10 Privacy Trees to Grow in Florida (to Block Prying Eyes!)

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Written By Kenique Ivery

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Home » Florida » 10 Privacy Trees to Grow in Florida (to Block Prying Eyes!)

So, you want to up the privacy levels of your property? A dense row of trees is the best way to do that. Or one big tree with dense foliage. 

First, the privacy trees should be evergreen – at no time of the year should peeking be allowed. Second, it helps if they are fast-growing trees so that you can get privacy sooner rather than later. Also, it helps if the foliage is dense. 

Though the following trees make great privacy screens, each provides something unique. For example, needlepoint holly offers beautiful red berries, while oleander provides lush tropical foliage and fragrant flowers. 

10 Great Privacy Trees to Block Nosy Neighbors in Florida!

1. Leyland Cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii)

Leyland Cypress
Image by Leonora (Ellie) Enking via Flickr

Leyland cypress is a good pick because of its rapid growth. It can quickly grow multiple feet each year. However, it would help if you planted multiple because of its narrow shape (up 10 feet wide).

The scale-like needles are bluish-green and flat. They are pointy at the tips and soft.

Leyland cypress is a perfect choice for tall hedges because it responds well to pruning.

This particular type of Cypress tree grows well in acidic, alkaline, clay, loamy, moist, sandy, rich, and well-drained soils. It would be best to give it at least six hours of direct sunlight each day for consistent and healthy growth.

USDA Growing Zones:  6 – 10

Average Size at Maturity: 25 – 35 feet tall with a spread of 8 – 10 feet

Available at: Nature Hills, My Perfect Plants & Fast-Growing-Trees

2. Thuja Green Giant (Thuja plicata x standishii ‘Green Giant’)

Thuja Green Giant is an excellent pick if you want a quick yet attractive privacy solution. It grows 3 – 5 feet each year once established.

It also works well for small spaces because it doesn’t take up much space. Of course, because these trees are so narrow, you should plant multiple – depending on how much privacy you want. It helps to pay keen attention to the spread so you can know how many are enough for your space.

Thuja Green Giant is drought tolerant and strongly resistant to disease and insects. I recommend it to any landscaping who is new to landscaping or doesn’t feel competent. It is truly one of the easiest trees to grow on this list.

These trees need at least four hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight daily. During the first six months, regular watering is helpful, but after that, rainfall should be enough.

Sadly, not all Floridians can plant this lush green privacy tree. It grows better in north Florida, specifically the panhandle.

USDA Growing Zones:  5 – 8

Average Size at Maturity: 30 – 50 feet tall with a standalone spread of 12 – 15 feet

Available at: Nature Hills, My Perfect Plants & Fast-Growing-Trees

3. Needlepoint Holly (Ilex cornuta ‘Needlepoint’)

Needlepoint holly is a fast-growing cultivar of the Japanese holly. The small tree makes an excellent hedge because of its dense foliage, especially when pruned well. Due to their compact size, I recommend them to you if you have a tight spot that you want to enclose. 

The tree features shiny dark green leaves which are evergreen. It also bears small white flowers in the spring, then the classic red holly berries, which remain well into the following winter. These berries attract birds and small mammals. 

Needlepoint holly is low maintenance and drought tolerant. These trees do well in full sun to partial sun. They do require any fertilization. During periods of extreme heat, which is common in Florida – a weekly watering is beneficial. 

USDA Growing Zones: 7 – 9

Average Size at Maturity: 15 – 20 feet tall with spread of 10 – 20 feet

Available at: Nature Hills, My Perfect Plants & Fast-Growing-Trees

4. Oleander Tree (Nerium oleander)

Oleander (Nerium Oleander) Tree and Flowers - Pink, White and Deep Pink
Image by Fern Berg for Tree Vitalize

Oleander is one of the most impressive trees on this list. It is not only good for privacy, but it is also an excellent flowering tree

It blooms most of the year! Better yet, the flowers are delightfully fragrant. The fast-growing tree has long green and thick leaves, and the flowers come in red, white, and pink, among others.

Oleander as a hedge
Image by Dave Collier via Flickr

Oleander is a great fit if your landscape theme is more on the lush tropical side. Also, if you have a smaller landscape, it is worth considering this compact tree

Oleanders love warm weather and thrive in the Florida humidity. You can find them growing throughout the state in commercial and residential landscapes, especially in the southern half of Florida. 

Oleanders are easy to care for and respond well to pruning. A lot of sunlight is helpful for robust growth. 

Other Common Names: Rosebay, Kaner, Rose Laurel

USDA Growing Zones: 8b – 10

Average Size at Maturity: 8 – 12 feet tall with a spread of 6 – 10 feet

Flowering Season: Spring through fall

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

5. Deodar Cedar Tree (Cedrus deodara)

Deodar Cedar Tree
Image by Steve Haslam via Flickr

Deodar cedar has a graceful-looking tree with gently drooping branches and a silvery-green color. The trees grow pyramidal and look beautiful either alone or in groups.

Deodar cedar grows relatively fast, about two feet each year. If you want a faster-growing evergreen tree with similar looks, then you can consider Thuja Green Giant

These Cedar trees do well in a wide range of soil types. Though it has good drought tolerance, it prefers moist soil. Paying close attention to soil moisture levels is essential with conifers like this one and Leyland cypress. Such is vital for beautiful foliage and healthy roots. 

Deodar cedar does best in at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight daily. 

This tree is not only great for human privacy. It also is an ideal nesting site and covers small mammals and birds.

