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Best Evergreen Hedges Top 5 Plants for a Garden Hedge

When can I plant a hedge and what time of year is best?

Leylandii – The best hedge to filter out air pollution

We sell many different types of hedging plants. If you are not sure which type of hedge to choose or the plant names just dont mean anything to you, then the guide below will help you choose which hedging plants are best for your garden.

Most of the hedging plants we sell are fast growing and evergreen.

Other Common Names: Leyland Cypress, Leylandi, Conifer Hedging

Botanical Latin Names: x Cupressocyparis leylandii, x Cuprocyparis leylandii, Cupressus x leylandii

Least expensive (cheapest) especially at heights over 4ft (120cm) tall

Leylandii is a conifer that is the fastest growing, evergreen, hedging plant and will create a hedge quickly. Because it is fast growing, it is generally the cheapest way of forming an evergreen garden hedge and hence the most popular.

If it is pruned every year, Leylandii will create a formal dark-green evergreen screen or box-shaped hedge, similar to a Yew hedge. Leylandii can be kept to any height as long as you trim it once or twice a year. We have kept a Leylandii Hedge 4ft tall for over 25 years. We trim the tops of most of our Leylandii Hedges twice a year and the sides once a year.

Leylandii is also very tolerant of wind and cold temperatures.

Other benefits of Leylandii hedging plants are:

Best at filtering particulates (air pollution) from passing traffic

Leylandii will grow in wet, heavy clay soils but not soils that become water-logged.

Leylandii will grow in full sun or partial shade.

Leylandii trees will grow very tall (over 30m or 100ft) if left untrimmed but like a Beech tree/hedge can be kept trimmed to heights as low as 1m (3ft) tall. Keeping it trimmed regularly will also mean the foliage stays dense down to ground level. If a hedge is allowed to grow too tall, especially where there is competition for nutrients and water from hedging plants planted together, it will often shed the lower leaves/needles. It is also much easier to trim a hedge that is kept to a reasonable height.

Other common names: Cherry Laurel, Common Laurel, English Laurel

Botanical Names: Prunus laurocerasus, Prunus laurocerasus Rotundifolia, Prunus laurocerasus Novita, Prunus laurocerasus Caucasica

Speed of growth under ideal conditions: up to 60cm (2ft) per year

Fast-growing the fastest growing hedging plant if you dont want a conifer

Laurel is the quickest growing evergreen hedging plant that isnt a conifer, so if you dont want a conifer hedge, Laurel is the quickest and cheapest way of creating an evergreen hedge. Laurels will also provide the most instant hedging as the taller sizes (4ft, 5ft and 6ft) are bushy and can often create an instant screen if planted close enough.

Laurel leaves are rounded, glossy and bright green leaves and look good all year round. They can be trimmed into formal box-shaped hedges or they can create a less formal looking hedge. You will need to trim a Laurel Hedge once a year. Laurel hedging plants will regenerate from old wood if they become overgrown.

Laurel hedging plants will grow in most soils except shallow chalky or very wet soils.

Theywill grow in the full sun or in shade as long as it is watered while it is establishing a root system. Laurel is often seen growing under trees in National Trust properties and is probably the best evergreen hedging plant for growing in the shade.

For sizes and prices of the Laurel Hedging Plants we have available to buy, pleaseclick here.

Botanical Name: Prunus lusitanica, Prunus lusitanica Angustifolia, Prunus lusitanica Myrtifolia

Speed of growth under ideal conditions: 45cm (18in) per year

Fragrant white flowers and attractive red stems

Portugal Laurel has a dark green leaf that is much smaller than the leaf of Cherry Laurel. It is medium-fast growing although not quite as quick growing as Cherry Laurel. The stems of Portugal Laurel are red when young and this contrasts well with the dark green leaves. We mainly sell the smaller leaved form of Portugal Laurel hedging plants that looks very similar to Bay Laurel but is much hardier (will take much lower temperatures) than Bay Laurel. It forms an excellent evergreen garden hedge and can be kept to any shape or size. It is easy to maintain and keep it looking neat and tidy but it will regenerate from old wood if it does become overgrown.

