Many homeowners turn to the Ficus as the first option to fulfill their needs for a privacy hedge. The reasons are simple. The Ficus is relatively inexpensive and it grows very fast.
Unfortunately, the same reasons the homeowners like the Ficus are the same reasons they “grow” to dislike this “hedge”. First of all, the Ficus is a “tree” not a hedge. This quick growing easy to care for “tree” grows like a tree with roots and a trunk like a tree and tall like a tree. You may trim it like a hedge, but the root structure is strong and invasive which makes it hard to grow any other plants at its base. The aggressive root system can also cause damage to foundations, sidewalks, driveways, and pavers.
Second, the inexpensive aspect of this so called “hedge” will get thrown to the wayside once the homeowner realizes how expensive and time consuming it is to maintain. It is true that this plant can be shaped and pruned into many different looks but since it is so fast growing, it needs constant upkeep. If your plant gets out of control, you will pay dearly to have it brought back to size and even more to have it removed.
Make your investment up front! Do research on what native hedge plants work in your area. Put the money into your landscape up front and invest in a plant that grows naturally as a hedge, not as a tree. This will save your time, energy and money in the long run as well as enhancing the quality of your landscape.