You can plant a Leylandii hedge at any time of year, but there are advantages and disadvantages of planting a various times of year. We recommend planting British, pot-grown Leylandii that are acclimatised to the UK climate and can be planted at any time of year. You can buy Leylandii rootballed, meaning they are dug straight from the soil with a ball of soil around their roots. This should only be done between November and March and, with Laurel or Portuguese Laurel this is fine but with Leylandii it is more risky, with survival rates of rootballed Leylandii not as good as pot-grown Leylandii plants.
Planting a Leylandii hedge in the autumn (September to November)
The autumn is one of the best times to plant a Leylandii hedge. There are several factors that you should consider such as how wet or dry the soil is and how warm the soil is. If you plant when the soil wets up for the winter, you will not have to water your Leylandii until spring, and maybe not even in the spring, unless you get a long spell of dry weather. Soils normally stay wet enough to mean you don’t have to water by the beginning of November but this can be as early as September depending on the year.
The earlier you plant in the autumn, the warmer the soil is, so your Leylandii will start to root into the soil. The later you leave it, the less of a chance of the soil drying out and the plants needing to be watered.
Leylandii will root into the soil during mild spells in the winter and spring as well so if they are planted well, they should get a good root system into the ground before they start to grow quickly in the spring. The longer you give your hedging plants to form a root system, the less watering you will have to do in the spring.
In summary, autumn is a great time to plant as the soil is still warm and gives your hedging plants lots of time to develop a root system in the soil so they will not need much, if any, watering the following year (although watering them the following year may result in faster growth).
Planting a Leylandii hedge in the winter (November to February)
Winter is still a good time to plant Leylandii. As long as the soil is not frozen solid and you can get a spade in the ground, you can plant your hedge. The frost will not affect the roots of the plants when they are in the ground, so it is better to get them planted than leave them in their pots if you can – although Leylandii are very hardy soil so will also survive in their pots in UK winters.
As with autumn planting, if they are planted well, they will form a root system over mild spells in the winter. Leylandii will not put on top growth in the winter but underground, the plants will start to root into the soil.
To plant them well, make sure you dig a hole at least one and a half to twice the diameter of the pot that the plants come in and to the depth of the pot (plus maybe a centimetre or two). Break up the soil in the bottom of the hole so water or rainfall can drain from the hole and so the soil is not compacted. If the soil is compacted, the roots of the hedging plants will struggle to get into the soil and this will affect whether the plants can take up enough water and nutrients to survive, so making extra effort when you plant is very important.
Leylandii hedging planted in the winter will form a good root system during the mild spells and throughout the spring before the soil dries out, ensuring quick growth in the spring and summer.
In summary, winter is a really good time to plant as it allows your Leylandii to root into the soil ready for spring growth.
Planting a hedge in the spring (March to May)
The advantage of planting Leylandii hedge in the spring is that they will start to grow quickly straight after planting if they are planted well (see above). As temperatures rise, you will see your Leylandii hedging plants putting on new growth, even in mild spells in March, and they will continue to grow throughout the summer and autumn. As a result, you should see your plants putting on height and bushing out to fill any gaps between the plants over the seasons.
If you plant in the spring, you will need to water your plants regularly. Leylandii hedging need water to put on quick growth and to survive during dry spells. You should not let the roots of your hedging plants dry out during the spring, summer and autumn or the plants may struggle to survive. They will take time to establish a root system in the soil so they need watering until the soil wets up for the winter which is usually the end of October.
In summary, spring is a fantastic time to plant a hedge as you will see fast growth of your hedge but you need to keep your plants watered until the autumn.
Planting a Leylandii hedge in summer
You can plant a Leylandii hedge in summer as long as you are prepared to keep the plants watered.
The advantage of planting in the summer is that the plants still have time to get some additional growth on the plants throughout the summer and autumn rather than waiting and planting bigger, so more expensive plants, in the autumn. Water the plants well after planting and continue to monitor their water needs during the establishment period, probably until the soil wets up again in October or November.
If the soil is dry, it is worth watering it a few times to wet it up before planting. Water the soil and allow it to soak in before watering it again. This will also make it a lot easier to get a spade in the ground.
In summary, summer is a good time to plant if you want to plant a hedge and create privacy in your garden in the summer months. You will get some additional growth on your hedge straight away but you will need to keep your plants well-watered.
To help your Leylandii hedge grow quickly, always remember to break up the soil when planting, feed with 12 month controlled-release feed and keep a close eye on their water needs during their establishment period.
I hope this information helps you choose the perfect time to plant your Leylandii hedge. Click here to see our prices, sizes and availability on Leylandii Hedging
For more information on Leylandii, please visit Leylandii.com