Texas Hedge Plants (With Pictures) – Identification Guide

Texas Hedge Plants (With Pictures) – Identification Guide

Hedge plants for Texas are an excellent choice for creating privacy screens, windbreaks, and borders around your property. However, finding the best plants to grow a hedge in the Lone Star State can be challenging. Texas is known for its hot summers, so selecting hedge plants that can withstand heat, humidity, and drought conditions is important.

Many tall shrubs and hedge plants are suitable for growing in Texas. For example, fast-growing bushes and shrubs thrive in all Texas growing zones—from Zone 6 in northern Texas and the Panhandle to Zone 9 along the Mexican border and the Gulf Coast.

The best plants for planting a hedgerow in Texas are evergreen shrubs. These provide year-round privacy for your property and act as a natural noise barrier. Furthermore, numerous ornamental species of plants bloom from spring through summer, filling southern gardens with color, fragrance, and beauty.

This article is a guide to choosing the best hedge plants for Texas. Descriptions and pictures of native and adapted shrubs that thrive in the Texas climate will help you create a beautiful and functional hedge for your yard. Additionally, tips on planting, pruning, and maintenance will ensure your hedge stays healthy and attractive throughout the year.

What Are the Best Texas Hedge Plants For Privacy

The best hedge plants to screen your Texas yard are evergreen, low-maintenance shrubs that grow rapidly. Additionally, the shrubby plants should be heat-tolerant and withstand at least six hours of sunlight daily. Suitable Texas hedge plants include cherry laurel, common privet, Leyland cypress, and southern wax myrtle.

Fast-Growing Hedges For Texas

Fast-growing hedges are a great option to create a natural boundary around your Texas property. Some of the best hedge plants that grow rapidly are hawthorn, juniper, and laurel shrubs. These hedges provide privacy and shade and add beauty to your landscape. Additionally, they are well-suited to the hot and humid climate of Texas.

How to Choose Privacy Hedge Plants For Texas

When planting shrubs in Texas, it is important to consider your region’s growing zone, sun exposure, and soil types. Native hedge plants in Texas should withstand cold winter temperatures in the north and the hot, humid climate of the south. However, some evergreen hedge shrubs suitable for southern Texas may struggle through winters in the Panhandle.

Texas is divided into the following four USDA growing zones:

  • Zone 6 is in the far north, including most of the Panhandle.
  • Zones 7 and 8 are Central Texas, north of San Antonio and Houston, to the border with Oklahoma.
  • Zone 9 in the southernmost part of Texas along the Gulf of Mexico to the Mexican border.

Texas Hedge Plants (With Pictures)

Texas is home to many attractive and versatile hedge plants. From evergreen shrubs to flowering bushes, these plants are perfect for creating a privacy screen or adding a decorative border around your property.

Here are some of the best Texas shrubs and hedge plants for your southern landscape.

Carolina Cherry Laurel (Prunus caroliniana)

Carolina Cherry Laurel (Prunus Caroliniana) Identification and care

Carolina cherry laurel is a great choice for hedges or privacy living fence in most parts of Texas

The Carolina cherry laurel is a fast-growing evergreen shrub that is one of the most popular hedge plants in Texas. The shrub’s dense foliage, glossy green leaves, and fragrant white spring flowers make it an excellent choice for creating a privacy screen or natural fence line. Reddish-purple berries follow clusters of white flowers.

Carolina cherry laurels grow 20 to 30 ft. (6 – 9 m) tall and up to 25 ft. (7.5 m) wide. They are hardy in USDA zones 7 through 10 and thrive in full sun to partial shade. The shrub is also drought-tolerant, making it an ideal choice for Texas landscapes—from Amarillo in the north to Corpus Christi on the Gulf Coast.

Related reading: The best flowers for Texas landscapes.

Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria)

Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria)

Yaupon holly is a fast growing evergreen hedge shrub for Texas that is low maintenance and drought tolerant

One of the fastest-growing plants for a Texas hedge is Yaupon holly. This evergreen shrub grows 10 to 20 ft. (3 – 6 m) tall and 12 ft. (3.6) wide. The shrub’s dense foliage and evergreen habit make a security screen or windbreak around your backyard. Its deep green oval leaves grow 1.5” (4 cm) long.

