The Q&A Archives: Hedges

Question: I am looking for an evergreen hedge that flowers and likes afternoon sun. I live in zone 7. I have being looking at sweet olive and cleyera, which Thanks

Answer: Sweet olive or Osmanthus is a popular hedge plant. It will mature to fifteen feet high and wide if left unpruned or can be trimmed. However, it is considered reliably hardy only to zone 8. Cleyera (Ternstroemia gymnanthera) is a smaller plant, growing slowly to about six feet tall and wide -- larger with age if left untrimmed. It too is a popular hedge plant and is considered hardy to zone 7. Unfortunately, I would not recommend planting either of these in a location with hot afternoon sun.

This type of location with afternoon sun is very stressful on broadleaf evergreens. The extra hot afternoon sun is stressful during the hot summer months and it is also extremely stressful on them during the winter, especially if it is a windy site. There are relatively few evergreens grown for their blooms, and those that are, such as camellias, require afternoon shade.

For this reason I would suggest you consider some of the deciduous shrubs for this location instead. You might look into glossy abelia; this shrub is potentially evergreen but if winter stress damages the foliage it will turn deciduous. It can also be clipped. I'm sorry I can't be more encouraging.

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