How to Choose Hedges


Hedges are shrubs and bushes planted in a uniform manner. Usually hedges are living fences, used to provide borders and barriers in many landscape designs. Your hedge should fit into your current landscape design and enhance your property. It also should be appropriate for its function, such as creating privacy or dividing parts of your yard. Different varieties of hedges have different characteristics, so make your selection based on things such as blossoms, height, hardiness, water requirements and soil conditions.

Step 1

Test your soil to determine its composition, so that you don't waste time or money planting a hedge in soil incapable of providing necessary nutrients. Follow the directions on your soil test to determine necessary additives, and incorporate recommended ingredients into the soil according to package directions.

Step 2

Consider the amount of work required by different types of hedges. Decide how often you want to trim and manicure your hedge. Select sprawling varieties, such as willows, in casual landscape designs. Choose privet hedges for quick establishment in manicured lawns.

Step 3

Choose blossoming hedges to enhance native landscapes and casual areas. Strong pruning removes many of the flowers, so avoid using these in areas demanding rigid, manicured hedges. Choose flowering hedges that exhibit blossoms in colors that blend with your current color scheme.

Step 4

Choose suitable hedges to enclose your yard and provide a measure of privacy. Select tall-growing varieties for use as privacy hedges. Tall species, such as the Amur Maple, reach a mature height of 20 feet. These provide a high screen when placed next to roadways and along property lines.

Step 5

Select dense-growth shrubs to help contain pets and children. Plant these varieties close together to provide a tight barrier between two areas. Japanese Barberry produces thick growth and withstands poor growing conditions, although it produces thorns that can create difficulty when pruning. Korean boxwood shrubs to create a low-growing, compact hedge that remains green throughout the year.


  • University of Florida: Gardenia Jasminoides
  • North Carolina State University: Pruning Shrubs
  • Purdue University: Hedges
Keywords: Selecting shrubs, Choosing hedges, privacy hedge

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.