Shrubs are an important part of most Miami landscape designs. Their fast growth and relatively low maintenance demands allow gardeners to get a mature look in a short amount of time. Shrubs also create natural transitions between structures –such as fences and buildings— and the landscape. Learn about 5 of our favorite shrubs to use for Miami landscape designs.
Clusia – Clusia Gutifera
Thick, leathery leaves and a wide base make Clusia Gutifera an excellent choice for Miami Landscape Designers seeking privacy.
Planting: Plant in full to partial sun. Will tolerate many different soil types but does best in moist soils. Can be placed in seaside locations. Place 5 feet apart from other plants and 4 feet away from structures. Water regularly for the firt year.
Care: Fertilize three times a year (spring, summer, and fall) with slow-release fertilizer. If pruning only trim the branches, never cutting across the leaves. Once established you can just water during dry spells.
Use: Is an excellent privacy hedge. Place along fences or property borders while giving it plenty of space to grow width wise. Does well in large pots surrounding pools or other structures that could use some greenery.
Cocoplum - Chrysobalanus icaco 'Red Tip'
A South Florida native with contrasting foliage, Cocoplum will give texture and color to any garden.
Planting: Place 3 feet away from other shrubs and structures. Do not plant in a container. Does well in full to partial sun. Does well in a variety of soils, from wet to sandy. Cocoplum is moderately salt tolerant.
Care: Prune hedges up to three times a year to keep them in shape. Can be cut with hedge trimmers for a manicured look. Does best with regular irrigation but will tolerate moderate dry spells. Fertilize three times a year (spring, summer, and fall) with slow-release fertilizer
Use: We like to use cocoplum as a privacy hedge or as a camouflage for A/C and pool equipment. Also used along blank walls or driveways.
Coontie - Zamia integrifolia
Coontie is the ideal low-maintenance shrub for Miami landscape designs. As the only cycad native to North America, this unique looking shrub will add a fine-textured look to any garden.
Planting: Extremely adaptable, Coontie tolerates full sun to full shade. Place 2 feet away from structures and 3 feet away from other plants. Adapts to a variety of well-draining soils.
Care: Fertilize three times a year - spring, summer, and fall. Will not require trimming apart from the occasional dead branch. It is salt and drought-tolerant once established.
Use: Coontie is one of the most versatile plants in our arsenal. We like to place it bordering outdoor structures, such as mailboxes, patios, and driveways. It can also be used in mass plantings along areas needing some fullness. The most common way we use Coontie is surrounding the trunks of trees and palms, as it is one of the only fine-textured plants to thrive in the shade.
Silver Buttonwood - Conocarpus erectus
Silver leaves and rustic bark make the Silver Buttonwood an eye-catching shrub.
Planting: For maximum color and fullness place in full to partial sun. Place 4 feet apart from other plants and structures. Can be placed in salt exposed areas. Water regularly for 3 months following planting.
Care: Fertilize three times a year (spring, summer, and fall) with slow-release fertilizer. Can be trimmed regularly for a manicured appearance but avoid pruning more than 1/3 of the plant. Water regularly to maintain fullness.
Use: We like to use silver buttonwood as a backdrop for colorful plants. It also makes a great privacy screen when regularly maintained.
Sea Grape - Coccoloba uvifera
The large leaves of the sea-grape are great for providing privacy and adding a “beachy” look. Make sure you have enough space before planting this expansive native in your Miami landscape design.
Planting: Place in full sun or partial shade and well-draining soil. Must be watered every day for first few weeks following planting. Apply fertilizer four to six weeks after planting. Place 5 feet away from structures and 3 feet away from other sea grapes to create a hedge. A salt-tolerant native, sea grape will thrive in beach or canal homes.
Care: Fertilize once in March and once in June for the first two years. Sea Grape will not need watering or fertilizing once established. No pruning is necessary for a natural look, though you can lightly trim it for shape.
Use: Excellent at providing privacy, Sea Grape is an ideal hedge or windbreak. Place in wide planting beds or along driveways and sidewalks. Can also be grown in very large containers.