Planting for areas with high wind

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Strong winds can be a gardener’s worst nightmare, especially salty winds in coastal areas. Wind can cause problems for plant growth by stunting them.

But don’t fear! There are things you can do to help reduce the amount of breeze flowing in your garden, as well as shrubs and trees you can plant that deal with the wind very well.

In this article, I’ll be going over the different types of plants suited to strong winds, including coastal salty winds and how you can still have a thriving garden, no matter where you live!

Plant for the wind

 Before trying to block the breeze, embrace it! The grid below shows which plants are good at tolerating strong winds, but if none of these take your fancy, try some bamboos or ornamental grasses first, they enjoy the wind and I think they look quite grand swaying around in the breeze.

Remember that you want plants that have pliable branches and deep roots such as the following.


Plants for the coast

If you live in or near the coast, you may experience problems with wind. Winds near the coast carry salt, making leaves and branches appear burnt. Even if you live a few miles in land of the beach, you may be struggling with planting in your garden.

The plants listed in the grid below are very hardy and tolerate salt winds extremely well.


Build a windbreak

An alternative is to plant or build a windbreak, this can be made out of artificial solutions but in my experience these don’t work so well as the wind will just fall over it, rather than being broken, so you need something semi-permeable.

A suitable semi-permeable barrier can be made from shrubs or trees that filter the wind, only letting around 40%-30% of the wind to pass through. You need plants that are strong-rooted.

I’d suggest using wind-tolerant trees and shrubs to make a shelter belt. Use the following trees and shrubs that withstand wind quite well and are strong enough to limit the amount of breeze entering the garden. You may still need to plant tough plants behind the windbreak, but they should develop and withstand even better!

Trees suitable for a windbreak

Arbutus unedo

Carpinus betulus



Prunus lusitanica

Umbellularia californica

Shrubs suitable for a windbreak

Berberis darwinii





Rosa clauca

Viburnum tinus

When planting your windbreak, be mindful of the fact that it can spoil the view, or cause shade where you don’t want it, so be sure to take these things into consideration when planning.

An alternative would be to build a small bank with a few shrubs planted on top, and this will help restrict wind in the lower levels of the garden.

So don’t shy away from your windy garden and use suitable plants and measures to make your breezy garden a beautiful and peaceful place to relax!

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  1. EJ July 16, 2018 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    Would Fraser Island Apple be suited in large pots on the 40th floor balcony of a high rise building

    • Will July 16, 2018 at 2:22 pm - Reply

      Hi EJ,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Acronychia Imperforata or Fraser Island Apple is a hardy evergreen that is usually grown in coastal areas and makes a great windbreak, so it should tolerate conditions at a high level. Use a sandy soil in the pots and be careful not to over water once the plant has become established. I hope this helps!

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