemon spp)
Bottlebrush is an evergreen shrub\ tree native to Australia. This plant is identified by the colorful flowers that appear as long, bristly clusters of filaments around a stem.
Callistemon is mostly used as a formal clipped hedge as well as an informal screen. Dwarf bottlebrush varieties, for example, Callistemon ‘Little John’ make lovely small hedges.
Bottlebrush plants are tolerant of saline and alkaline soils and do best in full sun with well-drained soils. Once established, your bottlebrush requires little summer water, except for a weeping bottlebrush (C. viminalis), which does require ample water.
Love to have hummingbirds and butterflies around your home? Bottlebrush might be just what you need.
5. Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata)
Plumbago also commonly known as Cape Leadwort or Cape plumbago is an easy-care, evergreen, sprawling shrub that grows up to three to six feet tall and ten feet wide. It performs best when planted in free-draining soil under full sun.
This rapid-growing drought and salt-tolerant shrub bloom all year round in Central and South Florida unless it's hit by frost therefore it will not only keep your home blocked but also beautifies your yard. If you are in North Florida, your plumbago will bloom from spring through fall.
According to USDA Plant Hardiness Zone, plumbago is classified as hardy to zones 9 through 11.
NB: Plumbago is toxic(medium) to humans through contact dermatitis.
6. Pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana)
Pampas grass is a fast-growing drought-tolerant plant that grows and flowers best in full sun or at least a half-day of direct sunlight. This low-maintenance plant is deer tolerant and has few pest problems.
Cortaderia selloana is hardy in zone 8 (Coastal Plain) and is marginally hardy in the Piedmont region (zones 6 and 7)
It is an excellent shrub for your hedge as it is safe for both humans and pets. Cortaderia selloana is also an ideal plant for coastal landscapes due to its tolerance to salt spray.
NB: Pampas grass can be invasive in some parts of California, Australia, New Zealand, and some of the Hawaiian Islands. However, it is not an invasive plant in the Southeast.
7. Privet (Ligustrum japonicum)
Also commonly known as amur, Chinese Privet, Curly leaf Ligustrum, Japanese Privet, wax-leaf.
Japanese Privet is a large ornamental evergreen shrub that grows rapidly in the sun to partial shade. It is dense and upright, drought and salt spray tolerant. Additionally, this plant can tolerate heavy pruning and grows in a range of soil conditions.
Moreover, privet is tolerant of alkaline soils, pollution, shade, dry conditions, and it is cold hardy. But it is intolerant of wet soil.
Privet is available in a selection of varieties and root types.
8. Hornbeam (Carpinus betulas)
Carpinus betulas also commonly known as European Hornbeam or Common Hornbeam is a deciduous, dense- foliage, medium-sized tree native to Europe and Asia Minor.
Hornbeam tolerates a wide range of soil conditions as long as the soil is well-drained. It grows best under full sun and you can prune or hedge it as desired.
Young hornbeam trees are somewhat pyramidal or oval but mature ones are broad and rounded.
This long-lived plant is tolerant of urban conditions and pollution.
9. Dwarf Thuja (Thuja occidentalis)
Thuja occidentalis also commonly known as Eastern Arborvitae, American Arborvitae, Eastern White Cedar, or Northern White Cedar is a slender evergreen tree native to eastern North America.
This low maintenance plant grows best in moist, neutral to alkaline, well-drained loams. It does not tolerate dry sites, exposed windy sites, or full shade (foliage will thin out dramatically). Therefore, expose your Thuja to full sun or partial shade.
However, Thuja occidentalis can tolerate clay soil, wet sites, black walnut, and air pollution.
Dwarf Thuja is hardy to zones 2 through 7 (USDA Plant Hardiness Zone).
You can also read about 17 Best Trees for Privacy Screen That Grow Fast.
10. Sweet Viburnum (Viburnum odoratissimum)
Viburnum odoratissimum is an evergreen shrub that grows as a shrub or small tree. This moderate drought-resistant plant grows up to 20 feet tall and wide. It grows best in moist well-drained soils in sun to partial shade.
Its large, leathery, dark green, glossy leaves and clusters of extremely fragrant, small, white flowers, completely covering the plant in springtime, makes it one of the most desirable landscape shrub.
Sweet viburnum has an incredible way of coming back after frost and is good at attracting birds and butterflies.
It is hardy to zones 7 through 9.
NB: Make sure you have enough room for this large shrub as over-pruning makes it leggy and unattractive.
11. Kei Apple (Dovyalis Caffra)
Dovyalis Caffra is a shrub or small tree native to the Kei River area of southwest Africa and abundant in the wild around the eastern Cape, Kaffraria, and Natal.
The kei apple does well in almost any soil that does not have a high water table. It is extremely drought-resistant and tolerates saline soil and salt spray thus highly valued as a coastal hedge in the Mediterranean region and California.
Its foliage is reputedly fire retardant and the plant tolerates a -5C frost.
This lovely hedge plant grows to a height of 9 m (30 ft.) with a spread of 7.5 m (25 ft.) and usually has many sharp spines of about 1 to 3 in (2.5-7.5 cm) long.
Kei Apple forms an excellent hedge, especially around the farmhouse.
12. Natal Plum (Carissa grandiflora)
Carissa is also known as natal plum is a subtropical shrub with vigorous spreading growth. Its branches are armed with double-probed thorns.
The leaves of a natal plum are evergreen glossy, leathery and it flowers all year round thus more pleasing to the eye than the Kei Apple.
It prefers full sun but can grow even in shade and in any soil type with good drainage. Moreover, natal plum can tolerate aerial and soil salt but it’s not as cold tolerant as the Kei Apple but can put up with the occasional -2 degrees Celsius during colder months.
Carissa grandiflora is also tolerant of extreme heat.
13. Escallonia, Hebe and, Griselinia
All these hedge plants are evergreen and relatively fast growers. They however might take a couple of or more years before they romp away to the height that you may need.
In summary, you’ve just gone through a list of 13 fast growing hedges plants for privacy from neighbors.
It’s even better that most of the plants are low maintenance, fast-growing, less invasive, drought-tolerant, and animal deterrent.
All you have to do is bookmark this article or pin it on Pinterest so that you can always come back to it for inspiration at your convenience.
Let me know how it goes for you in the comments section below. Enjoy your privacy at home!
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