Hedges are an easy, inexpensive, and low-maintenance way to add beauty and privacy to your garden or property. Whether you’re looking to plant a hedge that provides a lush green frame around your house or one that creates dense screening between you and your neighbors, there are tons of options available on the market and at local nurseries and garden centers.
To help you narrow down your choices, here are some plants that do well as hedges, along with information about their size, color, shape, and other qualities to help you find the best fit for your space.
Picking the Right Shrub
Shrubs are an important element of the garden and can provide a range of benefits. When it comes to hedges, there are a number of plants that work well depending on your location and needs. Generally, shrubs should be at least two feet tall, but they’ll grow taller over time. Here are some varieties to consider for your garden hedges.
Privet (Ligustrum vulgare) is excellent for privacy since it grows as high as 20ft in height. Privet will grow in any type of soil, even sandy soil with few nutrients. Privet may have to be trimmed more often than other shrubs if you don’t want its invasive roots pushing up into the ground and causing cracks or damaging nearby plantings.
Azalea (Rhododendron simsii), which will reach heights up to 15 ft or so with arching branches, making them excellent screens. Azalea flowers can be white, pink, red, or purple. Azaleas will grow well in partial sun as long as they get plenty of water during the summer. Azaleas make great additions to any garden as they provide an excellent focal point and give a natural feel to the property.
Yew (Taxus baccata) is commonly used because it is evergreen so it doesn’t need trimming or shaping like other hedging plants. Yew can grow up to 20 feet tall and live more than 100 years. Yew hedges can also provide lots of shade.
Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) is a tall, evergreen tree. It grows best in well-drained soil, so if you’re trying to use this plant as a hedge along the border of your property, be sure that you have plenty of space and place it where there are no puddles or dips. The average height of arborvitae is about 25 feet high and 15 feet wide.
Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) is a shorter hedge option. Boxwood can grow up to 8 ft tall and is great as a small hedge or foundation plant. It requires little maintenance beyond occasional trimming and can be planted in the sun or shade.
Leyland Cypress (Cuprocyparis leylandii) is a fast-growing evergreen conifer (24 to 48 inches per year) so is often used as a hedge tree. It has a columnar to narrow-pyramidal growth habit.
Hedges are ideal plants for the garden because they can provide privacy and protection while being aesthetically pleasing.
The easiest way to maintain your hedge is to plant it in an area where it receives ample sunlight and keep weeds at bay by periodically weeding the hedge.
You may also want to trim your shrubs regularly with shears or pruning shears so that it does not grow out of control or have spindly branches poking into windows or other places you would like to be private. Pruning a few times per year will help make sure that your hedges stay neat without taking up too much of your time.
Regular hedge pruning prevents dead or dying branches, allowing the plant to flower or thrive in general. Pruning isn’t done to slow growth but to stimulate it. If there are bare spots, proper pruning can help fill in spaces. Excessive overgrowth can also be harmful to your hedge as it can reduce the amount of light and moisture it receives, slowing its growth.
Call us for hedge pruning for your landscape at (360) 574-4125.