Choosing the height and plants for the hedge

Choosing the height and plants for the hedge

A hedge as a decorative element of the landscape is relevant at all times. This is not just a living fence, but also a way of zoning the territory, giving it a well-groomed look and creating a special microclimate. For all these functions to be performed, it is necessary to choose the right plants for the hedge.

Advantages and disadvantages

A hedge of plants in the country has a lot of obvious advantages:

  • first of all, this is a decoration of the site - well-groomed, timely trimmed shrubs look great;
  • a high fence around the perimeter of the site will originally designate the territory, close it from prying eyes;
  • an average height of a hedge is an excellent way of zoning a site according to its functional purpose;
  • low living fences can be used to designate flower beds, lawns, garden paths;
  • dense fencing can significantly reduce the noise level;
  • a high living wall protects the area from winds, reduces the amount of dust and creates a favorable microclimate around the house.

Of course, growing a beautiful and functional hedge is troublesome, but this can hardly be considered a disadvantage. Every year, and sometimes several times per season, each bush needs to be shaped and cut, giving it the desired shape.

Especially often "repair" is required for fences with a straight upper line, since in this zone the growth of shoots is the most active and decorative forms are quickly lost. However, you can always pick up plants according to your capabilities. For example, form a round or triangular fence, use climbing plants or conifers.

Video "Types of hedges"

In this video, the expert will talk about the types of hedges and their benefits.

Hedge plants

The choice of plants for decorative fencing is varied, but to make it easier to solve this problem, you should immediately decide on the purpose and appearance of the future "fence". It can consist of one or several tiers, have strict or free forms, be an exclusively decorative element or perform a protective function.

In each case, different hedge shrubs are planted: deciduous, coniferous, flowering, with climbing shoots. They all have their own characteristics, which will be discussed below.


Decorative deciduous fences are the most original and unpretentious due to the following qualities of the crops from which they are formed:

  • good adaptation to a changeable climate;
  • lack of high requirements for care;
  • they tolerate frequent pruning painlessly;
  • as they grow and mature, they form perennial, very dense hedges;
  • change their appearance depending on the season, giving the site a special charm;
  • evergreen deciduous fence looks incredibly fresh in winter, when there is no green at all.

For the formation of a dense deciduous hedge, preference should be given to compact shrubs with small leaves and thin branching shoots. These include:

  • golden currant, alpine;
  • berries: chokeberry, irga, elderberry, viburnum;
  • barren honeysuckle;
  • shrubs forming dense thickets: hawthorn, cotoneaster, blackthorn;
  • yellow and pink acacia;
  • variegated turf;
  • flowering plants: spirea, hydrangea.

If you want a fast-growing, dense hedge, plant a willow tree. This plant is famous for being easily rooted in any conditions, unraveling very quickly and building up green mass.


Lianas and climbing plants are able to embody the most daring design idea on the site. This is the perfect way to hide an unsightly wall, fence, or utility structure. Flowering plants such as roses and clematis can be used to decorate small architectural objects in the recreation area (gazebos, arches, verandas, balconies). To create a hedge, any fast-growing shrub with an increase in shoots of up to 1 m per year is suitable: blackberry, Siberian hawthorn, lianas.


The evergreen coniferous hedge is a timeless classic. Fences made from such plants are always popular for a number of reasons, including:

  • high density and durability of the fence;
  • decorativeness that persists regardless of the season;
  • slow growth of shoots, eliminating the need for the gardener to often take out scissors for pruning;
  • versatility in application (planting of the same type or combination with deciduous crops);
  • in addition, ephedra painlessly tolerate a haircut and easily take the desired shape.

Unfortunately, not all conifers have sufficient winter hardiness. For the conditions of the middle lane, such conifers as thuja ("queen" of hedges), dwarf mountain pine, spruce, and junipers are suitable.

Height selection

By height, hedges are divided into three main types.


The height of such a fence is no more than 50 cm. Sometimes it is called a curb. The main purpose of a low hedge is to frame flower beds and walkways. Borders of flowers or grassy crops look great against the background of a mixborder, they can complement any landscape composition, with them the dacha takes on a completely different, more well-groomed look. You can make a low border from euonymus, boxwood, spirea, dwarf jasmine, dwarf thuja and junipers.


A fence with a height of more than 1.5 m falls under this definition, although often a living wall is several meters, especially if it covers the area around the perimeter. So that the long-term "fence" does not lose its decorative decoration for a long time, it is advisable to plant tall, but compact trees: cypresses, thuja, fir, maple, honeysuckle.