Portugal Laurel hedging plants will grow in all free-draining soils (i.e. not waterlogged) including chalky soils and will grow in full sun or partial shade.

Prunus lusitanica Angustifolia or Myrtifolia (Smaller leaf) up to 6m (18ft)

Common Names: Golden Leylandii, Golden Leyland Cypress, Golden Leylandi

Botanical Names: x Cupressocyparis leylandii Castlewellan Gold, x Cuprocyparis leylandii Castlewellan or Excalibur

Castlewellan Gold up to 75cm (26) per year

Leylandii Castlewellan Gold is the most popular form of Golden Leylandii Hedging. It is fast growing so will form a hedge quickly. If it is trimmed every year, it will create a dense evergreen garden hedge that is bright yellowish-gold in the spring and summer. The golden colour turns a more lime-green in autumn and it can turn a bronze colour in a cold winter. As with the green leylandii, we recommend trimming the sides of a Castlewellan hedge once a year and the tops twice a year. Castlewellan Gold Leylandii is slightly slower growing than the Green Leylandii for this reason it is usually slightly more expensive than Green Leylandii for the equivalent height plant. It will grow in any soil except for water-logged soil.

Leylandii Excalibur Gold is very similar to Castlewellan Gold and most people wouldnt be able to tell the difference. It is slightly slower growing than Castlewellan Gold but as a result usually makes a slightly denser plant when grown in a pot. Once in the ground and trimmed as a hedge, the two types of Golden Leylandii are virtually identical.

Golden Leylandii will grow in any free-draining (i.e. not waterlogged) soil in full sun or partial shade. The foliage will be more golden in full sun and pale green in shade.

Golden Leylandii Trees will grow up to 25m (75ft) or can be trimmed to the required height. The hedge in the picture is 1.2m (4ft) tall.

Thuja plicata up to 75cm (26) per year

Thuja Brabant grows up to 60-75cm (2-26) per year

Thuja plicata (Western Red Cedar) and Thuja Brabant are fast-growing conifers that create an evergreen hedge. Thuja are extremely hardy and will tolerate strong winds. They grow in most soils (except for water-logged soils). Thuja plicata and especially Thuja Brabant tend to be a bit bushier than Leylandii in the pot or as a rootballed hedging plant (one dug straight from the ground) but they are slightly slower growing than Leylandii so are generally cost a little bit more for the equivalent height plant. Leylandii and Thuja will form a very similar, dense hedge although Thuja will sometimes shoot back from old wood. Thuja have aromatic, fruity foliage when brushed against. Keep them trimmed once a year to the height and width you need and they will form a fantastic field or garden hedge.

Thuja plicata tends to be slightly quicker growing and has a darker green foliage that turns bronze in cold winters or in windy locations.

Thuja occ. Brabant tends to be a paler green in colour than Thuja plicata

Thuja will grow in all soils except those that are waterlogged for long periods in winter.

up to 30m (100ft) or trim to the required height.

Botanical Names: Thuja occidentalis Smaragd, Thuja Emeraud

Common Name: Emerald Cedar, A form of Eastern or American Arborvitae

Speed of growth under ideal conditions: 30cm (1ft) per year

Thuja Emerald is one of the best hedging plants if you do not want to trim the sides of your hedge. It keeps its neat cone-shape so you never need to trim the sides. Even if it is allowed to grow to its full height of 5-6m (15-18ft) tall, it is not very wide so is not over-bearing. If you want to stop it getting to its full height, then just trim the top once a year. Because Thuja Emerald does not bush out very much, it needs to be planted at closer than Leylandii or Laurel. We would recommend planting 50-75cm apart depending on how quickly you want the screen and how tall you are going to let the plants grow.

Thuja Emerald also makes an excellent specimen plant in lawns or flower beds.

Thuja hedging plants will grow in any soil except waterlogged.

up to 5-6m (15-18ft) or trim to the required height.

Speed of growth under ideal conditions: 45cm (18in) per year

Evergreen (these hedging plants keep their leaves all year round).

Griselinia is a medium-fast growing, evergreen hedging plant that forms an excellent garden hedge. As it is tolerant of salt, it is good for coastal locations or for hedges near roads where gritters pass by in the winter.

