A good privacy hedge creates a wall of green in your garden that prevents nosy neighbors from looking in. The trick to planting an easy-care privacy hedge is to select shrubs that thrive in your particular climate. When you live in zone 5, you’ll need to select cold hardy shrubs for hedges. If you are considering privacy hedges for zone 5, read on for information, suggestions, and tips.
Growing Hedges in Zone 5
Hedges range in size and purpose. They can serve an ornamental function or a practical one. The types of shrubs you select depend on the hedge’s primary function, and you should keep it in mind as you select them.
A privacy hedge is a living equivalent of a stone wall. You plant a privacy hedge to prevent neighbors and passers-by from having a clear view into your yard. That means you will need shrubs taller than an average person, probably at least 6 feet (2 m.) tall. You will also want evergreen shrubs that do not lose their foliage in winter.
If you live in zone 5, your climate gets chilly in winter. The coldest temperatures in zone 5 areas can get between -10 and -20 degrees F. (-23 to -29 C.). For zone 5 privacy hedges, it is important to select plants that accept those temperatures. Growing hedges in zone 5 is only possible with cold hardy shrubs.
Zone 5 Privacy Hedges
What kind of shrubs should you consider when you are planting privacy hedges for zone 5? The shrubs discussed here are hardy in zone 5, over 5 feet (1.5 m.) tall, and evergreen.
Boxwood is well worth a close look for a zone 5 privacy hedge. This is an evergreen shrub hardy to far lower temperatures than those found in zone 5. Boxwood works well in a hedge, accepting severe pruning and shaping. Many varieties are available, including Korean boxwood (Buxus microphylla var. koreana) that grows to 6 feet (2 m.) tall and 6 feet (2 m.) wide.
Mountain mahogany is another family of cold hardy shrubs that are great for hedges. Curl-leaf mountain mahogany (Cercocapus ledifolius) is an attractive native shrub. It grows to 10 feet (3 m.) tall and 10 feet (3 m.) wide and thrives in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 8.
When you are growing hedges in zone 5, you should consider a holly hybrid. Merserve hollies (Ilex x meserveae) make beautiful hedges. These shrubs have blue-green foliage with spines, thrive in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 to 7, and grow to 10 feet (3 m.) tall.
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Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.