What Are the Best Hedge Plants?

Hedge circle

Hedge plants are versatile and offer a multitude of benefits for any garden.

Certain hedge plants add privacy, increase property value, attract wildlife, and even act as windbreakers.

On top of these practical uses, some hedge plants also contribute to a more aesthetic appeal.

However, since many different types of hedge plants are available, you should choose the ones that best suit your needs.

This article provides guidance on choosing the right hedge plant for the task at hand.

What Are Hedge Plants?

Hedge plants are a group of plants grown together to form a barrier or boundary in a garden.

They can be used for privacy, to define a space, or simply for aesthetic purposes.

Hedge plants come in different shapes, sizes, and colors and can be evergreen or deciduous.

Hedge plants can create formal or informal hedges, depending on their growth habits and pruning requirements.

Formal hedges are trimmed to a specific shape and size, while informal hedges are allowed to grow more naturally.

The benefits of using hedge plants in your garden are numerous. They can provide privacy and create a windbreak. They can also reduce noise pollution and improve air quality.

Some common hedge plants include boxwood, arborvitae, privet, and holly.

Proper maintenance of hedge plants is essential to ensure their health and beauty.

This includes regular pruning and shaping and watering, and fertilizing as needed.

With the proper care, hedge plants can provide years of beauty and functionality in your garden.

Types of Hedge Plants

When selecting hedge plants for your garden, consider the following factors:

  • Amount of sunlight the plants will receive
  • Soil conditions in your garden
  • Desired height and width of the hedge

Here are some of the best hedge plants in different categories.

Type #1: Evergreen Hedge Plants

Evergreen hedge plants are famous for creating year-round privacy screens and windbreaks.

Some of the best evergreen hedge plants include Boxwood and Arborvitae.

Type #2: Deciduous Hedge Plants

Deciduous hedge plants lose their leaves in the fall but offer a burst of color in the spring and summer.

Some of the best deciduous hedge plants include Forsythia, Barberry, and Spirea.

Type #3: Flowering Hedge Plants

Flowering hedge plants are a great way to add color and interest to your garden.

Some of the best flowering hedge plants include Rose and Lilac.

Did You Know?

Hedge plants have been used centuries to define property boundaries and keep livestock from wandering. The world’s oldest living hedge is in England and has existed since the Bronze Age. It’s over 3,000 years old and made of hawthorn.

Best Hedge Plants for Privacy

Privacy hedge

If you want to create a privacy screen in your garden, hedge plants are a great option.

Privacy hedge plants are typically tall and dense, perfect for blocking unwanted views and noise.

Here are some of the best hedge plants for privacy.

Leyland Cypress

Leyland cypress is a popular choice for privacy hedges due to its fast growth rate and dense foliage.

This evergreen can grow up to 3 feet per year, making it an ideal choice for those looking to create a privacy screen quickly.

American Arborvitae

American arborvitae is a classic privacy hedge plant known for its tall, narrow growth habit.

This evergreen can grow up to 60 feet tall, making it an excellent option for creating a tall privacy screen. We have an article about different types of arborvitaes.

Emerald Green Arborvitae

Emerald green arborvitae is a compact evergreen perfect for creating a low-maintenance privacy screen.

This slow-growing shrub has a dense growth habit and can be easily pruned to maintain its desired shape and size.

Green Giant Arborvitae

Green giant arborvitae is a fast-growing evergreen that is perfect for creating a privacy screen in a short amount of time.

This tree can grow up to 5 feet per year and has a dense growth habit that makes it ideal for blocking unwanted views.


Privet is a deciduous shrub known for its dense growth habit and ability to create a thick, impenetrable hedge.

This plant is easy to grow and maintain and can be pruned to maintain its desired size and shape.

Best Hedge Plants for Beauty

Beautiful hedge

In addition to providing privacy, hedge plants can also be used to add beauty and aesthetic appeal to your garden.

Aesthetic hedge plants are typically chosen for their attractive foliage, flowers, or berries.

Here are some of the best hedge plants for beauty.


Boxwood is a classic hedge plant known for its dense foliage and ability to be pruned into various shapes and sizes.

This evergreen shrub comes in various cultivars, each with its unique leaf color and texture.

Japanese Holly

Japanese holly is a slow-growing evergreen known for its small, glossy leaves and compact growth habit.

This plant can be easily pruned into a formal hedge or topiary and is also an excellent choice for adding structure to a garden.

Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon is a deciduous shrub that produces large, showy flowers in late summer.

This plant can be grown as a hedge or trained as a small tree and is known for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden.


Barberry is a colorful hedge plant that comes in various cultivars, each with its unique foliage color and texture.

This deciduous shrub is known for its ability to add interest to a garden year-round, with its bright red or yellow foliage in the fall.

Flowering Quince

Flowering quince is a deciduous shrub that produces bright red, pink, or orange flowers in the spring.

This plant can be grown as a hedge or trained into a small tree and is known for attracting pollinators to the garden.

Best Hedge Plants for Wildlife

Bird on hedge

When it comes to creating a hedge that’s friendly to wildlife, it’s essential to choose plants that offer food, shelter, and protection for birds, insects, and other creatures.

Here are some of the best hedge plants for attracting wildlife.

Butterfly Bush

The butterfly bush attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies with its fragrant flowers.

It’s a fast-growing, low-maintenance plant in various colors, including pink, purple, and white.


Holly is another wildlife-friendly hedge plant that shelters birds, especially during winter.

It also produces bright red berries that birds love to eat.


Elderberry is a fantastic option for attracting birds, particularly during summer.

The plant produces clusters of small, dark berries that birds find irresistible.


Viburnum is an attractive shrub that provides various benefits for wildlife.

It offers shelter, food, and bird nesting sites and produces beautiful flowers attracting butterflies and bees.

Red Osier Dogwood

A red osier dogwood is a great option for attracting birds, particularly in winter.

The plant produces bright red stems that provide a pop of color in the winter landscape and attract birds looking for food and shelter.

A Cautionary Note About Invasive Hedge Plants

Be careful when choosing hedge plants! Some species, such as Japanese knotweed and English ivy, can be invasive and cause damage to nearby plants and structures. Always research a plant’s growing habits and potential invasiveness before planting it in your yard.

Best Hedge Plants for Different Climate Zones

When selecting a hedge plant, you must consider the climate zone in which you live.

Not all plants can thrive in all regions, so choosing plants that can survive and even thrive in your area is crucial.

Here are some recommendations for the best hedge plants for different climate zones.

Zone 3

This is a challenging zone for plants since it’s one of the coldest in the US.

However, some hedge plants, such as Canadian hemlock, juniper, and yew, can survive in this zone.

These plants are hardy and can withstand harsh winters.

Zone 5

This is a moderately cold zone, and it’s easier to find hedge plants that can thrive in this region.

Some of the recommended plants include lilac, arborvitae, and burning bush.

These plants can survive winter temperatures that can drop below -20°F.

Zone 7

This is a warmer zone, with many options for hedge plants.

Some of the recommended plants include boxwood, holly, and Japanese Pieris.

These plants can survive winter temperatures that rarely drop below 0°F.


Choosing the right hedge plant can transform your garden into a beautiful and functional space.

Whether you’re looking for privacy, beauty, wildlife, or a plant that can thrive in your climate, there is a perfect hedge plant.

However, research the planting process carefully, and remember; the most critical step – watering your new hedge plant daily.

As the saying goes, a well-watered hedge is a happy hedge!

Leave a Comment