Its leaves always looks a fresh Granny-Smith apple-green, even in winter and it creates a dense hedge down to ground level.

Griselinia will take temperatures down to -13C in sheltered sites and will grow in any free-draining soil. It will grow to 6m (18ft) tall if left untrimmed but it is easy to keep a Griselinia hedge as low as 90-120cm (3-4ft) tall by trimming once a year.

Griselinia will grow in any free-draining soil in full sun or partial shade.

up to 5-6m (15-18ft) or trim to the required height.

Botanical Name: Photinia x fraseri Red Robin

Speed of growth under ideal conditions: 60cm (2ft) per year

Brilliant red young leaves especially in spring

Evergreen hedging (keeps its leaves, even in the winter)

Photinia Red Robin is a popular, fast-growing, evergreen hedging plant that makes an attractive garden hedge if it is pruned twice a year. It has bright red, young leaves in early spring and, if it is trimmed in late spring or early summer, it will produce more red shoots in summer.

Photinia needs to be trimmed regularly (twice a year) to keep it dense. Laurel, Portugal Laurel or Griselinia are much easier to keep dense.

Photinia Red Robin will grow in any free-draining soil.

up to 4-5m (12-15ft) or trim to the required height.

Speed of growth under ideal conditions: 30 to 40cm (12 to 16in) per year

Attractive white flowers all winter and spring

Viburnum tinus is an evergreen hedging plant that forms a beautiful garden hedge with masses of pink white flowers from early winter until late spring. It is has a medium growth rate and so is slower growing than most of the other hedging plants we sell but if you are willing to wait, it will form a magnificent hedge. As it is slower growing, it is difficult to find and expensive to buy it in sizes of over 1 metre (3ft) tall. Will regenerate from old wood if it becomes overgrown.

Viburnum tinus arealso one of the best hedging plants for shade but will also grow in full sun.

up to 3-4m (10-12ft) or trim to the required height.

For prices and sizes available, please call us on01460 281265.

Common Names: Box, Common Box, Boxwood, Buxus, European Box

Speed of growth under ideal conditions: up to 20cm (8in) per year

Box is a slow-growing, evergreen hedging plantwith small leaves. It is neat and compact in habit and makes a perfect small garden hedge. It has the benefit of being tolerant of shade but can suffer from Box Blight especially in damp conditions. Consider Yew as an alternative. Box will regenerate from old wood if it becomes overgrown.

4m (12ft) but can easily be trimmed to as low as 30cm (1ft) tall

For prices and sizes available, please call us on01460 281265.

Speed of growth under ideal conditions: up to 60cm (2ft) per year

Evergreen hedging (keeps its leaves, even in winter)

A quick-growing evergreen hedging plant that has white hawthorn-like flowers in early summer and bright orange or red berries in autumn and winter. Large thorns on the branches make it any excellent choice as a security barrier up to 3m tall.

Any free-draining soil in sun or partial shade.

Native hedging plants include Beech, Hornbeam, Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Hazel, Field Maple, Dogwood, Spindle and Guelder Rose. Most Native hedging is planted as small bare-root whips during the winter months. These are usually single stem seedlings that are around 60-80cm (2-3ft) tall and are available in our Garden Centre from mid November untilMarch. Cell-grown transplants can be planted from April to October.

Beech and Hornbeam hedging plants are normally planted on their own as a single species often around gardens whereas mixed native, field-hedging is normally a mixture of different species including Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Field Maple, Hazel, Dogwood, Spindle and Guelder Rose.

Most native hedging plants are deciduous (i.e. they lose their leaves in winter) with the exception of Holly (Ilex).

We grow a limited selection of larger sizes of container-grown Beech and Hornbeam hedging plants that can be planted at any time of year and we are expanding the range so watch this space or give us a call on01460 281265to see what we have available.

Common Names: Common Beech, Green Beech, European Beech

Speed of growth under ideal conditions: 30-60cm (1-2) per year

Beech is a deciduous tree that makes an excellent formal garden hedge. It has fresh green leaves in early spring and although it is deciduous (i.e. not evergreen), it often keeps the golden-brown leaves in the winter months providing some screening. Beech is very hardy but will not grow in wet or heavy clay soils for these use Hornbeam instead.