Yaupon holly tolerates full shade to full sun, making it highly versatile as a hedge plant. It requires minimal pruning and is extremely drought-tolerant. Ideal for zones 7 to 9, it thrives in Texas’s hottest summer months throughout the state.

Sunshine Privet (Ligustrum sinense ‘Sunshine’)

Sunshine Privet (Ligustrum sinense ‘Sunshine’)

A picture of Chinese privet hedge pruned low to add a burst of sunny yellow colored foliage to brighten up landscaped garden

Sunshine privet is a fast-growing evergreen shrub with bright yellow-green foliage, perfect for creating a colorful hedge or privacy screen in Texas. The shrub features small oval-shaped golden yellow leaves, odorous white flowers, and clusters of glossy blue-black berries. It’s an ideal shrub for brightening a Texas landscape throughout the year.

Sunshine privet grows 3 to 6 ft. (0.9 – 1.8 m) tall and up to 4 ft. (1.2 m) wide. It’s cold hardy throughout most of Texas, apart from the Panhandle. This Texas hedge plant is drought-tolerant, low-maintenance, and suitable for full sun to partial shade. As its name suggests, vibrant foliage adds a touch of sunshine to any southern landscape.

Common Privet (Ligustrum japonicum)

Wax-Leaf Privet (Ligustrum japonicum)

Wax-leaf privet is an evergreen white flowering hedge shrub that is great for most parts of Texas

The common privet is an evergreen shrub that grows rapidly in Texas landscapes. Also called curly leaf ligustrum, the shrub features dark green glossy leaves and a dense branching habit. In late spring and early summer, the shrub produces clusters of small white flowers, followed by black berries in the fall.

This ornamental shrub is ideal as a hedge, privacy screen, or foundation planting. Common privet shrubs grow 6 to 12 ft. (1.8 – 3.7 m) tall and 6 ft. (1.8 m) wide. You can grow privet shrubs as a hedge throughout Texas in USDA zones 7 through 10. For best results, plant in full sun or partial shade.

Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora)

Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora)

Texas mountain laurel is a drought tolerant evergreen hedge plant that thrives in sunny Texas gardens

The Texas mountain laurel is a slow-growing but hardy evergreen shrub with clusters of purple flowers followed by whitish-gray seed pods. Perfect for use as a hedge in Texas, the shrub features glossy green leaves, dense growth, and fragrant purple-blue flowers. It’s highly tolerant to drought and ideal for xeriscaping in warm coastal climates.

Texas mountain laurel shrubs grow 15 to 25 ft. (4.5 – 7.5 m) tall and 10 ft. (3 m) wide. Thriving in full sun, the lush leathery leaves and shrubby growth make the plant ideal as a privacy screen, windbreak, or living fence. The shrub thrives in USDA zones 7 through 10.

Leyland Cypress (Cupressus × leylandii)

Leyland Cypress (Cupressus × leylandii)

Leyland cypress can grow to a tall tree but can be pruned and kept shorter as a privacy hedge screen

The Leyland cypress is a popular evergreen coniferous tree used as a hedge, privacy screen, or windbreak in all regions of Texas. The fast-growing conifer has sprays of soft green scaly leaves growing on reddish-brown branches. Its conical shape and dense foliage make the shrub ideal for creating a secluded or private backyard.

The majestic tree grows rapidly at up to 3 ft. (1 m) annually, reaching a mature height of 60 to 70 ft. (18 – 21 m) tall and 10 to 15 ft. (3 – 4.5 m) wide. Therefore, you must trim the top regularly to maintain its height. Suitable for Texas’s growing zones 6 to 10, the Leyland cypress is one of the fastest-growing coniferous trees for growing as a hedge plant.

Southern Wax Myrtle (Myrica cerifera)

Wax Myrtle (Myrica cerifera)

Southern wax myrtle is a shrub-like tree that can be grown as a Texas hedge plant in full sun to part shade

Southern wax myrtle is identified by its lush, glossy dark green oval leaves, clusters of small flowers, and pale blue berries. This bushy, fast-growing evergreen shrub grows 10 to 15 ft. (3 – 4.5 m) tall and 8 to 10 ft. (2.4 – 3 m) wide. Other attractive features of the ornamental shrub are fragrant foliage and flowers that give off a spicy aroma when crushed.