A hedge from 50 cm to 1.5 m is considered to be of medium height.As a hand can easily reach its edge, it is possible to form a planting from any plants, including fruit and berry plants:

  • various types of currants, dogwood, irgi, hazel;
  • flowering plants: grass, acacia, forsythia, lilac;
  • conifers and evergreen deciduous shrubs.

When choosing plants for a hedge, be sure to pay attention to criteria such as adaptability to the shade, certain climatic conditions, the intensity of shoot growth and age. All cultures should be of the same age and have the same requirements - only in this case you will be able to achieve the desired result and get aesthetic satisfaction from your work.

The best plants for strict hedges

Hawthorns, even with free growth, are characterized by an increased crown density. These multi-stemmed trees or large shrubs make it possible to form not only topiary, but also hedges of various sizes with a height of 1.5 m.

Hawthorn hedge during flowering. © Chaucer Fielder

Durable, hardy, undemanding, they create not only dense green fences, but also practically impassable hedges: almost all hawthorns are "equipped" with dangerous long needles, the length of which can reach 12 cm.

One of the advantages of hawthorn is a bright autumn outfit: at the end of the season they change their even and spectacular color to the brightest spots of the fiery palette. Hawthorns are one of the few plants that do not lose their ability to bloom and even bear fruit in hedges. Their only drawback is their relatively slow development: the formation of a fence will have to spend not one, and not even 5 years, but 10-12 years.

Almost all winter-hardy types of hawthorn are suitable for the formation of strict hedges - from prickly and blood-red to softish, pinnately incised, one-poultry, Arnold, Daursky, Maksimovich. Almost every hawthorn species has variegated or unusual shapes, with rare foliage or double flowers. To create a hedge, it is better to use two-year-old seedlings.

Necessary conditions for hawthorn

Hawthorn hedges are best planted in areas with good lighting, but they can cope with light partial shade. Plants are planted at a distance of 15-20 cm at an angle to interweave the shoots. For hawthorns in hedges, it is advisable to apply fertilizers twice a year: in the spring - mineral, before flowering - organic. Watering should be regular, monthly, or more frequent during drought. The soil must be loosened in spring to the depth of a shovel bayonet and, if possible, mulched with peat or earth.

Hawthorn hedge. © Karen Guthrie

Specificity of pruning hawthorn

Immediately after planting, the bushes are drastically pruned (leaving 10-15 cm), which allows you to get densely bushy plants, ideal for hedges. Pruning begins the following spring after planting, leaving 1-2 strong shoots on each plant and cutting out the rest. Shoots of neighboring plants are intertwined so that a continuous row of skeletal branches is formed.

As new shoots are released, the process is repeated, continuing weaving and cutting until the desired density and height is achieved. Due to the active formation of new shoots, hawthorns quickly close and thicken. Further, the hawthorn hedge only needs to maintain the "edges" of a trapezoidal shape. Pruning can be quite strong, up to a third of the length of the shoots. It is better to spend it in spring and July.

In regions with a warm climate and not very harsh winters, cherry laurel is an excellent alternative to hawthorn - a fast-growing, evergreen, shrub beauty with very beautiful glossy or variegated leaves. She loves haircuts, is perfect for curly molding and is not afraid of even strong pruning to compact the surface of the hedge.

See the next page for a continuation of the list of the best plants for strict hedges.

Advantages and disadvantages of hedges on the site

A hedge is a timeless landscape design classic that solves many problems. However, like many other phenomena, it has not only advantages, but also certain disadvantages. However, first things first.

Benefits of a hedge:

  • Reliably protects from wind and dust, but does not impede the circulation of fresh air.
  • Looks presentable on both sides.
  • Allows you to delimit the functional areas of the site, without using fences and fences.
  • Fits organically into the design of a garden of any style.
  • Helps to decorate a not too picturesque view that opens from one side of the site.
  • Allows you to solve the problem of "transparency" of the fence between sites in a legal way.
  • Does not require regular touch-ups and preventive repairs.
  • Attracts beneficial insects and birds.

Disadvantages of hedges:

  • Requires constant attention. However, if you can choose the right plants, then hedge care will be minimized.
  • It takes several years to achieve the desired effect.
  • It attracts not only beneficial but also harmful insects and birds.
  • With the wrong care, it can become a carrier of diseases.
  • Takes up more "usable area" of the site than conventional fences.