Any well-drained soil that is not wet over the winter months. If you have a heavy clay soil, then grow Hornbeam instead. Full sun or partial shade.

25m (80ft) but can be kept trimmed to any size.

For prices and sizes available, pleaseclick here.

Common Names: Hornbeam, Common Hornbeam, European Hornbeam, Horn Beech, Horse Beech

Speed of growth under ideal conditions: 30-60cm (1-2ft) per year

Hornbeam is a native to the UK and creates a wonderful formal hedge if pruned regularly. It is very similar to Beech in appearance but has the benefit of growing in heavy clay and will tolerate wetter soils than Beech. It is deciduous but usually holds on to some of its leaves that turn brown in winter.

Hornbeam hedging plants will grow in most soils including heavy clay. They arevery hardy and will tolerate windy sites (although not coastal exposure). Grows in full sun or partial shade

For prices and sizes available, pleaseclick here.

Botanical Name: Ilex aquifolium, Ilex aquifolium Alaska

Speed of growth under ideal conditions: 30cm (1ft) per year

An excellent evergreen hedging plant that has glossy, dark green, prickly leaves and red berries in the early winter. Good as an intruder deterrent. Low maintenance as it is slower growing. Holly clips well to create a dense, formal garden or field hedge and will regenerate from old wood if you need to cut it back.

Holly hedging plants will grow in anyfree-draining soil in full sun or light shade. Holly will grow in sheltered or exposed sites.

25m (80ft) but can easily be kept trimmed.

We tend to have more Holly available in the winter months as it can be dug straight from the field. For prices and sizes available, please call us on01460 281265.

We sell many different types of hedging plants. If you are not sure which type of hedge to choose or the plant names just dont mean anything to you, then the guide below will help you choose which hedging plants are best for your garden.

Most of the hedging plants we sell are fast growing and evergreen.

Other Common Names: Leyland Cypress, Leylandi, Conifer Hedging

Botanical Latin Names: x Cupressocyparis leylandii, x Cuprocyparis leylandii, Cupressus x leylandii

Least expensive (cheapest) especially at heights over 4ft (120cm) tall

Leylandii is a conifer that is the fastest growing, evergreen, hedging plant and will create a hedge quickly. Because it is fast growing, it is generally the cheapest way of forming an evergreen garden hedge and hence the most popular.

If it is pruned every year, Leylandii will create a formal dark-green evergreen screen or box-shaped hedge, similar to a Yew hedge. Leylandii can be kept to any height as long as you trim it once or twice a year. We have kept a Leylandii Hedge 4ft tall for over 25 years. We trim the tops of most of our Leylandii Hedges twice a year and the sides once a year.

Leylandii is also very tolerant of wind and cold temperatures.

Other benefits of Leylandii hedging plants are:

Best at filtering particulates (air pollution) from passing traffic

Leylandii will grow in wet, heavy clay soils but not soils that become water-logged.

Leylandii will grow in full sun or partial shade.

Leylandii trees will grow very tall (over 30m or 100ft) if left untrimmed but like a Beech tree/hedge can be kept trimmed to heights as low as 1m (3ft) tall. Keeping it trimmed regularly will also mean the foliage stays dense down to ground level. If a hedge is allowed to grow too tall, especially where there is competition for nutrients and water from hedging plants planted together, it will often shed the lower leaves/needles. It is also much easier to trim a hedge that is kept to a reasonable height.

Other common names: Cherry Laurel, Common Laurel, English Laurel

Botanical Names: Prunus laurocerasus, Prunus laurocerasus Rotundifolia, Prunus laurocerasus Novita, Prunus laurocerasus Caucasica

Speed of growth under ideal conditions: up to 60cm (2ft) per year

Fast-growing the fastest growing hedging plant if you dont want a conifer

Laurel is the quickest growing evergreen hedging plant that isnt a conifer, so if you dont want a conifer hedge, Laurel is the quickest and cheapest way of creating an evergreen hedge. Laurels will also provide the most instant hedging as the taller sizes (4ft, 5ft and 6ft) are bushy and can often create an instant screen if planted close enough.

