Sweet Olive or Elegaeanus for Privacy Hedge

lynn_va(7a)September 1, 2012


Planning to plant a privacy hedge along a split rail fence. Conditions: in full sun, clay soil that retains moisture. As my goal is privacy, a shrub with a decent growth rate would be good. From what I can gather elegaeanus grows faster than sweet olive. However, elegaenus is not as appealing to the eye. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,


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bogturtle(SE NJ 7a)

If you are intending to use the sweetolive that looks like holly, then you might be successful, and the spiny nature might be wanted. I am growing O. fragrans in S. Jersey, zone 7A, and find great Winter damage from Sun and drying Winter wind. The result would be an ugly hedge, indeed. I am unsure the holly-like type would not suffer just as badly.
The form of Ilex, or holly, that is thornless, is making a beautiful hedge, locally, in a very exposed location.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 8:38AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

some olives are invasive.. you might want to check such for your state ...

you dont mention bed size..

i always suggest diversity.. rather than uniformity ...

down a 100 foot split rail .. i have a collections of about 10 lilac.. with a sweetshrub and another pink fluffy thing [of which i cant recall the name .. lol] ... in other areas i have the common standard white spirea ... you could also throw in some conifers ...

give us an idea of the footprint of the area.. and height .. etc..

you might also want to contact your COUNTY extension office.. sight breaks are wind breaks.. and the ext. office will probably have recommendations for native things


    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 9:09AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i forgot i had this pic in my PB acct ... who needs a monoculture . and there is that plant i cant remember the name of.. its name.. is nearly identical to another plant.. and i am just stumped this morn ... got it.. tamarax.. and tamerix .. gotta be one or the other.. lol ... they are kinda ugly.. because i cut out huge sections a year back.. rejuvenating them ...

the point is.. the fence is covered.. by diversity ... lilac on the end.. the caroline sweetshrub.. and the tam-jammer ...

the other one.. on the other side of the fence ...

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 9:23AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Elaeagnus umbellata is highly invasive (environmentally damaging) in VA. Elaeagnus angustifolia, Euonymus fortunei, and Elaeagnus pungens are also considered invasive pest-plants in your state. I'd recommend skipping the elaeagnuses!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 5:30PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Both of those Elaeagnus sp. are deciduous. There are also evergreen ones, that produce larger, broader leaves, and may not be seen so often invading natural areas etc.

There are more sturdy and hardy Osmanthus sp. grown than O. fragrans, which is usually prone to winter damage even here in USDA 8. And not as handsome as the others. After the record 1990 winter here O. heterophyllus was noticeable for being a broad-leaved evergreen that pretty much had no leaf burn.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 9:01PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Actually, Elaeagnus pungens is evergreen.

I'm can't figure out how the Euonymus fortunei got included in my list above. I must have had a brain cell spaze out on me.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 9:47AM
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Thank you to all for the feedback. I checked the invasive VA list as well. Elegaeanus varieties are either highly or moderately invasive. My brother has a great hedge of the pungens variety without problem but I am having second thoughts now.

The area is on the side about 75 feet in length. The planned width about 10 feet. The purpose is for screening. I have ignored the neighbor's barking dogs for years but now the house is becoming a rental so I am not sure what to expect and also I finally convinced my husband to give up some of his grass. The area does get sun most of the day, however, we are in a dip of a hill so the area is protected from winds. I have a nice garden on the other side of the house that takes up most of my time. I am looking for a hedge that might need a little pruning here and there. And I am not looking for a formal hedge. The back of the yard is natural woods so informal would be great.

So would Osmanthus be a bad choice for 7a in a somewhat protected area for a quick growing everygreen fence. If yes, any other choices?

Thank you.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 11:24AM
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How about some of the larger rhododendrons? Evergreen, nice leaves, stunning flowers for a few weeks in spring, and if you can choose a variety which has a size that suits you.

Here is a link that might be useful: rhododendron database search

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 3:21PM
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First off, sweet olive isn't a fast grower at all.
If you could buy a bigger shrub, as big as you are happy with, you probably could get away with trying to grow it there.
They also love water. So if you don't get rain they must be watered, but I guess thats with almost anything.
Stagger them with another shrub, how about Nelly Stevens holly? They grow fast and would probably like that location. There is also Butterfly bush, which grows real fast, just prune out the dead branches and it will keep getting bigger.
I think I am going to try Nelly Stevens holly in front of my dogs fence. It can get as wide as it wants.
They look so nice and dark green in the winter.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 6:47PM
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