Grow an Edible Privacy Shrub

First of all, the priority with a privacy shrub is privacy, therefore, any plant as part of a privacy shrub should not die in a light frost and leave a gaping hole in your shrub.  But, what if we could do better than just privacy?  What if that privacy shrub could be dual purposed, or triple purposed?

Secondary reasons to create a privacy shrub would be to create food or security

Shrub Name




Podocarpus ‘Maki’ aka Japanese YewPodocarpus aka Japanese Yew Privacy HedgeThick foliage, green all year, 20′ High, 6′ Wide, Salt & drought tolerant, cold tolerant to 10F.  About 5 years to mature into hedge from 1 gallon potted plant.Berries yes, seeds no, Podocarpus PieNone
Natal Plum aka Nom-Nom TreeNatal Plum aka Nom Nom used as part of an Edible Privacy HedgeThick dark green foliage, 8’+Height, Spend the 1st year as a low sprawling shrub before growing upwards. Cold Tolerant to 20F, 5+ Years to MatureNicknamed the Nom-Nom tree for its tasty fruitIntense Thorns will keep people and animals from crossing shrubs.
Wax MyrtleWax Myrtle as Part of Privacy Hedge, drives away MosquitosThick Light Green all year, 6-12′ in Height & width.  Heat and drought tolerant, cold tolerant to 10F. About 4-5 years until mature hedge from seed.NoneRepels Mosquitos!

Clumping Bamboo, Emerald2 year Old Emerald Bamboo for use in a Privacy HedgeFast growing! ~3 years until 20′ dense Hedge, Tolerant to 25F, easy to divide and propogate, but expensive to buy individual Plants.Young shoots are reportably edible and mature shoots for building/staking Once thick may be impossible to walk through without cutting
Surinam Cherry aka Florida Cherry TreeSurinam Cherry, Florida Cherry Tree for use as an edible permaculture privacy shrubFast growing, 3-4 years until mature, up to 25 ft height.  Only tolerant to 32F, but will come back quickly from roots.  I use these on the sides or our property  towards the rear.“Cherries” are edible and quite tasty when ripe.None
Areca PalmsAreca Palm, great fast growing thick privacy shrubFast Growing to 12′ ~3 years when fertilized regularly.  This is a plant that will die at 32(young) and upper 20’s(older) and will come back from the rootsNoneNone
CocoplumCocoplum used as an edible permaculture privacy hedgeFast Growing ~3 years to full grown privacy hedge, round leaves and growth habit which are pleasant to look at.  Dies at 32FCocoplum fruit which tastes like marshmallowsNone
Firebush, Florida NativeNative Florida Firebush as Edible Privacy HedgeGrows to 14 ft in about 4 years with water and fertilizer, slow otherwise, drought tolerant, loves Florida weather.  Dies at 32F.  Not particularly denseRipe fruits are edible but not palatable, the chickens like them.  Making a Pie or Jam is a possibilityNone

Which one for my Privacy Shrub?

Well, the short answer is don’t pick just one.  Choosing and repeating one plant is called monoculture and attracts pests and bacteria.  Your privacy shrub will be much healthier, robust, and resistant to disease if you choose two or even three of the above plants to repeat.


This is the most inclusive list I have seen on the web and I hope it helps some people around the globe to make a polyculture privacy shrub!  If you have another suggestion please leave a comment below!

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