Laurel leaves are rounded, glossy and bright green leaves and look good all year round. They can be trimmed into formal box-shaped hedges or they can create a less formal looking hedge. You will need to trim a Laurel Hedge once a year. Laurel hedging plants will regenerate from old wood if they become overgrown.

Laurel hedging plants will grow in most soils except shallow chalky or very wet soils.

Theywill grow in the full sun or in shade as long as it is watered while it is establishing a root system. Laurel is often seen growing under trees in National Trust properties and is probably the best evergreen hedging plant for growing in the shade.

For sizes and prices of the Laurel Hedging Plants we have available to buy, pleaseclick here.

Botanical Name: Prunus lusitanica, Prunus lusitanica Angustifolia, Prunus lusitanica Myrtifolia

Speed of growth under ideal conditions: 45cm (18in) per year

Fragrant white flowers and attractive red stems

Portugal Laurel has a dark green leaf that is much smaller than the leaf of Cherry Laurel. It is medium-fast growing although not quite as quick growing as Cherry Laurel. The stems of Portugal Laurel are red when young and this contrasts well with the dark green leaves. We mainly sell the smaller leaved form of Portugal Laurel hedging plants that looks very similar to Bay Laurel but is much hardier (will take much lower temperatures) than Bay Laurel. It forms an excellent evergreen garden hedge and can be kept to any shape or size. It is easy to maintain and keep it looking neat and tidy but it will regenerate from old wood if it does become overgrown.

Portugal Laurel hedging plants will grow in all free-draining soils (i.e. not waterlogged) including chalky soils and will grow in full sun or partial shade.

Prunus lusitanica Angustifolia or Myrtifolia (Smaller leaf) up to 6m (18ft)

Common Names: Golden Leylandii, Golden Leyland Cypress, Golden Leylandi

Botanical Names: x Cupressocyparis leylandii Castlewellan Gold, x Cuprocyparis leylandii Castlewellan or Excalibur

Castlewellan Gold up to 75cm (26) per year

Leylandii Castlewellan Gold is the most popular form of Golden Leylandii Hedging. It is fast growing so will form a hedge quickly. If it is trimmed every year, it will create a dense evergreen garden hedge that is bright yellowish-gold in the spring and summer. The golden colour turns a more lime-green in autumn and it can turn a bronze colour in a cold winter. As with the green leylandii, we recommend trimming the sides of a Castlewellan hedge once a year and the tops twice a year. Castlewellan Gold Leylandii is slightly slower growing than the Green Leylandii for this reason it is usually slightly more expensive than Green Leylandii for the equivalent height plant. It will grow in any soil except for water-logged soil.

Leylandii Excalibur Gold is very similar to Castlewellan Gold and most people wouldnt be able to tell the difference. It is slightly slower growing than Castlewellan Gold but as a result usually makes a slightly denser plant when grown in a pot. Once in the ground and trimmed as a hedge, the two types of Golden Leylandii are virtually identical.

Golden Leylandii will grow in any free-draining (i.e. not waterlogged) soil in full sun or partial shade. The foliage will be more golden in full sun and pale green in shade.

Golden Leylandii Trees will grow up to 25m (75ft) or can be trimmed to the required height. The hedge in the picture is 1.2m (4ft) tall.

Thuja plicata up to 75cm (26) per year

Thuja Brabant grows up to 60-75cm (2-26) per year

Thuja plicata (Western Red Cedar) and Thuja Brabant are fast-growing conifers that create an evergreen hedge. Thuja are extremely hardy and will tolerate strong winds. They grow in most soils (except for water-logged soils). Thuja plicata and especially Thuja Brabant tend to be a bit bushier than Leylandii in the pot or as a rootballed hedging plant (one dug straight from the ground) but they are slightly slower growing than Leylandii so are generally cost a little bit more for the equivalent height plant. Leylandii and Thuja will form a very similar, dense hedge although Thuja will sometimes shoot back from old wood. Thuja have aromatic, fruity foliage when brushed against. Keep them trimmed once a year to the height and width you need and they will form a fantastic field or garden hedge.

