The Best Shrubs for Hedges

Hedges are a type of living fence, good for bordering property lines and for backdrops. Shrubs can make very good hedges depending on the type planted. Some hedge shrubs that will bloom or have berries, to make for an interesting addition to the green backdrop. The best shrubs for hedges are those that can be pruned to a solid form.


The boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) is an evergreen shrub, 15 to 20 feet tall, with approximately 12 cultivars. Leaves are leathery and up to 1 inch long, dark green, and fragrant. Flowers are fragrant and will bloom April to May. Plant a boxwood shrub in moist soil with mulch in full sun or light shade. Propagate via cuttings.

Amur Maple

The amur maple (Acer ginnala) is a deciduous shrub, 15 to 20 feet tall, with a multi-stemmed base. Leaves are medium green to dark green, 1 1/2 to 3 inches long, and turn red and yellow in fall. Flowers are fragrant pale yellow blooms in early spring hanging in clusters. Plant an amur maple in full sun or partial shade in any soil. Propagate via seed or softwood cuttings.


The sawara (Chamaecyparis pisifera) is an evergreen shrub, 50 to 70 feet tall (120 feet in wild), with a moderate growth rate. Leaves are dark green to yellow and pointed. Flowers are barely noticeable. Fruits are medium brown pea-like cones. Plant a sawara in moist, well-drained soil in full sun, but it will tolerate shade. Propagate via cuttings.


The firethorn (Pyracantha coccinea) is a semi-evergreen to evergreen shrub, 10 to 12 feet tall, with thorny branches. Leaves are dark green and up to 1 1/2 inches long. Flowers are small and white, in clusters, and appear in May to June. Fruits are 1/4 inch orange-red berries in September. Plant a firethorn in full sun or partial shade in well-drained soils. Propagate via cuttings or seed.

Meyer Lilac

The meyer lilac (Syringa meyeri) is a deciduous shrub, 4 to 8 feet tall and multi-stemmed. Leaves are up to 1 3/4 inches long and dark green. Flowers are fragrant pink or purple blooms 4 inches long appearing in May. Plant a meyer lilac in full sun to light shade in any soil. It is easy to grow. Propagate via cuttings and seed.

Keywords: hedges, hedge shrubs, best shrubs for hedges

About this Author

Tina Samuels has been a full-time freelance writer for more than 10 years, concentrating on health and gardening topics, and a writer for 20 years. She has written for "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living," and "Mature Years," as well as online content. She has one book, “A Georgia Native Plant Guide,” offered through Mercer University; others are in development.