The Q&A Archives: hedge for a fence

Question: would like to put hedge next to neighbor's ugly fence, oleander would be perfect, but have animals and children, what other type would work like oleander

Answer: You might try Coffeeberry (Rhamnus californica); an attractive native California shrub, 6 to 8 feet high. Bears black berries and tolerates all soil types. Ideal as a background or screen plant.

Rdberry (Rhamnus crocea); Medium evergreen California native shrub. Grows 4 to 10 feet tall, as wide as it is tall. Tight clusters of small, waxy, pinkish-white flowers give way to beautiful red berries in springtime.

Christmas berry, holly berry or toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia); This California native is an evergreen shrub that produces delicate white flowers and large clusters of brilliant red berries that birds love. Can be pruned into a small tree. Deer resistant. Fire resistant.

Hopseed bush (Dodonaea viscosa); Hop Seed bushes come with leaves in either bright, lime green or dark purple. Both versions have leaves about 4 inches long and 1/2 inch wide and are very shiny on multiple shrubby branches. These drought tolerant shrubs are fast growers to about 10 feet tall and almost as wide. They take full sun to part shade. Once established in the garden (1-2 years) they can survive on rainfall alone.

Brush cherry, Carolina laurel cherry (Prunus caroliniana); Brush Cherry is another dependable, versatile garden shrub for quick screens and hedges. These shrubs can grow up to 30 feet tall and 10 - 12 feet wide. Although I have seen mature stands of Carolina Laurel grow even taller. They can grow in full sun to part shade. Once established they can survive drought conditions. However, in desert areas they prefer less sun and will appreciate more water during the hottest summer weather.

Pieris and viburnum are other selections you might investigate.

Best wishes with your new hedge.

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