Other Common Names: Himalayan cedar, Deodar

USDA Growing Zones: 7 – 9

Average Size at Maturity: Up to 70 feet tall with a spread of 20 – 40 feet

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

6. Eldarica Pine (Pinus eldarica)

Eldarica pine is a good privacy tree for those in North Florida. It grows fast when young but moderately as it matures. Its medium green foliage is denser than other pine trees and has an upright growth habit. 

This pine tree is excellent as a windbreaker and for privacy. It is a good idea to plant it near a window or porch because of the mild and fresh fragrance of the tree. 

Eldarica pine is perfect for drought-prone regions. 

These trees do well in Florida’s sandy soil. But be sure to plant them in a well-draining spot as they will not be able to tolerate the period of heavy rainfall that sometimes arrive in Florida. 

Other Common Names: Mondell Pine

USDA Growing Zones: 6 – 10

Average Size at Maturity:  30 – 80 feet tall with a spread of 15 – 25 feet

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees

7. Fern Podocarpus (Podocarpus gracilior / Afrocarpus gracilior)

Fern Podocarpus
Image by Forest and Kim Starr via Flickr

Fern Podocarpus is an elegant privacy or shade tree. From a distance, it looks like a regular broadleaf tree, but like pines, cedars, and junipers, it is a conifer, which means it reproduces with cones. 

Fern Podocarpus offers beautiful, lush gray-green foliage. The narrow leaves are soft, gently swaying, and have a fern-like appearance. 

You can choose this tree to add privacy to a pool or concrete area. This is because the roots rarely lift and cause damage, a common problem with trees planted near concrete. 

Fern Podocarpus is best for those in central and south Florida, as it does not tolerate freezing temperatures. 

This elegant tree prefers full sun, well-drained soils, and moderate moisture. 

Other Common Names: Benet, Bastard yellowwood, African fern tree, Eastern African yellowwood

USDA Growing Zones: 6 – 9

Average Size at Maturity: 40 – 50 feet tall with a spread of 20 – 25 ft

Available at: Nature Hills

8. Nelly Stevens Holly (Ilex X ‘Nellie R. Stevens’)

Nelly Stevens holly grows an impressive 3 feet each year. Combined with shiny and dense foliage, this tree is one of the most popular privacy trees.

Like other hollies, the charm of this tree is the quintessential red berries that linger well into the winter. These berries attract a wide range of beautiful birds to the landscape.

Holly trees tend to have separate genders – male and female. But Nelly Stevens holly doesn’t need a male tree to produce berries. Unlike the traditional American holly, which requires both genders to make the classic red berries.

I recommend planting this tree in partial sun for Florida growers, which is at least 4 hours of unfiltered and direct sunlight each day. Too much sunlight can scald or ruin shiny and lovely foliage.

USDA Growing Zones:  6 – 9

Average Size at Maturity:  15 – 25 feet with a spread of 8 – 15 feet

Available at: Nature Hills, My Perfect Plants & Fast-Growing-Trees

9. Wax Myrtle Tree (Myrica cerifera)

Wax myrtle is a small evergreen tree native to Florida. Its foliage is dense and touches the ground – making it a fine hedge or privacy tree. You can easily prune or manicure it to have a formal and elegant appearance. In addition, it is fast-growing. 

Wax myrtle has a reputation for being tough. It tolerates heat, cold, wet soils, and even salty solutions. In some spots in Florida, the soil can be a bit soggy; this is a good privacy tree for such sites. The University of Florida IFAS recommends these trees for coastal areas. 

Growing wax myrtle is easy. It grows well in full or partial sun and is drought-tolerant. As it is a native tree, it will likely establish itself easily. 

Other Common Names: Bay-rum tree, Bayberry, Candleberry, Sweet gale

USDA Growing Zones: 7 – 11

Average Size at Maturity: 15 feet with an equal spread

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

10. Eastern Red Cedar Tree (Juniperus virginiana)

Eastern Red Cedar Florida
Image by Katja Schulz via Flickr

Native to much of the eastern United States, eastern red cedar is a classic evergreen privacy tree. This tree is known for its berry-like dark purple cones with a white wax cover giving a sky-blue appearance. 

It has a dense pyramidal shape with medium green foliage. It is hard to see anything through this tree!

The twigs and foliage will attract browsers such as deer. Also, do not be surprised if you see families of birds nesting and roosting in your eastern red cedar tree.  

This tree loves lots of sunlight, so it is best to grow it in open spaces. Eastern red cedar does well in many soil types – sandy, clay, loamy, moist, rich, etc. 

Other Names: Red Cedar, Virginian juniper, Eastern juniper, Red juniper

USDA Growing Zones: 4 – 9

Average Size at Maturity: 40 – 50 feet tall with a spread of 8 – 20 feet

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

Choosing the Right Privacy Tree for your Region

North and south Florida have very different climates. For this reason, it is essential to check with the Florida’s hardiness zone for your area. Once you figure out what your is, you will know which of the above ten trees are options for you. 

Some of the best privacy trees are conifers (cone-bearing) such as cypresses and junipers. They offer highly dense foliage, and some grow incredibly fast. 

But you can also choose flowering screens such as oleander; though not as dense, it is stunning and sweet-smelling. 

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Kenique Ivery

Global Green Thumb

Kenique grew up in Florida and currently lives in southern China. Before China, he spent many years in Portugal and the Caribbean. He studied economics and is a teacher, entrepreneur, and writer. Since he was knee-high, he has been gardening and was an active member of FFA (Future Farmers of America). He is his best self in a densely wooded forest or park. Depending on the day, you can find him reading, hiking, traveling, exercising, sipping lots of tea, or eating everything in sight.

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