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Fast Growing Hedges for Privacy

Fast Growing Hedges for Privacy

By Stephanie Pratt, Instant Hedge
Photographs courtesy of Instant Hedge

“I just put in a pool and I need privacy– fast.”

“My new neighbors are weird and they sit on their balcony and stare at us.”

“I need to block a view of a new housing development going up behind my house. Oh, and some noise buffering would be a plus!”

As experts in privacy hedging, we’ve heard it all. So many people are desperate for immediate privacy that can extend 10, 15, or 20 feet upward, but they become frustrated with the limited availability of hedge options that are both instantly thick and tall.

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If you find yourself among this group in search of fast privacy, you can get truly instant privacy by starting with a pre-finished hedge, like those available from Instant Hedge. Otherwise, you can start with individual plants and let them grow for several years to reach your desired height and thickness.

The solution is to find a vigorous, fast growing hedge that can reach great heights in short amounts of time without becoming a nuisance over the long term. Certain plants that are often chosen for immediate benefits can turn into a nightmare in a few years, like Leyland cypress. If you want to save yourself some headaches in the future, don’t plant Leyland cypress. There are plenty of other, better options out there, like the following:

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Green Giant Arborvitae (Thuja x ‘Green Giant’) is an excellent choice for a fast-growing, evergreen hedge. Once established, it can grow up to 2-3 feet per year! It is a hybrid between two Thuja species (T. plicata and T. standishii), which gives it incredible hybrid vigor. It has no major disease issues and has some deer resistance as well. It tolerates full sun to partial shade. It could easily be maintained as a 10-20 foot tall hedge over the long term. Hardy to USDA Zone 5. For best results, a Green Giant hedge should be pruned lightly twice per year.

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Virescens Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata ‘Virescens’) is another fast-growing evergreen that makes a beautiful privacy hedge. With vibrant color throughout the year, it grows 1-2 feet per year once established. It has a narrow growth habit, making it perfect for small spaces. It could easily be maintained as a 10-15 foot tall hedge over time. It has good deer resistance and grows well in full sun to partial shade. Hardy to USDA Zone 5. Prune lightly twice per year to maintain the shape and size.

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English Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) is a fast-growing broadleaf evergreen shrub that quickly becomes a very large hedge. It adds a lush look to the landscape with glossy green leaves, and it grows 2-3 feet per year once established. It has strong deer resistance and grows well in full sun to nearly full shade. English laurel can be maintained as a 10-20 foot hedge. Hardy to USDA Zone 6. Frequent pruning will increase density and bushiness.

Planting a hedge for privacy also has the benefit of being a noise buffer as well as providing a habitat for birds and other small animals. Once you have one, you’ll be able to breathe easier as you enjoy your new private space, watching and listening to the birds – not your neighbors.

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By Delilah Onofrey, Suntory Flowers
Photographs courtesy of Suntory Flowers

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