Southern wax myrtle shrubs are hardy in USDA zones 7 through 11. Ideal for central and southern Texas, the shrubs tolerate coastal air, drought, flooding, and urban conditions. Plant in full sun or partial shade in medium to wet soils for best results.

Cape Jasmine (Gardenia jasminoides)

Cape Jasmine (Gardenia jasminoides)

The white flowers of cape jasmine hedge plant add beauty and fragrance to Texas landscapes

Cape jasmine is ideal for growing as a privacy screen or hedge to keep out nosy neighbors. The attractive features of the evergreen shrub are its stunning fragrant white flowers, glossy dark green leaves, and small pale orange berries. In southern Texas, you can expect the hedge shrub to bloom for most of the year.

Cape jasmine is cold-hardy in USDA zones 8 through 11. The beautiful white-flowering ornamental shrub grows 3 to 6 ft. (1 – 1.8 m) tall and wide. As well as growing as a flowering hedge, the shrub works well along a foundation line or in containers.

Southern Magnolia ‘Little Gem’ (Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’)

Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’

‘Little Gem’ is a dwarf cultivar of Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) that can be used as a privacy hedge in many parts of Texas

The southern magnolia ‘Little Gem’ is a fast-growing evergreen shrub with highly fragrant six-petaled white flowers. This compact, dwarf ornamental shrub is identified by its white spring-blooming flowers, dark-green leathery leaves, and cone-like fruiting clusters. The lanceolate evergreen leaves measure 10” (25 cm) long, and the white flowers are 12” (30 cm) across.

This dwarf southern magnolia is perfect for use as a privacy screen, windbreak, or noise barrier in Texas. In ideal conditions, ‘Little Gem’ magnolia grows 15 to 20 ft. (4.5 – 6 m) tall and ten ft. (3 m) wide. It is suitable for growing in zones 7 through 10 and prefers full sun or partial shade.

This low-maintenance shrub is an excellent choice for creating a classic, Southern-style landscape.

Silverthorn (Elaeagnus pungens)

Silverthorn (Elaeagnus pungens)

Silverthorn is a hardy fast-growing Texas shrub that tolerates many conditions and is suitable as a security hedge plant

Silverthorn is a fast-growing evergreen shrub with creamy-white flowers and red fruits. The thorny shrub’s branches, dense foliage, and rapid growth make it perfect for use as a security barrier or privacy screen in Texas. The shrub has leathery, dark green leaves with silver undersides and measures 2” to 4” (5 – 10 cm) long.

Silverthorn shrubs thrive in USDA zones 7 through 9, growing 12 to 15 ft. (3.6 – 4.5 m) tall and wide. Tolerant of pollution, salt spray, drought, and deer, the shrubs are an excellent choice for growing a hedgerow around your property.

Oleander (Nerium oleander)

Oleander Tree (Nerium oleander)

Oleanders are flowering shrubs with a variety of flower colors that can be grown in Texas as privacy hedges

Oleander is a sun-loving evergreen shrub for Texas. It has fragrant, showy flowers that bloom throughout the summer. The colorful flowers come in shades of pink, red, white, and yellow, growing in clusters at the end of the branches. The long, narrow olive-like leaves are attractive and enhance the plant’s overall beauty.

Oleander is a versatile plant that makes a stunning flowering hedge or privacy screen. Thriving in USDA zones 8 to 10, the beautiful shrub grows 4 to 8 ft. (1.2 – 2.4 m) tall and 5 ft. (1.5 m) wide. It is also a great choice for coastal gardens, as it tolerates salt spray and windy conditions. However, oleander is toxic if ingested, so it should be planted away from pets and children.

Littleleaf Boxwood (Buxus microphylla)

Littleleaf Boxwood (Buxus microphylla)

The compact evergreen littleleaf boxwood can be used to create a formal hedge in north and central Texas

The littleleaf boxwood is a slow-growing, evergreen shrub that thrives in northern and central Texas. This compact shrub is perfect for creating a formal hedge or border in your garden. It has small, glossy green leaves that stay green all year round and produces tiny, fragrant white flowers in the spring.

Littleleaf boxwood shrubs grow 2 to 4 ft. (0.6 – 1.2 m) tall and wide. They are hardy in USDA zones 6 through 9 and prefer partial shade to full sun. The slow-growing nature of this shrub means it requires less maintenance than other fast-growing hedge plants.

