Recently, South Florida’s landscape is increasingly becoming bordered and outlined with Clusia hedges. Commercial properties, associations, and homeowners alike are investing heavily in Clusia as the #1 choice for Ficus replacement.

But is this a good idea? The answer is YES! Clusia can be a fantastic solution…but only if done right. Potter’s Lawn & Landscaping professionals offer five key considerations when choosing Clusia.

Clusia in Florida: 5 Things To Consider

Clusia plants thrive in full sun and warm climates, making them the ideal choice for South Florida landscapes. Their thick, paddle-shaped leaves make an incredibly dense hedge, offering privacy from noise pollution, wind, and even nosey neighbors. Before incorporating Clusia into your landscape design, keep reading to learn about Clusia’s unique qualities, upkeep, light requirements, and more.

1. Location, Location, Location

In cities like Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, and Coral Springs, an abundance of Clusia is being planted to replace properties’ long perimeter hedges or to screen parking lots and utilities. Clusia can be a great option, but only when planted in the right place. Keep in mind that Clusia is not Ficus—their growth habits are very different, and simply ripping out a Ficus and sticking a Clusia in the hole can lead to big headaches down the road. It’s essential to fully understand just how tall and wide the Clusia will be in order to determine how much space should be left between plants, sidewalks, and other structures.

2. Clusia Plant Care

Clusia seems predominately trouble-free for South Florida. Intense sunshine or complete shade? No problem. Salty air? Just fine. Poor soils? Quite adaptable.

Sounds perfect, right? But then again, so was Ficus back in the day. That’s why there were miles and miles of uninterrupted Ficus hedges planted across the state. Then the fig whitefly hit, and boy oh boy, did that pest hit the jackpot! Spreading from one Ficus to the next, the fig whitefly left devastating lines of leafless sticks, leaving associations with huge pest control expenses in an attempt to maintain their privacy.

We all know too well that life as we know it can change in a heartbeat, without warning.  Learning from the Ficus mistake seems obvious. ‘Species Breaks’ in landscape terminology means incorporating more than one plant species into the line. Species breaks done well act as a natural way to help control disease spread and when well-designed, they can look amazing! Potter’s Lawn and Landscaping works with several municipalities where species breaks are now required by code and the logic is sound.

clusia plants

3. Make Your Mark With Clusia Hedges

Clusias’ beauty lies in its large, light green, plump leaves, thick to the base. However, cut or tear your plant, and the mark is there forever—or until the leaf falls off. Hiring trained professionals to maintain Clusia is vital to ensure minimal damage when the hedge is trimmed. Using experienced landscaping companies that know when and how to maintain Clusia may just prevent South Florida hedges from looking like a bad hair day in summers to come.

4. Going For The Good Green

Clusia are selling like hotcakes, perhaps the next hottest item in the plant world. But not all plants are grown equally. Neglecting your Clusia from the start will lead to a myriad of deficiencies that can hinder future plant health. Purchasing from reputable suppliers that understand the characteristics of healthy plants from root to tip as well as the correct planting methods will pay dividends on your long-term investment.

5. Is Clusia Native to Florida?

So, is Clusia a native plant? The answer is yes and no—Clusia is the genus of which there are hundreds of varieties. However, only one variety is native to Florida: Clusia Rosea, also known as Autograph Tree or Pitch Apple. This is an excellent choice for a flowering tree as it is often underutilized in South Florida. However, many of the hedges we are seeing planted in the South Florida area are actually Clusia Guttifera (Small Leaf Clusia), hardy in our hot and humid Zone 11, but not a Floridian native.

cutting clusia hedges

Potter’s Lawn Is A Trusted Landscaping Provider In South Florida

Like we said earlier, it’s imperative that you handle your Clusia hedges with care, so don’t trust your plants with just any landscaper. The Potter’s Lawn team has years of experience installing and tending to Clusia plants in Florida.

Potter’s Lawn & Landscaping is a commercial landscape maintenance company working throughout South Florida’s Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Dade County. For over 24 years, we have offered our customers various services, including commercial lawn maintenance, landscape designs and installation, tree care services, irrigation, and more.

Contact us online today to learn more about our commercial landscape design and installation.