Many homes in Central Florida have zero lot lines, which can pose problems for homeowners who want to enjoy the sanctity of their backyards without the bother of noisy or nosy neighbors. Some opt to install wooden privacy fences, but the sun and rain wreak havoc on them even when they are treated with a sealant. Within a few years’ time, homeowners find themselves repairing or replacing the fence because it’s failing.
When Central Floridians choose to plant a natural hedge around their backyard, they’ll enjoy peaceful solitude and soundproofing. It may even last a lifetime!
The best privacy screens and sound barriers are green.
Shrubs and Trees
The following trees and shrubs will give you the privacy you’re longing for as long as the specimens are adequately spaced to create a thick screen.
Thuja ‘Green Giant’
This rapidly growing evergreen is a top choice for those who want a dense border separating their yard from their neighbor’s property. Green giants do a superb job of blocking the wind and can reach heights of 40 to 60 feet. They naturally have a pyramidal shape but can be trimmed into a flat-topped hedge. If they are watered regularly, they will grow 3 feet per year once established, which takes about 12 months. Thuja green giants are deer and disease resistant and can live between 40 and 150 years!
A hybrid cross between the Monterey cypress and the Alaska cedar, these vigorous trees can form an impenetrable hedge when planted close together. They are also disease resistant and drought tolerant. Be sure to give them plenty of water until they’re established. Like the thuja green giant, the Leyland cypress has a beautiful pyramidal shape and can handle severe pruning. However, they only live for 10 to 25 years.
Also known as a Japanese yew, podocarpus make a great privacy screen when planted in a row because they can grow 40 feet tall and 25 feet wide. They are also drought tolerant and tend to be pest and disease free. These gorgeous, bushy trees will grow 2 feet per year and can live for as long as 150 years!
This Asian evergreen shrub has large, leathery, dark green, glossy leaves and clusters of extremely fragrant small white flowers in springtime. It can grow up to 20 feet tall and wide. Prefers full sun with afternoon shade. Once established, it is moderately drought tolerant. It can live 50 to 150 years!
Also known as the Chinese Fringe Flower, this evergreen shrub can grow 12 to 15 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide in Central Florida’s warm climate. When young, its foliage is blackish maroon, then turns green as it ages. It bursts forth with fuchsia pom-pom like flowers during winter and spring, and sporadically throughout the rest of the year. Plant in a spot where it’s protected from wind. Low-maintenance and drought resistant, it can live for over 100 years!
This fast-growing evergreen shrub is dense with glossy, dark green leaves. It produces fragrant creamy-white flowers in late spring that remain until early summer. However, some consider their scent to be unpleasant, so visit one in bloom at a nursery before deciding to plant it in your landscape. It can grow 10 feet tall and 5 to 6 feet wide. It is heat and drought tolerant and prefers partial shade to full sun. It can grow 3 feet per year and will live for about 30 years.
This attractive evergreen shrub was named a Florida Garden Select plant in 2009 by the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association. It can grow 15 feet tall and wide and can grow in full sun to part shade. It produces egg-shaped fruit between August and October that are safe for human consumption. This beautiful shrub can live 50 to 70 years! However, to keep it in optimum health, it needs to be watered well once a week, so make sure your irrigation system is turning on and off in accordance with the settings. If you’re not sure your system is running like it should, call us or complete our request service form and we’ll happily take a look.
If you already have a trellis or a chain-link fence along your property’s border, planting a climber on it may be the best solution to attaining the privacy you want.
Also known as star jasmine, this trailing plant is known for its creamy-white pinwheel-shaped flowers that release an amazing aroma. While this attractive vine is slow growing during its first year, it grows vigorously once established. It will keep its glossy green leaves throughout the Central Florida winters. This incredible plant loves full sun and can grow up to 35 feet long. It gets very thick, so it’s perfect for privacy and blocking wind. The best part is that it’s low maintenance and not parasitic, so it won’t harm trees if it extends past your fence or trellis.
This evergreen vine can be pruned into shrub form or left to grow naturally where it can reach heights of 50 to 100 feet. It produces bright orangish-red flowers, which can last all year long during mild winters.
Growing native plants for privacy is a great way to satisfy the needs of your local insects and wildlife.
This lovely evergreen has glossy leaves that emit a wonderful scent when crushed. It grows best in partial shade and makes an ideal hedge. It blooms in the spring and is irresistible to pollinators. It can grow up to 12 feet tall and wide and can live for 50 to 150 years!
Southern Wax Myrtle
This multi-stemmed evergreen tree has olive-green leaves that smell like bayberry candles. It needs occasional pruning to keep a rounded shape but makes an excellent screen because of its bushy growing habit. It gets its name from the waxy, bluish gray berries that remain throughout winter. It will grow about 15 feet tall with a 10-foot spread. It can live for approximately 30 years.
A green screen will provide years of pretty privacy!
Choosing to go with a natural barrier instead of a fence is a wonderful choice if you don’t need to keep pets and young children inside the yard. Not only will you have a beautiful hedge to block wind and neighbors’ prying eyes, but you’ll also be buffering sound as well. Just be sure to water and feed the plants accordingly and you’ll have a thriving border that will provide privacy for decades to come.