Viburnum Shrubs for Privacy

Several viburnum shrub varieties are ideal if you want to plant a flowering hedge in Texas. Viburnum shrubs are known for their showy foliage of glossy green leaves and spectacular clusters of white or pink flowers followed by red or black berry clusters. In addition, viburnum hedges provide an attractive privacy screen for your front garden.

Depending on the variety, viburnum shrubs grow 6 to 12 ft. (1.8 – 3.6 m) tall and wide. However, some varieties of evergreen bushes can grow as small shrub-like trees. The best cultivars for growing a deciduous hedge in Texas include the following:

Laurustinus (Viburnum tinus): A whitish-pink flowering shrub with blue berries suitable for full sun in USDA zones 8 to 10. Laurustine grows up to 8 ft. (2.4 m) tall.

Viburnum tinus

Laurustinus (Viburnum tinus)

Sandankwa Viburnum (Viburnum suspensum): This shade-loving hedge plant has white to pale pink flowers and is an excellent evergreen shrub for growing in central and southern Texas. It grows up to 12 ft. (3.6 m) in height.

Sandankwa Viburnum (Viburnum suspensum)

Sandankwa Viburnum (Viburnum suspensum)

Walter’s Viburnum (Viburnum obovatum): Evergreen in most regions of Texas, this ornamental shrub has dainty five-petaled white flowers and wedge-shaped, dark green leaves. It can grow to a tall size, however dwarf cultivars are available for compact spaces.

Viburnum obovatum

Viburnum obovatum

Eastern Baccharis (Baccharis halimifolia)

Eastern Baccharis (Baccharis halimifolia)

Eastern baccharis is a native Texas hedge shrub that stays evergreen in mild winter areas and tolerates harsh conditions

Eastern Baccharis is a vigorous evergreen shrub native to Texas. Ornamental features of this flowering bushy plant are its oval-shaped gray-green leaves, a profusion of white flowers, and plume-like seeds that look like paintbrushes. In mild-winter areas of Texas, the shrub stays green throughout the year.

Eastern Baccharis is ideal for growing as a hedge, privacy screen, or windbreak. The shrub has a dense growth habit with small, glossy green leaves. The small flowers are not particularly showy, but they do attract pollinators.

Eastern Baccharis grows 3 to 10 ft. (1 – 3 m) tall and wide. Its tolerance for poor growing conditions—drought, heat, salt, and sandy soil—makes it ideal for creating borders and hedges in Texas deserts or coastal landscapes. It is hardy in USDA zones 8 through 10 and prefers full sun to partial shade.

Glossy Abelia (Abelia grandiflora)

Glossy Abelia (Abelia grandiflora)

Glossy abelia is commonly used as a hedge plant in Texas gardens due to its dense foliage

Glossy abelia is popular in Texas yards as a hedge plant due to its fragrant white or pink bell-shaped flowers and densely growing foliage. This rounded, semi-evergreen shrub blooms from late spring through fall. Its dark green oval leaves turn purplish-bronze before they drop in fall. Its gracefully arching branches give the Texas shrub plenty of winter interest.

Glossy abelia grows 3 to 6 ft. (1 – 1.8 m) tall and wide and is suitable for growing in USDA zones 6 through 9. It’s an excellent hedge plant for creating a natural-looking border around your property. Or you can plant it to hide a chain link fence or grow it as a wall-side or shrub border.

Portuguese Cherry Laurel (Prunus lusitanica)

Portuguese Laurel (Prunus lusitanica)

Portuguese cherry laurel is a versatile low-maintenance evergreen shrub for privacy hedge and living fence in Texas

Portuguese laurel is a beautiful evergreen shrub that makes an excellent hedge plant in Central and South Texas. The shrub features dark green, leathery leaves on red stems, small, fragrant white flowers through spring and summer, and clusters of red to purple berry-like drupes.

Portuguese cherry laurel grows 20 to 30 ft. (1.8 – 4.5 m) tall and 10 to 15 ft. (3 – 4.5 m) wide. The non-native shrub has adapted well to Texas landscapes. It has become a popular shrub to grow as a formal hedge, noise barrier, or shrub border.

Portugal laurel thrives in USDA zones 4 through 9 and prefers full sun or partial shade.

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