Hedges are like living architecture, good for increasing security, privacy, and wind protection on your property. They can even serve as “walls” to divide outdoor living spaces into separate “rooms.” Creating a tidy hedge requires routine trimming and maintenance. The key to increasing your property’s health and beauty while minimizing your workload is to select the right hedge material to begin with.
What to Look for in a Hedge
Follow these tips to help you choose the perfect shrubs to mold into garden hedges:
- Foliage: Evergreens make the best hedge materials because they don’t lose their leaves in the fall and winter, maximizing privacy and wind-breaking effects all year-round.
- Size: Consider how tall your want your hedge to be. If you choose a plant that naturally grows far larger than you want it to, you’ll create more work for yourself. Plus, you could end up with awkward-looking plants if you keep them trimmed back too far.
- Shape: Shrubs with naturally low, dense branches that grow in a round, mounded, or pyramidal shape require minimal effort to mold into a beautiful hedge.
- Shearability: If you plan to use hedge clippers, make sure you choose a plant that adapts well to shearing. Some species become thin and bare if the tips of their branches are repeatedly clipped.
- Adaptability: Versatile hedge materials have the best chance of adapting to the conditions in your yard. Drought tolerance is also a plus to lower irrigation costs.
- Disease resistance: Hedges involve growing shrubs close together, which can make them difficult to treat without spreading the infection to nearby plants. That’s why it pays to choose shrubs that are resistant to common diseases and pests in your area.
- Cost: You may need to buy several shrubs if you hope to grow an aesthetically pleasing hedge with no gaps between the plants. Do you want your hedge to be the most eye-catching part of your yard? If so, then they may be worth splurging on. However, if you consider your hedge to be a backdrop for the rest of your garden, you may want to choose more economical shrubs.
Popular Shrubs to Use for Hedges
In addition to considering the qualities of the plants you buy, it’s also critical to think about your climate. Moon Valley Nurseries has locations in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, and Florida. As such, we supply shrubs that thrive in hot, sunny Southern and Southwestern states. If you live in this climate, rest assured that the following recommendations are suitable options for hedges in your yard.
The Bay Laurel is prized for its fragrant evergreen leaves. You can even dry them for use in soups, stews, and other dishes! The Bay Laurel, native to the Mediterranean, loves heat and thrives in full sun to partial shade.
Left to its own devices, the plant can grow to over 25 feet, though it’s easy to keep hedges trimmed to 2 to 8 feet tall. Its slow growth rate means less maintenance, but buy as big as you can to enjoy the most benefits from day one.
The Japanese Blueberry is widely used as hedging in the Southwest. The exotic evergreen offers low-maintenance features, requiring very little pruning to maintain its shape. It tolerates heat and cold, with changing foliage in the spring, blossoms in the summer, and (inedible) bluish-black fruit in the fall for eye-catching beauty all year-round.
Without pruning, the Japanese Blueberry grows over 30 feet tall and 20 feet wide, though the slow growth rate makes it easy to trim to a more manageable size. For the best results, plant in full sun and provide regular watering until established.
Indian Laurel/Hollywood Hedge
The Indian Laurel or Hollywood hedge is among the most popular medium to large shade trees found in the Southwest. One variation grows in a column up to 20 feet tall, providing generous shade, privacy, and noise dampening. It has a fast growth rate of up to 24 inches per year, so you don’t have to wait long for it to reach its full potential!
The Eagleston Holly, a natural hybrid of the Dahoon and American species, makes for an attractive, low-maintenance privacy hedge. The plant is relatively small, growing to 15 feet tall and 10 feet wide without pruning. The pyramidal growth habit and slow to moderate pace make it easy to shape the shrub any way you want. Shiny green leaves and clusters of bright red berries also make the perfect seasonal backdrop in fall and winter. The roots are rarely invasive, so Eagleston Holly is ideal for lining pathways and streets.
Get Expert Help Choosing Hedges for Your Yard
The final consideration is whether your preferred hedge material is suited to your property’s microclimate. The professionals at Moon Valley Nurseries can help you compare your options based on soil type, sun exposure, available irrigation, and other factors. Purchase healthy, high-quality shrubs from us and plant them yourself, or schedule professional delivery and planting services for guaranteed results. We account for everything from HOA standards to community-specific weather trends, ensuring a successful planting day.
Moon Valley Nurseries - https://www.moonvalleynurseries.com/ | https://blog.moonvalleynurseries.com/
Locations in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, Florida
https://www.moonvalleynurseries.com/trees/hedge-material (various subpages)
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