Posted by Sunset Garden Experts on



A hedges main use is for privacy or screening. For this reason you really want to consider a few things before choosing the plant you want to use for your hedge such as: How tall do you want it to get? How quickly do you need it to grow? Do you want year round privacy (Evergreens) or just for part of the season (Deciduous)?

They also serve as nice backdrops for other plants and windbreaks (evergreens work better as year round windbreaks).

Types of Hedges


  • Provides year round colour
  • Usually clipped in July/August
  • Makes a formal hedge or natural sunscreen


  • Can be clipped or natural
  • Provides colour and texture in growing season
  • A variety of flower colours add a nice touch

Planting Hedges

  • Can be placed in a single row, double row or staggered
  • Bare Root – Best planted in cooler temperatures (spring or fall)
  • Potted Hedge - can be planted anytime
  • Keep plant roots covered and moist until planted
  • Dig a trench 2’ wide by 1’ deep where hedge is to be planted (Wider and deeper if plant root requires it)
  • Soil Mixture – Make mixture out of 2/3 good soil like Pro-Mix, and 1/3 peat moss for moisture retention. You can also just buy 3 way mix instead if you do not want to mix the soil yourself. Add a phosphorus fertilizer (Bonemeal or Plant Starter) for root development to the mixture. You can also use Myke instead. If using Myke simply rub the white powder on the root ball and sprinkle some in the bottom of the hole before planting.
  • Stretch a cord/string to define where hedge is to be planted
  • Set plants in at 1.5’ to 2’ spacing, fill in with soil mixture, tread lightly with feet to firm and water thoroughly
  • Apply a layer of mulch for moisture control
  • Keep well-watered for the first growing season


Always use sharp shears for a clean cut

  • Informal or natural hedges are usually cut back by 1/3 to promote thickness
  • Formal hedges are cut back up to ½ their height for dense, thick development right down to the base.
  • Each year until ultimate height is achieved, cut the new growth back by 1/2 to promote bushiness
  • When ultimate height is reached, shear to almost no new growth each year.
  • Always prune a hedge narrower on top than at the base (this allows light to more evenly hit all the way down the side of the hedge)
  • How many times a year the hedge is clipped depends on how quickly it grows
  • Evergreen hedges are usually pruned in July or August when growth is more or less finished for the year
  • When to prune a deciduous hedge is dictated by its flowering period. Generally, anything that flowers before June 15th is pruned after it flowers and anything after June 15th is pruned very early in the Spring or late in the Fall


  • Established hedges are fertilized by side dressing with any complete garden fertilizer in the Spring
  • Apply again before the end of June
  • Just keep in mind that while fertilizing will make your hedge look fuller and grow more quickly...the trade off is that you will have to prune it more. So if you want to have to prune your hedge less fertilize only once a season instead of twice.

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →