Narrow tall nonflowering privacy shrub: narrow Florida sideyard

amaryllis52(10a)February 8, 2013

Hi everyone! I am looking for suggestions for tall, narrow shrubs which can be used in a privacy hedge in a narrow sideyard along a backyard fenceline (between neighbors) -- plants that naturally grow in a narrow, tall fashion and that do not attract bees or wasps (thus nonflowering, or as close to nonflowering as I can get!) If not nonflowering, I'll take some suggestions that have low flowering perhaps once a year, but nothing overly prolific with flowers (as in, nothing that continually blooms).

"Tall" defined as nothing under 6 feet, though 8 feet would be nice, and anything higher is okay, although I think ideally I'd like to stop at 12 feet.

The plant choices need to be able to go into Zone 10 in the Southeast, in Florida. I am looking at native and non-native.

The reason I am looking for the shrub to be in a naturally narrow shape is that I do not have a lot of help, and I have enough trouble keeping a large viburnum in check. So I do not want to put anything in that I have to worry about it spreading over time.

I am also looking for something that is pest- and disease-resistant, as that would be an added plus, as I wouldn't want it to easily die.

The lighting conditions are: I have one side of the house that is a west exposure that at certain times of day gets full sun and partial sun depending on the time. Somewhere around mid day or afternoon on, it gets full sun. In the summer, this is sweltering.

On the east side of the house, there is not quite as much heat, but still some full sun conditions and also partial shade conditions. I may plant a larger tree on this side as well, but I have not decided about that yet.

At this point I am considering shrub plants which can handle full sun and partial shade. I am in Hardiness Zone 10, Heat Zone 9.

Thank you in advance for your suggestions! :)

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lola-lemon(5b East WA)

Try this link out. I liked Boxwood in California.-- But it could get infested and buggy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Miami Dade -Hedge

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 12:33AM
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Thank you, Lola! I considered Florida Boxwood. However its natural shape is too wide for my requirements and I would have to do a lot of pruning. Likewise with Podocarpus and some of the other suggestions. The article should also be updated, as Surinam Cherry is classified as a Category I invasive in Cental and South Florida by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council here.

Florida Boxwood in its natural state is between 10 to 15 feet. See here: link

My research led me to a couple of tall and narrow hedges:

I considered Will Fleming Holly, but it is not suitable for my zone, and I will not take a chance on a plant that is not right. Discussed it with a well-known nursury and they said not to try it.

I also considered Juniper Blue Arrow, but have some concerns about disease, plus the plant is not tried and true here. I do not know if it would make an effective privacy screen.

Thanks for the idea, and I look forward to hearing more ideas! :)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 1:47AM
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lola-lemon(5b East WA)

You know what I do? I drive around looking for what I need growing in someone else's yard. Then I figure out what it is.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 2:01AM
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What about bamboo?

Lots of choices for you in Florida. A clumping variety would be best (Bambusa sp.). Choose one with a max height between 10' & 20' then do a once/yr pruning to your 10'-12' height.
Check them all out but be sure to look at Bambusa multiplex 'Fernleaf'.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thompson Bamboo

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 1:19PM
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Lola: I have been known to do just that! Most everything I see is either low hedges, like Indian Hawthorne, or has been pruned, like various types of Holly or Podocarpus or Boxwood. I do get a few leaves of a plant I like and ask when I like something and do not recognize it. :)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 5:12PM
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smivies, I should have mentioned that bamboo is not one of the choices I am considering.

I have tried clumping bamboo, and found it difficult to keep under control. For some, bamboo may be the ideal solution, but it is not for me. :)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 5:16PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

How about the variegated Schefflera arboricola? I'd think you'd need to prune and shape it somewhat though.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 12:59PM
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I think bird of Paradise or Traveller's Palm would work well.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 10:28AM
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jcalhoun(8b Mobile County AL)

What is the width you need?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 12:19AM
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