Merlyn Posted March 5 Report Share Posted March 5 Well...how else do you start a thread on shrubberies? When I first started building my tropical forest, one of the first steps was to plant a perimeter of Viburnum Odoratissimum. I have about 350 feet of hedgeline, planted about 5 feet apart. That's a shocking $1000 worth of 3 gallon pots of Viburnum, and for the most part they've done a good job of filling in and blocking the neighbors and highway noise. The only problems in the past 3 or 4 years are: I've had a few random deaths of entire plants, which unfortunately leaves about a 5 foot gap in the hedge. It's relatively easy to cut them down and replant another, but the Armillaria Root Rot that killed the last one is moderately likely to kill the replacement. Viburnum are susceptible to root rots (fatal) and leaf fungus (cosmetic) but otherwise fairly fast growing and cold hardy. After they've grown to 10-15 feet tall, the bottom 6 feet becomes very sparse of leaves. The thick, waxy leaves are ideal for noise blocking, but they won't block any noise if you can see right through the hedge! And of course it doesn't block the neighbors if you can see right through the hedge... So I started looking into other options. Hopefully a few of you can offer some advice for Central Florida and other areas. Here's a few options that I've found, many courtesy of @Silas_Sancona: Viburnum Suspensum - A slightly smaller Viburnum with more shade tolerance, but is slower growing and also is susceptible to root rot. Cherry Laurel - Prunus Laurocerasus: Thick waxy leaves like Viburnum, but substantially smaller leaves. It's a fairly fast grower at 1-2ft per year, and can get to 20-30 feet tall as a tree or a hedge. One advantage of this shrubbery/tree is that it can grow in full sun to full shade. And it has nice flowers! There's another bigger one Prunus Caroliniana that gets up to 45 feet tall, and might not make a good hedge. Wax Myrtle - a very common shrub and small tree in Florida, a lot of times they are kinda scraggly-looking if not regularly trimmed and fertilized. Azaleas - generally sparse in Florida, certainly not ideal as a sight/sound blocker Ficus Auriculata, Palmata, Lyrata - Very dense and big leaves, with complete blockage in full sun. The problem is that they defoliate at the first freeze. In the mid to upper 20s they burn to the ground and you have to wait 6 months to get foliage again. Supposedly Palmata "Icebox" from Plant Delights Nursery is hardier, I'm trialing it now. Coccoloba Uvifera "Sea Grapes" - also very dense and equally not hardy. These defoliate for me at about 30F, and burn to the ground in the upper 20s. Marlberry - This is a possible winner to me, an evergreen shrubbery with intermittent blooms, thick glossy large leaves and interesting leaf appearance. It's rated at 9A-11 hardiness and is a Florida native with tolerance of part shade to even deep shade. It has no significant disease problems. Jamaican Caper - 6 to 18 foot tall glossy oval leaves, this is a nice evergreen shrub but may take damage in the mid 20s. It can be grown into a shrubbery or a small tree. It's a fast grower and prefers full sun to part shade. This is noted for growing dense in full sun but "open" in shade. Myrsine Cubana - This is a smaller-leaved common shrubbery and native to Florida. It's a full sun to part shade plant, and tends to get sparse in full shade. Aucuba Japonica - "Spotted Laurel" - This variegated shrub has big leaves and is evergreen, and can grow to 6-10 feet tall though normally is grown as a 3-5' tall accent shrubbery. It'll grow in shade only, and may not tolerate a lot of sun in Florida. I might try this one on the SW side. It's officially zone 6-9 hardy, the UFL IFAS site suggests it's ok in all of the South, coast-to-coast, except down in Miami. It's slow growing. Schefflera Arboricola - green and variegated forms are listed at 10A, but might be suitable for a 9B area? These "dwarf" types can grow 8-12 feet tall and might be moderately dense in full sun or shade. Silas said he thinks they defoliate in the upper 20s, and have a habit of dying with cold, wet soil. Camelias - good for zone 8 and grow 12-15 feet tall, but they don't grow well in the heat and humidity of Florida. Silas said he thinks they are susceptible to nematodes. Hibiscus - commonly grown as large shrubs here in Florida, but they are very attractive to whiteflies if not in full sun. I had a couple in pots and immediately got infestations that started spreading to other plants and palms. 1 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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