Shrubs for an Informal Hedge

Shrubs are grown in dozens of varieties, each with their own shape, color, size and growing requirements. Some are evergreen, keeping their color and foliage all year long, when most others die down. Evergreen shrubs make ideal hedge rows that provide privacy and color year-round. They typically require full sun to partial shade and well-drained, moist soils to thrive. Often, drought- and heat-tolerant, evergreen shrubs are hardy, tough plants to grow.

Holmstrup Arborvitae

Holmstrup arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis 'Holmstrup' ) is an evergreen shrub with a pyramidal shape that is dense and compact. Ideal as an informal hedge along the landscape, the holmstrup arborvitae grows 3 to 6 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide. The bright green needles are dense with flattened sprays that create a fluffy look to the hedge. Holmstrup arborvitae have a slow growth rate and medium texture that looks brilliant planted side-by-side as a makeshift fence. They prefer full sun and moist, deep, well-drained soils to thrive. The USDA Hardiness Zone for planting is 3 to 7.

Common Boxwood

Common boxwood (Buxus sempervirens), another evergreen shrub, has a dense rounded form that is multistemmed. The medium to fine texture and lustrous dark green leaves makes for an ideal informal hedge. The leaves grow up to 1 inch long with an orange cast in the winter, making for a burst of color to the landscape. Common boxwoods range in height from 15 to 20 feet tall and in width from 10 to 15 feet, making for an excellent windbreak around the home. The creamy yellow and fragrant flowers emerge in spring to light up the yard. Common boxwood shrubs prefer full sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soil. A pH of 6 or higher is also preferred. The zone for planting is 5 to 8.

Blue Moss Cypress

Blue moss cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Boulevard') is a moderately growing evergreen shrub with fine texture. The upright, dense form has a symmetrical, pyramidal shape. The blue green leaves have a silver tinge that is awl-shaped and curving. Blue moss cypress shrubs grow 6 to 10 feet tall and 3 feet wide, ideal for planting as privacy hedge. Heat tolerant, they make ideal hedges in arid climates. Blue moss cypress shrubs have a bronze winter color and retain their needles all year long. They require full sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soil. The zone for planting is 4 to 8.

Keywords: informal hedge shrubs, holmstrup arborvitae, common boxwood, blue moss cypress, informal hedges

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer, designer and photographer in North Carolina. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate your indoor and outdoor living environment. Her articles have appeared in and and her photography has been featured in "Automotive News" magazine and