Hedges are longtime favorite plants for properties, large and small. They are long lasting, and even the neediest require little care compared to other types of plants. Hedges have many uses and which one is best for your property depends a lot on how you wish to use it. Another factor in what hedges will work best for you is how much time you have to care for large bushes.
The best hedge plants have tight leaves. Large leaves leave big spaces between each and make hedges look unkempt and eaten. Plants with fine leaves will look better after trimming than those with course leaves. It is best to trim hedges often to help them develop thick, heavy brush.
Making the Most of a Hedge
A plant may grow faster if you let it go without pruning, but it will get gangly and loose. The best method for growing hedges is to trim back, prune, 6 inches for every foot of growth. That makes the plants grow thick and full. It is well worth the extra time it takes for the plants to reach their maximum height.
Privet makes a great privacy shrub to use in a hedge. It grows very fast even when pruning often to keep it thick. It grows to as high as 15 feet. This type of shrub takes a lot of work and can be hard to deal with at maximum height without special pruning equipment.
Ornamental shrubs come in several types. Oriental shrubs such as bonsai make great conversational pieces and you can trim them into a wide variety of shapes because of the twisting branches that make them up. Some types of hedges have beautiful flowers at various times of the year. Both of these types of shrub take more work than a traditional hedgerow evergreen. Rose of Sharon makes a beautiful flowering shrub that grows quite tall. They are not exceptional plants for privacy, however, and in the winter lose all of their leaves. Lavender makes a wonderful hedge plant for both privacy and aromatic beauty. It, too, dies off in the winter taking away the privacy factor that traditional evergreen hedges afford.
Windbreak or Border
Windbreaks and borders are both best suited to the hardy evergreen plants. The difference between windbreaks and borders is size. Large properties require tall plants for windbreaks, and trees are better than bushes. Home protection is better with hedges that give thick, dense insulation that is close to the ground.