So, you thought it over carefully and came to the conclusion that you are ready to grow a hedge on your site. What should you pay attention to when choosing plants?

Combining different types of hedges in a garden landscape

Multi-row hedge

A real "highlight" of a garden can be a combined, multi-row or multi-tiered hedge. It is planted from plants of different heights and flowering periods at different times.

Example of a multi-row green hedge:

In the first row, you can plant a low sheared hedge from Spirea gray.

The second row is a free-form hedge: two-meter shrubs of the Chubushnik 'Mont Blanc' or several other varieties of Chubushniks, with rich green shades of leaves and non-simultaneous flowering periods.

In the third row - lilacs blooming not earlier than mid-May with dark or pale purple inflorescences, above 4 m.

A multi-tiered living fence will look impressive when combined with plants with different crown tones. For example, dark purple and light green leaves, or yellow and dark green foliage.

ON THE PICTURE: A deciduous hedge of trees and shrubs of varying heights contrasts interestingly with conifers.

Fence "marble" color

The original version of the device of a hedge will turn out if you combine in it several contrasting colors of plants of the same species, but different varieties. Such a mix will give an interesting "marble" color to a living fence. Different varieties of western thuja, barberry shrubs look good together. You can also experiment with the Vine-leaved Bubble.

Aesthetic and biological compatibility of plants for a marble hedge is important. The shape of the crown, the growth rate, the need for lighting, a certain composition and moisture content of the soil matter. The correct "neighborhood" will facilitate the maintenance of the marble hedge at all stages of its growth and development.

ON THE PICTURE: An example of a successful combination of plants with foliage in contrasting tones in one hedge.

Sheared (molded) hedge

Such a fence has clear forms and is a plantation of plants that love a haircut and have dense foliage. Most often, for a molded hedge, they choose from such representatives of evergreen crops as holly, boxwood, yew, thuja, evergreen buckthorn. Some of them do not require careful pruning, and some do without it at all.

In order for a green fence to have a presentable appearance, it must be properly and carefully looked after during the first 2-3 years after planting. Often gardeners make the mistake of leaving young shoots unattended during this period. If you do not cut off the "youth", then these seedlings will not grow near the root system, which in turn will lead to thickening of the upper part of the plants and exposure of the lower one.

The main shoots should be cut in half in the spring of the year after planting, and the secondary ones - 2-3 centimeters from the main branches. Pruning can be repeated after a year to achieve maximum density. When planting conifers, only random lateral growths are removed, and the main stems remain intact until they reach the required height. In subsequent years, only the lateral shoots are cut to give the most beautiful and even shape.

The formation of an evergreen hedge from already mature perennial plants is not recommended - the likelihood of their death is too high. It is easier to plant young seedlings, and their price is much lower compared to adult plants.

Rules for choosing plants for a molded hedge:

  • They should quickly form shoots, the foliage should be medium-sized
  • The expected height of the plant inherent in it in natural conditions should be equal to the projected height of the fence
  • Plants must be resistant to the climatic conditions of the region. It should be noted that most deciduous evergreens do not take root in the climate of the middle zone. Some rhododendrons, erika can exist in the harsh conditions of winter, but they are quite low.

Hedges - plant selection, planting and pruning

Landscape design

Hedge plants

Spring is coming and it's time to think about work in your garden. Surely you have long been hatching plans to plant beautiful shrubs, which in a year or two will turn into hedge and will cut off your quiet garden from the noisy and dusty city. It's time to start picking plants for hedges and these are some tips to help you.

  • 1. Decide on a planting site. Between the nearest rows of large trees or shrubs and hedge there must be at least one and a half to two meters of free space.

  • 2.When choosing plants for hedges make sure it suits your purpose. Hedges made of evergreens (Privet oval-leaved - Ligustrum ovalifolium) will create coziness in your garden, and will protect from noise and dust, tunberg barberry, hawthorn will serve as protection from uninvited guests, and deciduous plants (French comb-tamarix gallica) will protect your garden from cold winds are much better than conifers. But, for example, a spruce hedge looks very nice, so there’s something who likes it.

  • 3. Decide whether you are going to create a classic hedge or opt for a landscape one. The difference is that for a classic hedge, such plants are purchased that can easily tolerate a haircut 2-3 times a year (holly or holly - ilex aquifolium), while plants in a landscape hedge are given complete freedom, and pruning is carried out only for the purpose of containing plant growth within previously defined limits (Rosehip rugose - Rosa rugosa).

