The Q&A Archives: Good Hedge

Question: What shrubs make a nice green hedge no taller then 4 foot. I like big green leaf and with no flowers. Would like to shape into a box hedge. Live in zone 9.

Answer: Acuba japonica variegata 'Gold Dust' is also called the Gold Dust plant. Acuba makes an interesting low growing shrub to plant and grow next to brick buildings. Although it has small leaves, Boxwood, Buxus microphylla asiaticum, is a neat, clean grower. Boxwood plants are commonly planted in rows along walkways. Larger boxwood plants work nicely in group plantings in front of buildings

Eleagnus, Eleagnus pungens, is one of the fastest growing shrubs and grows as a superb barrier hedge or privacy fence that can grow up to 10 feet tall. Interstate highway landscaping is filled with large groupings and plantings of Eleagnus, Eleagnus pungens, shrubs to minimize automobile fumes and truck highway noises.

Holly shrubs are distinctively varied, very adaptable, and versatile in the landscape. The most popular hollies are: Burford Holly, Ilex cornuta; Carissa Holly, Ilex cornuta 'Carissa'; and Dwarf Chinese Holly, Ilex cornuta.

Japanese Aralia, Fatsia japonica, is most commonly called Fatsia. In landscapes, Fatsia is often planted and grown in large groups near shaded house entrances or underneath shade trees for that bold tropical look. Fatsia can be planted as a large specimen plant, or containerized Fatsia will grow as the shrub as an indoor plant. Philodendron selloum is often used like Fatsia, and can grow into a large, attractive specimen plant on slender, woody-looking trunks (stems). The Philodendron hybrid, Xanadu, is also used like Japanese aralia, Fatsia, and Philodendron selloum, but largely is used as an indoor or outdoor container plant. The waxy, deeply-lobed green leaves are very cold hardy, and even if Philodendron is growing outside in Zone 5 - 10, it will come back to life from vigorous roots in the spring after freezing to the ground.

Hope these suggestions help you find just the right plant!

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