All about Hedging Plants
People plant hedges for many reasons, such as for privacy, windbreaks, or to mark the boundaries of their property, so you have many choices among hedging plants depending on your specific purpose. Hedges can have a formal look or a more easy-going demeanor. They can be tall or short (dwarf), be green year-round or have flowers. Some, like trees, are deciduous and lose their foliage in the winter, while others keep the same appearance through every season.
Evergreens are often chosen for hedging plants because they are easy to grow and provide solid coverage through all seasons. Winter boxwood is one of the most popular hedges among the evergreens. It’s not picky about whether you plant it in the sun or shade and it does well in just about any soil condition. Mountain laurel is one of the few hedging plants native to North America. That means it doesn’t mind snow or below zero temperatures. If you live in USDA zones 4-8, this hedge will do well. You have many varieties from which to choose, and on average, they grow to be around six feet tall.
If you like flowers, there is nothing more beautiful than a flowering hedge. Flowering hedging plants can come in many different sizes and you have lots of colorful flowers from which to choose. Because many rose plants grow to be very tall, they can make for a wonderful hedge. One of the most popular flowering hedges is the Bonica rose. In 1997, it was voted to be the most popular rose in the entire world. The flowers are a very attractive pink.
The Spiraeas are another one of the flowering hedging plants. You can have varying heights from a short two-foot to a taller four-foot variety. They can grow in USDA zones 4-9, so cold temperatures are not out of the question. There are several different colored species, including yellow, white and pink. They have continuous blooms throughout the summer season.
If privacy is what you want, you have fewer hedging plants from which to choose. That’s because a privacy hedge need to be least six feet high, and it has to have a very dense kind of foliage so that no one can see in-between the plants or through them. The most popular of all hedging plants are lilac bushes. When the plant is mature, it can be eight to ten feet high and its width is almost the same number of feet. The foliage is very dense and you might even have to cut back a few branches from time to time. Lilacs will grow almost anywhere, even where winter temperatures plummet to forty below zero. The lilac is a summer-bloomer and will lose foliage in the fall.
Dwarf hedges are another category of hedging plants. They are too short for privacy but make great windbreaks and yard borders. One of the most popular of these is the ninebark dwarf. They don’t mind cold weather at all and will grow successfully in just about every USDA zone. They have a nice green foliage and white flowers which will bloom in the spring. They turn a magnificent scarlet color in the fall. In addition, they have bark which splits and has a peeling look as the tree ages. This causes a peculiar but interesting look which intrigues passersby.
When choosing hedging plants, be sure to find out the height the hedge will grow, and how much and often it needs to be pruned. If you hate to prune, your first choice should not be a formal hedge. There are informal hedges as well and your nursery may have some for you to take a look at when you are shopping for hedges. One popular species is the Rugosa Rose. Also, know the kind of soil you have and if it is conducive to growing your selected plant.