Thuja plicata tends to be slightly quicker growing and has a darker green foliage that turns bronze in cold winters or in windy locations.

Thuja occ. Brabant tends to be a paler green in colour than Thuja plicata

Thuja will grow in all soils except those that are waterlogged for long periods in winter.

up to 30m (100ft) or trim to the required height.

Botanical Names: Thuja occidentalis Smaragd, Thuja Emeraud

Common Name: Emerald Cedar, A form of Eastern or American Arborvitae

Speed of growth under ideal conditions: 30cm (1ft) per year

Thuja Emerald is one of the best hedging plants if you do not want to trim the sides of your hedge. It keeps its neat cone-shape so you never need to trim the sides. Even if it is allowed to grow to its full height of 5-6m (15-18ft) tall, it is not very wide so is not over-bearing. If you want to stop it getting to its full height, then just trim the top once a year. Because Thuja Emerald does not bush out very much, it needs to be planted at closer than Leylandii or Laurel. We would recommend planting 50-75cm apart depending on how quickly you want the screen and how tall you are going to let the plants grow.

Thuja Emerald also makes an excellent specimen plant in lawns or flower beds.

Thuja hedging plants will grow in any soil except waterlogged.

up to 5-6m (15-18ft) or trim to the required height.

Speed of growth under ideal conditions: 45cm (18in) per year

Evergreen (these hedging plants keep their leaves all year round).

Griselinia is a medium-fast growing, evergreen hedging plant that forms an excellent garden hedge. As it is tolerant of salt, it is good for coastal locations or for hedges near roads where gritters pass by in the winter.

Its leaves always looks a fresh Granny-Smith apple-green, even in winter and it creates a dense hedge down to ground level.

Griselinia will take temperatures down to -13C in sheltered sites and will grow in any free-draining soil. It will grow to 6m (18ft) tall if left untrimmed but it is easy to keep a Griselinia hedge as low as 90-120cm (3-4ft) tall by trimming once a year.

Griselinia will grow in any free-draining soil in full sun or partial shade.

up to 5-6m (15-18ft) or trim to the required height.

Botanical Name: Photinia x fraseri Red Robin

Speed of growth under ideal conditions: 60cm (2ft) per year

Brilliant red young leaves especially in spring

Evergreen hedging (keeps its leaves, even in the winter)

Photinia Red Robin is a popular, fast-growing, evergreen hedging plant that makes an attractive garden hedge if it is pruned twice a year. It has bright red, young leaves in early spring and, if it is trimmed in late spring or early summer, it will produce more red shoots in summer.

Photinia needs to be trimmed regularly (twice a year) to keep it dense. Laurel, Portugal Laurel or Griselinia are much easier to keep dense.

Photinia Red Robin will grow in any free-draining soil.

up to 4-5m (12-15ft) or trim to the required height.

Speed of growth under ideal conditions: 30 to 40cm (12 to 16in) per year

Attractive white flowers all winter and spring

Viburnum tinus is an evergreen hedging plant that forms a beautiful garden hedge with masses of pink white flowers from early winter until late spring. It is has a medium growth rate and so is slower growing than most of the other hedging plants we sell but if you are willing to wait, it will form a magnificent hedge. As it is slower growing, it is difficult to find and expensive to buy it in sizes of over 1 metre (3ft) tall. Will regenerate from old wood if it becomes overgrown.

Viburnum tinus arealso one of the best hedging plants for shade but will also grow in full sun.

up to 3-4m (10-12ft) or trim to the required height.

For prices and sizes available, please call us on01460 281265.

Common Names: Box, Common Box, Boxwood, Buxus, European Box

Speed of growth under ideal conditions: up to 20cm (8in) per year

Box is a slow-growing, evergreen hedging plantwith small leaves. It is neat and compact in habit and makes a perfect small garden hedge. It has the benefit of being tolerant of shade but can suffer from Box Blight especially in damp conditions. Consider Yew as an alternative. Box will regenerate from old wood if it becomes overgrown.

4m (12ft) but can easily be trimmed to as low as 30cm (1ft) tall

For prices and sizes available, ple