Hedges plants and hedging shrubs are living walls that add structure and organization to your yard and garden. This article will give you facts and information on choosing hedging plants and hedging shrubs for you landscape. Hedging plants may be grouped into several categories: flowering hedges, evergreen hedges, trees as hedges, shrubs as hedges, informal hedges, and formal hedges. You will find a list of hedging plants in each category.
Uses of Hedging Plants and Shrubs
Hedging plants can be used to enclose a garden room, as the backdrop for a flower border, to edge a lawn or outline a path, to divide your property boundaries, and to provide privacy in your yard and garden.
Choosing the Right Shrubs and Plants for the Job
To be useful as a hedge, a tree or shrub should be able to be sheared or pruned. Deciduous barberry and evergreen boxwood are familiar hedge shrubs, but other less-common plants also make beautiful hedges. For colors other than green, you may want to choose variegated holly shrubs or privet shrubs. You may want to select hedging plants for their flowers and fruits.
In general, you can use any plant with a natural habit that suits the shape and size the you want, or can be controlled by pruning. By pruning and shearing, you can turn some large shrubs and even trees into hedges of a manageable size. But hedge plants will mature no matter how often they are clipped, and you should be aware that some of them will outgrow their desired size within 10 years.
*Tip- You may be tempted to choose fast-growing species such as Leyland cypress for quick results, but remember that hedges from slow-growing species, such as boxwood, will be denser and more attractive, and they will last longer and require less frequent and less aggressive clipping. If you need a screen or windbreak in a hurry, consider planting a row of fast-growing plant alongside your slower growing hedge. They will quickly provide shelter, privacy, or screening effects. You will then be able to remove them when your hedge is as tall as you would like it to be.
Foliage Texture and Density of Hedging Plants and Shrubs
For hedges, foliage texture is as important as the plant size. Choose fine-textured plants, such as yew, arborvitae, and boxwood, for a hedge that will be viewed close up. For a hedge that will be seen mainly from a distance, choose plants with bold structure and coarse leaves, such as Meserve hollies, fiery photinias, elegant cherry laurel, or European birch.
Branch and foliage texture and density are also important for barriers, dense, prickly plants like barberry, flowering quince, holly, spruce, and the thorny rugosa roses discourage two-footed and even four-footed visitors, such as deer. You may also choose shrubs to add fall color to your landscape.
Consider these hedges that have exceptional qualities and seasonal interest. Also think of plants that normally are thought of as trees and shrubs that can also be trained into hedges.
Types of Hedges
Evergreen Hedges: Boxwood, Camellia, Incense Cedar, Cedar, White Cedar, Cotoneaster, Leland Cypress, Blue Gum Eucalyptus, Euonymus, Holly, Juniper, Privet, Oleander, Osmanthus, Pine, Podocarpus, Cherry Laurel, Firethorn, Yew, Arborvitae, and Canadian Hemlock.
Trees Used as Shrubs: Incense Cedar, Hornbeam, Cedar, White Cedar, European Smoke Tree, Hawthorn, Leyland Cypress, Blue Gum Eucalyptus, Holly, Juniper, Crape Myrtle, Pine, Arbovitae, and Hemlock.
Shrubs Used as Hedges: Glossy Abelia, Gold dust Tree, Ceanothus, Flowering Quince, Cotoneaster, Dwarf Japanese Cedar, Deutzia, Forsythia, Gardenia, Witch Hazel, Rose-of-Sharon, Hydangea, Beauty Bush, Heavenly Bamboo, Cinquefoil, and Lilac.
Informal Hedges: Glossy Abelia, Gold-Dust Tree, Barberry, Camellia, Flowering Quince, Leyland Cypress, Slender Deutzia, Burning Bush, Border Forsythia, Rose-of-Sharon, Pfitzer Junipers, Honeysuckle, Heavenly Bamboo, Oleander, Eastern White Pine, Cinquefoil, Firethorn, Spirea, Yew, and Canadian Hemlock.
Formal Hedges: Barberry, Boxwood, Incense Cedar, Leyland Cypress, Small-leaved Hollies, Privet, Osmanthus, Christmas Berry, Southern Yew, Cherry Laurel, Yew, and Arbovitae.
Hedges and Evergreens: A Complete Manual for the Cultivation, Pruning, and Management of All Plants Suitable for American Hedging; Especially the Maclura, Or Osage Orange