  • 4. Remember that hedge plants absorb a lot of nutrients from the soil and, without regular feeding, will begin to oppress closely growing plants.

Planting a hedge

As I already said, very soon white snow will come down from the ground, under the warmth of the sun. Thousands of gardeners and gardeners are waiting for the moment when they can pick up rakes, shovels and watering cans and go to the spring cleaning of their plots. Quite a bit more time will pass and the planting period will begin. Spring is the time to plant not only tomatoes and radishes, but also hedge planting.

And so, you decided that from the west, from where the strong winds blow, you need a beautiful hedge. Where do you start?

  • 1.When choosing plants for hedges give preference to young plants 35-40 centimeters in height. Small seedlings will save your budget and take root much better, saving you the trouble of replanting.
  • 2. Inspect the young seedling so that the roots of the plant are strong enough and the crown is not severely damaged.
  • 3. For planting seedlings, choose a not very bright day, it is best if the planting will take place in the rain.
  • 4. Dig a trench 60-90 centimeters wide and about 30 centimeters deep along the hedge planting line.
  • 5. Dig the bottom of the trench and add organic matter and mineral fertilizer.
  • 6. Look carefully at each plant again and cut off any damaged roots during transportation. The crown of seedlings also needs to be cut: deciduous plants must be shortened by a third, hawthorn up to 15 centimeters. It is not necessary to prune only evergreens until they reach the desired height.
  • 7. Spread out the roots of the seedling and place it horizontally in the trench. Do not deepen the planting, top up the soil if necessary, otherwise your seedling will not grow for a long time or die.
  • 8. Remember, if you want a hedge about a meter wide, arrange the plants in two rows with an interval of 30-50 centimeters.
  • 9. After the plants for the hedge are planted, it is necessary to bury the trench, compact it, water it and fill it with mulch.

With this simple guide, you will complete hedge plantingthat will delight you and protect your garden from adverse conditions and unexpected guests.

Hedge trimming

Since ancient times, a hedge has been a favorite of gardeners and owners of private plots. This love is well deserved, in addition to the fact that the green of the hedge in summer and spring caresses the eyes with greenery, and in winter protects the garden from blowing snow with its dense plexus of branches, the hedge also absorbs noise and the lion's share of dust settles on the leaves of plants from nearby roads.

But, no matter what your hedge looks sloppy and wild, if this, of course, is not included in your creative idea, you need to do hedge trimming.

Mowing a hedge is not a tricky business, and now you will see it.

  • 1 year. After planting young seedlings, do not forget to cut them to 15 centimeters so that the plant starts branching from the very bottom. In early to mid-summer, prune side branches lightly to encourage lateral growth.

  • 2 years. In early spring, shorten last year's growth by exactly half on all sides. This stimulates the formation of new shoots. In the middle of summer, go for a shaping haircut. In order to shape the shrub, use a special soda net or a simple cord. In the fall, trim off the unevenly grown main branches to the height you need.

  • 3 years. Perform shaping hedge trimming as needed.

To obtain a beautiful, emerald green hedge, it is necessary to rejuvenate the hedge every three to five years, depending on the growth rate of the plant. To do this, trim one side of the hedge in the spring of the current season and the other for the next year. Not all shrubs respond well to strong pruning, so before rejuvenating the plant, clarify this point with the help of literature or consultation with experienced gardeners, which is why I said that you need to carefully select hedge plants.

Hedge care rules

In order for the green fence to always please the eye with freshness and shape, even freely growing crops must be molded at least once a year (preferably in late autumn or early spring). The process consists in pruning branches that go beyond the parameters of the fence. Otherwise, the vegetation will grow and lose its aesthetics.

Before buying seedlings, you should familiarize yourself with the rules of care and the recommended neighborhood with other crops. This will help reduce the risk of disease and death of individual specimens.

Disembarkation can begin at the end of August and continue until the end of September. Some owners grow seedlings on their own, but it takes a long time. In the nursery, it is possible to pick up plants of approximately the same height and form a preliminary composition if a combined version of the fence is planned. Both methods are interesting and educational, and the results are unique in any case.

Watering, groundbait, pruning are mandatory rules in the care of all crops. Some of them need protection from insects, others in special preparation for the winter period. Therefore, it is recommended when disembarking to draw up a calendar of mandatory events for each species.

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