Living close to the Florida coast, the wind can get in the way of outdoor enjoyment. Some of our clients ask us about windbreak plants that can help them create an outdoor space that’s more enjoyable and usable.
Many homeowners want plants as a barrier to the wind hitting their outdoor living patio, the place where they’ll spend the most time outside. When deciding where to put the plants, a landscape architect will look at how the house is situated on the lot, which then helps dictate the best spot for the windbreak plants.
Planting a green screen, so to speak, can make your yard less sensitive to windy weather, buying you more time to enjoy in the great outdoors — and a little natural privacy to boot. Here are some things to think about when considering windbreak plants for our Florida landscape.
5 Plants To Create A Fast-Growing Windbreak
The following plants are a few of GreenEarth’s top picks for fast-growing windbreaks for your Florida landscape. They’ll help keep strong winds at bay, so your time in the yard is easy breezy and not cut short.
Sometimes knowns as a Japanese Yew, this evergreen tree grows 30-45 feet high and is highly resistant to wind. It doesn’t need frequent trimming, which makes maintenance easier. There are other podocarpus varieties which don’t grow as tall, if you want something shorter..
This hedge plant has the added advantage of growing pretty white flowers in spring. It’s also cold-tolerant and can be trimmed to look formal or natural. Its leaves grow close together so you’ll have a dense wall.
These fast growing shrubs can sprout up five feet in a year, creating a wind barrier in short time. This evergreen can easily block the wind if planted in multiples. It’s adaptable and easy to maintain as well.
You might also know this tree as a Japanese or Chinese privet, as there are several types. Ligustrums can also be used as hedges. They have dense foliage you can trim to look ornamental or natural. They grow quickly and handle the cold well.
The Yaupon Holly can grow 15-25 feet upward, and outward too. Some prefer to trim the Yaupon Holly to look like a hedge, and it can be grown into a tree or screen.
FYI: Two Reasons You May Not Want to Install Windbreak Plants
While windbreak plants help keep the outdoor area calmer and, well, less windy, it’s not the answer for all homeowners. Here are two reasons you may decide not to plant a windbreak area.
- Some homeowners with a gulf view prefer to live with the wind, rather than planting greenery that may block their water view. Remember that, once installed, plants will continue to grow and even those shorter specimens might block your view years later.
- Once the wind is strong enough, homeowners may not want to be outside anyway, so if the plants block the view and the wind continues to be brisk enough to be uncomfortable, you may want to opt for an open space instead.
GreenEarth Can Help You Choose The Best Windbreak Plants For Your Northwest Florida Landscaping
If you’re considering adding windbreak plants to your landscaping, the experts at GreenEarth are well educated on this topic and ready to answer any questions you may have. We can talk to you about the pros and cons of adding windbreaks, and give professional opinions on what plants would best suit your needs. We can talk with you about your goals and help you figure out the best plan for your home.
If you’d like a consultation or want to know what we can do to help you, give us a call at our Panama City Beach office at (850) 236-1959, or call our Santa Rosa Beach office at (850) 267-0010 to set up an appointment. You can also fill out the online form on our website to schedule a consultation.
Images: Flag in wind, Japanese Yew, Viburnum, Wax Myrtle, Ligustrum, Yaupon Holly