Plants of the Month – Screening Plants
Do you have an unsightly view of something or want to create some privacy for your garden? This something we at VerdeGo get asked almost every day, so here are some suggestions for good, cold hardy screening plants
No other plant has more landscape uses than the Ligustrum! Whether it’s for a privacy hedge, a screening shrub, or an outstanding ornamental tree, the Ligustrum is a worthy plant for any landscape. Evergreen, cold hardy, deer resistant and its salt tolerance add to its versatility. Heavenly scented pinnacles of showy white flowers in spring are extremely attractive against the dark green glossy leaves. It is extremely drought tolerant once established. Ligustrum can grow 6-12 feet high and wide and will grow in full sun to part shade. It trims nicely into a more formal hedge if that is what is required.
Where complete screening is wanted for privacy or noise control, Sweet Viburnum is one of the best options. FAST growing and will stay full from top to bottom when it receives at least 5 hours of full sun. (Again, see previous trimming comments!) These plants grow quite large and are NOT recommended for home foundation plantings where they will cover windows, grow into eaves, or with constant pruning become bare at the bottom with large heavy trunks. Plant them 3’-4’ on center for dense screening. They are evergreen and cold hardy and do best in full sun to partial shade. It will grow 5-8 feet wide and has the potential to be up to 20 feet tall but can be kept comfortable at 7-8 feet if desired. They are moderately salt tolerant and deer resistant.
Bottlebrush is one of our most popular medium sized ornamentals. Bottlebrush sports beautiful bright, red bottle-brush flowers that cover the plant on and off from spring to fall. Whether it is used as a large bush for a screening effect, as a hedge row, to soften corners or as a free standing ornamental tree, you’ll love this plant. Hummingbirds are attracted to this tree and other birds will use it for nesting. Bottlebrush, once established, is very drought tolerant. It is an excellent addition to any garden. It is salt tolerant and deer resistant and can grow 6-8 feet wide and 8-20 feet tall. Grow in full sun.
Eleagnus silverthorn is the ideal screening plant for those customers who live in high salt zones. This plant is extremely salt tolerant and durable from those northeast winds we get from time to time. It is fast growing and sends up “fishing pole” type growth but can be clipped and kept tidy with not much effort. The foliage is a silvery green color and although not known for its flowering capability, the flowers are extremely fragrant- right up there with jasmine! The flowers then produce berries that birds love. This plant also provides great nesting sites for birds! It is also deer resistant!
Beautiful flowers cover the large growing bush or small tree almost year round. It is an excellent plant to use in coastal areas where flowering plants are very limited because of salt conditions. ALL parts of this plant are poisonous. They are very fast growing and make an excellent loose hedge or screening on property borders, or as a stand-alone specimen.