Best Privacy Hedge Plants for Los Angeles and Southern California

If you pay attention while driving around in Los Angeles you will begin to notice a few plant types of plants that are used again and again to create a privacy hedge. The top 3 plants used to create hedges in Southern California are the Ficus Nitida, Ligustrum Japonicum Texana “Wax Leaf Privet”, and Podocarpus gracilior.

The number iconic “Hollywood” hedge is botanically known as Ficus nitida. Ficus are found all over Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and Santa Monica as well as many other parts of Los Angeles. They’re so popular because Ficus grow the fastest, have an upright habit, and can reach over 20 feet tall. Many homeowners top them between 10 – 15 feet tall, and have them regularly trimmed with an electric trimmer to so they fill in and keep their shape. The ficus have notoriously aggressive roots, which is why they grow so fast. The root system of mature Ficus can potential crack or damage nearby concrete hardscape such as walkways, patios, and driveways. They can even damage pool pipes as their roots can become large. Keeping Ficus plants small will also maintain root size. Install 1-3 foot deep root barrier material to create a physical barrier, and cause deeper roots by restricting horizontal root growth. Another option is to choose a hedging plant that does not have invasive roots. The most popular choice for a hedge without invasive roots is by far the Ligustrum Japonicum ‘texanum’, commonly named the Wax Leaf Privet and Texas Privet. Because of their shiny leaf.. Texas cultivar…

Ligustrum Japonicum ‘texanum’ is the boticanical name of the cultivar that does not grow as large as… Has become popular because of its size, does not grow ..

botanically known as Ligustrum Japonicum ‘texanum’. This cultivar is also known as the Texas Privet and does not grow as tall and large as other cultivars and Ficus.

The wax leaf privet are found all over Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. and are… They’re often maintained around 10 feet tall and have darker green leaves a than the ficus.

Take a closer look to see the difference between the ficus and ligustrum until they look closer. The difference is that Ligustrum does not grow nearly as tall as ficus, therefore wax leaf privets DO NOT have invasive roots. They do not crack or damage concrete. Privets are both drought tolerant and much more cold tolerant than ficus. They resist the winter cold and winds very well.

These two are most often debated for purchase… Many people want a 10 ft hedge as fast as possble, remember once both reach this size and are established, the ligustrum are less maintenance over the ficus. Ficus will require trimming more often a couple times a year, while the ligustrim may just be once main trimming then only a few clips to keep things in line until the next flush of growth in the spring – summer


Podocarpus are commonly known as fern pine. They have= soft leaves, shiny unique thin leaflets arranged opposite (opposite arrangement).. Drooping branch form create a . USE Podocarpus gracilior to create a majestic landscape look. One that will separate. Due to their thin leaves and slower growth rate it may take longer to fill in. Podocarpus are more commonly available is 15 gallon and 24″ box sizes. Larger 36″ Box size trees over 10 feet tall are less often planted because of the cost and possible lack of access once a property is built. 15 gallon trees are about 6 feet tall while 24″ boxes will be about 9 feet tall but much fuller and wider.


Italian cypress are traditionally used in Tuscany and other parts of Europe like France to create Italian landscapes and garden. Renaissance.. Its Shape breaks the horizontal landscape.. Can become large over decades.. 

Use as a gateway  by planting them symmetrically before an entry way. Create an allele down a long driveway or street. Their repetitive pattern of this unique conical shape and massive size creates an intense build up.. 


In California, Italian cypress became very popular in the 1920’s with many home owners planting them to create privacy. You can see them spearing out of the ground when you drive down the streets of the San Fernando Valley and all of Los Angeles. Italian cypress is now a popular nursery choice commonly available is 5 gallon size potted plant that is over 3 ft tall,the  15 gallon potted plant that is the most popular size which is about 6 ft tall planted , and 24″ box size, which is the most popular size for those who want to start of even bigger with them at usually about about 9 ft tall are regularly. available. . The 36″ mature trees  about usually about 12 feet can also be purchased based on availability since they take so long the become this large.

Carolina Cherry have unique reddish color leaves and beautiful flowers. They create a cherry like fruit that homeowners complain of the mess. Its very popular for its unique colors.

All of these grow great in Los Angeles. It just depends what you are looking for. If you do not have any concrete around and want they fastest growing plant that gets Ficus. To prevent damage if you have concrete and hardscape but want privacy relatively quickly with less maintenance and have winds or cold or water use ___ use privets. To create unique landscape feature plantsthem..  use podocarpus and italian cypress.. For vibrant color use Carolina cherry


One final thougt is to use Edible Hedge Plants – citrus trees are great for hedge are evergreen and product fragrant flowers and tasty fruit throughout the year.

Pomegranates planted in a row create a barrier hedge and provide color most of the year with spring flower and fall fruit. They go lose their leaves to go dormant in the winter.