Best Evergreen Hedges | Top 5 Plants for a Garden Hedge


An evergreen hedge in your garden can provide you with year-round interest and privacy, filter out noise and pollution as well creating as a great habitat for nature for the forthcoming months. Pot-grown evergreen hedging plants can be planted at any time during the year, but they do need to be well watered during the summer months while the roots of the plants are establishing.  To help you choose the right hedging plant for you, here is the low-down of our top 5 evergreen hedges for your garden:

Best Evergreen Hedge No.1:
Laurel (Cherry Laurel, Common Laurel, English Laurel)

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

Best Evergreen Hedge No.1

Laurel provides a thick, lush, dense, glossy, dark green evergreen hedge, which can provide instant screening all year round, grows fast and suits many types of soil, except shallow chalky or very boggy soils.  It represents good value and can grow up to 60cm (2ft) a year which makes it ideal for planting in an area where permanent privacy or screening needs to be established quickly.  Laurel is one of the cheapest non-conifer hedging plants and suits shady spots, though it is also suitable for full sun.  It is tough and hardy and comes in a variety of sizes, making it ideal for instant hedging which you can buy in 4ft, 5ft and 6ft or taller plants.

Laurel hedges can be trimmed into formal box-shaped hedges or can be left to create a more natural hedge.  They should be trimmed annually, and can be cut back hard if overgrown, where they will regenerate from old wood.  Laurel is often seen growing under trees in National Trust properties where it enhances more formal gardens with its rich glossy foliage.

Top 5 reasons to buy:

  1. Dense glossy leaves all year round
  2. Suitable for most soils and positions
  3. Fast growing
  4. Large sizes available for instant hedging
  5. Hardy evergreen hedge

Click here to buy Laurel hedging

Best Evergreen Hedge No.2:
Leylandii (Green & Gold Leylandii) 

Botanical Latin Names:  x Cupressocyparis leylandii, x Cuprocyparis leylandii, Cupressus x leylandii, Leylandii Green, Leylandii ‘Castlewellan Gold’, Leylandii ‘Excalibur Gold’, Leylandii 2001

Best Evergreen Hedge No.2

Belonging to the conifer family, Leylandii can offer a quick solution for a privacy hedge at a very reasonable price.  It is the fastest-growing hedging plant and keeps its leaves all year round. It is the least expensive of the evergreen hedging options, especially for those people wanting fast-growing hedging over 4ft. Leylandii is hardy and wind tolerant and suitable for planting in most soils except waterlogged.  It is particularly suitable for areas of high traffic where its dense foliage filters out sound and pollution. Leylandii can be grown in full sun and partial shade and pruned annually either once or twice a year to create and maintain a formal evergreen screen or box-shaped hedge, much like a Yew hedge.

Leylandii is available with green or golden foliage. The most popular golden varieties are ‘Castlewellan Gold’ and ‘Excalibur Gold’.

There are laws surrounding the maintenance of these fast-growing trees, and whilst they are a marvellous solution for low-cost evergreen hedging that can be kept at any height, do be aware that you need to maintain a reasonable height where they are near neighbours to avoid becoming a nuisance to others. The also form a much denser screen if they are trimmed every year.

Top 5 reasons to buy:

  1. Most cost effective hedging plant
  2. Fast-growing and evergreen
  3. Absorbs pollution so ideal for areas near traffic
  4. Hardy plant suitable for all soils
  5. Good screening for sound and privacy

Click here to buy Leylandii Hedging Plants

Best Evergreen Hedge No.3:
Portugal Laurel | Portuguese Laurel

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

Best Evergreen Hedge No.3

Portugal Laurel is a flowering evergreen plant ideal for those wanting to keep a formal and tidy hedge.  It provides year round interest, with fragrant white flowers and attractive red stems.

The leaves on a Portugal Laurel are much smaller and darker green than those on a Cherry Laurel and the hedge does not grow quite as quickly, though is still fast growing (up to 50cm or 20 in per year). The colour and interest throughout the seasons makes it an ideal alternative. It grows in all free draining soils in full sun or shade.  The stems of Portuguese Laurel are red in the winter providing a beautiful contrast with its dark green leaves. Portugal Laurel hedging plants look similar to Bay Laurel but are much hardier so can withstand the coldest of winters (-20°C) without losing their leaves. Portugal Laurel is easy to maintain and forms an excellent evergreen garden hedge that can be kept to any shape or size.

Top 5 reasons to buy:

  1. Pretty, dark green leaves throughout the year
  2. Evergreen, flowering hedge
  3. Striking, dark-red stems
  4. Grows in all soils and positions
  5. Easy to shape and maintain

Click here to buy Portugal Laurel hedging plants

Best Evergreen Hedge No. 4:
Thuja (Western Red Cedar)

Botanical Names: Thuja plicata, Thuja plicata ‘Atrovirens’, Thuja plicata ‘Excelsa’, Thuja plicata ‘Martin’, Thuja occidentalis ‘Brabant’

Best Evergreen Hedge No.4

Thuja plicata and Thuja ‘Brabant’ are fast-growing conifers that create an evergreen hedge and will grow in all soils except those that are waterlogged during winter.

Thuja plants are extremely hardy and will tolerate strong winds and temperatures down to -25°C. Both varieties of Thuja tend to be bushier than Leylandii when you buy them in the pot or as a root-balled hedging plant, but they are slightly slower growing than Leylandii.  Leylandii and Thuja both form a very similar, dense hedge though Thuja will generally shoot back from old wood if overgrown. Thuja has aromatic, fruity foliage when brushed against and if trimmed once a year they will create a fantastic field or garden hedge.

Thuja plicata tends to be quicker growing and has a darker green foliage that turns bronze in cold winters or in windy locations, whilst Thuja Brabant is slightly paler green in colour than Thuja plicata.

Top 5 reasons to buy:

  1. Fast growing conifers
  2. Grows in most soils
  3. Tolerates strong winds and low temperatures
  4. Forms a dense hedge
  5. Shoots back from old wood

Click here to buy Thuja hedging plants

Best Evergreen Hedge No.5:

Botanical Name: Griselinia littoralis, Griselinia littoralis ‘Green Horizon’

Best Evergreen Hedge No.5

Griselinia hedging plants are Evergreen and grow up to 50cm (20 inches) per year making it an ideal hedging plant. Griselinia keeps its ‘Granny-Smith’ coloured apple-green leaves throughout the year and creates a dense hedge to ground level. The plants will tolerate temperatures as low as -13°C in sheltered sites away from cold winds, and will grow in any free-draining soil in full sun or partial shade. It can grow up to 5m (15ft) if left untrimmed but will make a neat hedge if maintained as low as 3-4ft high.  The hedges are easy to maintain, and are ideal for coastal locations due to their tolerance of salt from the sea, or along roads where gritters spray salt during the winter.

Top 5 reasons to buy:

  1. Apple-green leaves all year round
  2. Ideal for coastal locations
  3. Fast growing
  4. Dense hedge to ground level
  5. Easy to shape and maintain

Click here to buy Griselinia hedging plants

Posted Under: Hedging Blogs