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Ficus or Podocarpus for hedge in narrow planter?

Posted by MrKojack So.Cal (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 28, 13 at 1:04

Please help! I'm in desperate need for a quick growing privacy hedge to block out a 2 story house overlooking my yard. My original idea was bamboo. After seeing a house a few blocks away over run by bamboo I quickly changed my mind. My other choice is a Ficus hedge. My question is can the roots and growth be controlled? It's a 2'X25' area surrounded by concrete on one side and a block wall on the other. Behind that wall is a house about 6' away. I know the ficus will require a lot of pruning but can it be controlled?
My second choice is a Podocarpus Gracillar hedge. My main concern is its toxicity. I have 2 dogs who love to chew on anything growing from the ground. I have searched the web and have yet to find a definite answer. Also can it be controlled by pruning?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Ficus or Podocarpus for hedge in narrow planter?

If the area is surrounded by concrete and a wall, where are you worried about the bamboo going? What exactly do you mean by the house, a few blocks away, being "over run" by the bamboo there?

Can you elaborate on what you mean by "can the roots and growth be controlled?" Controlled how? Are you proposing to keep a two-story hedge pruned? What kind of control are you thinking about for the roots?

Got pics?


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RE: Ficus or Podocarpus for hedge in narrow planter?

I've included pics of both the out of control bamboo and the area where I will be planting. I need my hedge to be at least 15' to 20' tall. Does antbodyknow about the Podocarpus Glacillar? Is it toxic?


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RE: Ficus or Podocarpus for hedge in narrow planter?

Here is the picture of the bamboo near my house. This steered me away from bamboo.


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RE: Ficus or Podocarpus for hedge in narrow planter?

I guess you mean Podocarpus gracilior? I don't know about it's toxicity, but, if I had to guess, I'd guess it's only somewhat toxic (like many many many other plants) and probably would be more likely to produce an upset stomach or vomiting than major problems. The verdict seems to be out on it from what I can tell.

IMO, your area will be a real challenge no mater what you pick if you want something that is going to block the view from your neighbor's window and not have some other issues. Maybe someone will have some other suggestion, but I think that if it were me, I'd just plant something small (or maybe viny) and try to forget about the window.


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RE: Ficus or Podocarpus for hedge in narrow planter?

Is it possible to keep a bamboo hedge looking good?


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RE: Ficus or Podocarpus for hedge in narrow planter?

I'm not a bamboo expert, but there are varieties which don't grow tall as the one in your pic. And for the ficus: stop, turn the other way and run! A ficus is kind of a stupid tree/plant. No matter it's size, pruned and all, it always thinks it's a huge tree and will send those roots under your house looking for your drain pipes to get a drink. Mind you, it won't ever leave after that first glass. Search "removing ficus in florida", there are enough stories of people getting rid of tree once being called a hedge. Oh and by the way, don't forget the other unwanted guest : ficus whitefly, not sure if it made to where you are, but it's a big problem here.


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RE: Ficus or Podocarpus for hedge in narrow planter?

Copy that. I'm leaning to wards the Podocarpus but I have two dogs and I just can't risk it until I know fore sure. Has anybody out there seen a good looking bamboo hedge?


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RE: Ficus or Podocarpus for hedge in narrow planter?

Copy that. I'm leaning to wards the Podocarpus but I have two dogs and I just can't risk it until I know fore sure. Has anybody out there seen a good looking bamboo hedge?


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RE: Ficus or Podocarpus for hedge in narrow planter?

I think it would be a good way to control the invasive bamboo roots with fiberglass planters. Ivy from Wellco Industries, inc, used to recommended me such natural privacy hedge. She has a kind of long planters, which can even reach up to 10ft. So it's easy to plant bamboo linear into the planter. And do not use plastic planters for bamboo, the root will bust the planter. Maybe you can try to talk to her by email, ivy@wellcoindustries.com. or call her 760 889 6651 Hope this helps.


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RE: Ficus or Podocarpus for hedge in narrow planter?

Your neighbor can see into your back yard from that window right? Maybe do a 360 instead of plants maybe a pergula or patio w/cover positioned just in the right area with a roof at a slant. Looks like you have a slab, it will give you shade as well. If you do it yourself it wont cost to much, never worry about water or roots. Just a thought


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RE: Ficus or Podocarpus for hedge in narrow planter?

I would consider Ligustrum x Vicaryi aka Golden Privet. It is a quick grower, is not known to have an invasive root system and tolerates shearing well. Lastly, it is less expensive per 5 and 15 gallons.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ligustrum x vicaryi


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RE: Ficus or Podocarpus for hedge in narrow planter?

Lordy......so much fuss about bamboo!! Were you aware that there is an entire classification of bamboo known as clumping< bamboo (as opposed to 'running') that is of absolute no concern about becoming "out of control"? Bamboo makes an excellent screening plant and grows well in a rather narrow, confined area like the first photo indicates. Various species/cultivars will offer various heights.

fwiw, far more plants are toxic to pets than are not, including the podocarpus, the ficus AND the privet. But there are probably millions of folks who have gardened with dogs over the years and with gardens filled with a range of plants toxic to some degree or another without incident. Including myself and everyone else I know who has a dog. Unless you own one of the untrained beasties that digs up and chews everything in their path I doubt you have much to worry about.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mad Man clumping bamboo nursery


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