The Best Small Hedge Plants to Grow in Your Garden

Do you have a garden and are looking for the best plants to use as a hedge? If so, then you have come to the right place. Small hedges may be used as interior features in a garden or to separate flower and vegetable beds. They’re also wonderful for lining walkways, especially if you add a fragrant hedge that releases its scent as you pass by.

It can be confusing when you are trying to consider what small hedge plants will work best in your garden. But don’t worry, our top picks are sure to give you the guidance you need so that you can make the best decision for your garden.

In this article, we will discuss some of the best small deciduous hedging plants that you can grow in your garden. These hedging plants are perfect for small spaces, and they will help to add privacy and security to your property. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

Best Small Hedge Plants snippet image

Table of Contents

1. Euonymus japonicus “Microphyllus Aureovariegatus”

This is one of several Japanese Spindle cultivars. It reaches a maximum height of three feet and is a low-maintenance, hardy plant that grows easily in an apartment or small garden. The small, glossy leaves are variegated with yellow and green, and the plant produces small, insignificant flowers in the spring.

This plant is perfect for small hedges because it is slow-growing and can be easily trimmed to shape. It is also tolerant of full sun or partial shade and can withstand periods of drought.

If you are looking for a small hedge plant that is easy to care for and maintain, then the Euonymus japonicus “Microphyllus Aureovariegatus” is a great option for you.

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2. Euonymus fortunei “Gold Splash”

This is a small, evergreen shrub that reaches a maximum height of two feet. It has small, dark green leaves that are variegated with gold and cream. The plant produces small, white flowers in the early spring, which are followed by red berries in the fall.

The Euonymus fortunei “Gold Splash” is perfect for small hedges because it is slow-growing and can be easily trimmed to shape. It is also tolerant of full sun or partial shade and can withstand periods of drought.

Gold Splash is hardy and adaptable, going from sun to shade with ease. It doesn’t need a lot of water and can thrive in most soil types if it’s well-drained.

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3. Choisya

Choisya, also known as Mexican Orange, is another of the best low-maintenance hedge plants. It grows in most well drained soil types and climates and doesn’t require any help to improve the ground’s conditions.

Choisya is a drought-tolerant shrub that has thin, glossy green leaves and aromatic spring blooms that return in the fall. It grows to between 5 and 6.5 feet tall in the UK and zones 7b to 10 in the United States, where it prefers milder winter climates.

This small hedge plant is perfect for those who want a low-maintenance garden. It is also tolerant of full sun or partial shade and can withstand periods of drought.

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4. Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’

Often called Edging Boxwood or Dwarf Boxwood, this small hedge plant is perfect for small spaces. It reaches a maximum height of four feet and has small, glossy green and yellow leaves.

The Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’ is perfect for small hedges because it is slow-growing and can be easily trimmed to shape. It is also tolerant of full sun or partial shade and can withstand periods of drought.

Because it requires some sun, a full-shade planting would not be suitable. This one thrives in zones 5 through 9.

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5. Thuja Smaragd

An evergreen coniferous tree with upright, fan-shaped sprays of leaves. Some varieties of Thuja are fast-growing and tall, so they must be watched and pruned carefully, but Thuja Smaragd takes 10-20 years to reach its maximum height of approximately 8ft (2.5m), yet it still provides a dense, attractive screen of bright green all year round. It is an excellent screening plant in the UK, US, and Australia.

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6. Cherry Laurel

Cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) is an evergreen small tree or large shrub with glossy, dark green leaves. It can grow up to 40 feet tall, but it can also be pruned to maintain a smaller size of a maximum of 3 feet.

This small hedge plant is perfect for those who want a low-maintenance garden. It is also tolerant of full sun or partial shade and can withstand periods of drought.

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7. English Yew/ Taxus Baccata

English is rarely planted as a hedge in the United States, which is a shame since it forms quite densely and has dark green leaves. Three feet is the shortest height at which you should grow English Yew. Because English Yew is moderately slow-growing, you won’t have to trim it too often.

The English Yew hedge is best suited for zones 4 through 9, and it needs some sunshine as well as full sun. It will do fine in a full-shade environment if the soil is well-drained since English Yew is particularly susceptible to root rot.

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8. Littleleaf Boxwood, or Buxus Microphylla

Littleleaf Boxwood, which is highly popular in the eastern United States, gets a lot of usage in English gardens. Its leaves are somewhat glossy and may occasionally change colour from orange to gold late in the winter, causing many gardeners to worry it was dying. This is completely natural. 

The Littleleaf Boxwood shrub grows to a height of four feet (1.21 m) and thrives in part shade. Although this formal hedge is native to zones 6-9, certain cultivars have been developed specifically for colder climates.

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9. Pyracantha

This spiky plant is ideal if you want a low-maintenance hedge that will also keep people out. Try Mohave, which features dense, tiny green leaves and white blooms in the summer and massive clusters of red fruit in the fall.

It may be trimmed into a specific form in the spring and early summer (use a thick pair of gardening gloves for the task) or left as is for an informal wildlife-friendly hedge.

Pyracantha is invasive in many locations of the United States and Australia since it is such a prolific species. If you’re looking for ideas for a quick-growing garden fence, our article on the finest fast-growing formal hedges has several alternatives.

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10. Burkwood Daphne

When it comes to soil, the Burkwood Daphne is a picky little beast. However, if you put it in the alkaline soil that it desires, this hedge may quickly develop to three feet tall (0.91 m) and sometimes up to four feet tall (1.21 m) if you don’t maintain it correctly. Daphne, or Daphne crenata, is a shrub that grows in zones 4 and warmer.

The leaves are a pleasing shade of blue and have a beautiful colour spectrum. Its blooms emerge in the second half of spring and are pinkish in hue. The hedge has many cultivars, but the “Carol Mackie” is perhaps the most popular, featuring a cream-coloured leaf edge.

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11. English Holly

This small hedge plant is dioecious, meaning that there are male and female plants. The male English Holly produces flowers (yellow-green in colour) and the females produce berries (red).

The English Holly grows best in full sun but will also tolerate partial shade. It prefers moist soil but can also tolerate drought conditions once it is established. This small hedge plant is perfect for those who want a low-maintenance garden.

In rural regions, holly plants might need a rabbit barrier around the trunk as they establish, especially if you’re already dealing with how to keep rabbits out of your garden or yard.

The English holly grows in colder regions of Australia. It thrives in US growing zones 7 to 9, but American holly is a suitable option for gardens outside those parts of the country.

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12. Dwarf Fothergilla/ Fothergilla Gardenii

This is a suitable choice for properties where you only need a hedge that is three inches (7.62 cm) high, however, two feet (0.60 m) is perhaps a better height to aim for when picking this one for your landscaping.

Gardenias provide a lot of colour to your landscape in the early spring and summer, when their leaves are many hues of green, but as fall advances and the leaves begin to alter, this hedge will join in and become crimson, goldenrod yellow, or orange.

Dwarf Fothergilla Fothergilla Gardenii

13. Photinia

There are several varieties of evergreen bushes and trees, but some can become somewhat drab and even difficult to maintain if left unpruned. This beautiful choice for the best low-maintenance hedge plants certainly shakes things up a bit.

Photinia X Fraseri ‘Louise’ is a stunning example of Photinia x fraseri, and one which transforms from red to olive-green to dark grey green as the seasons pass. It has creamy flowers in the springtime, followed by red fruit. It prefers full or partial sun but will grow in either rich, moist soil or dappled shade.

The plant requires minimal pruning, just a light trim in the spring and summer (preferring to avoid the height of summer). It is an excellent selection for gardeners in Australia and will thrive in zones 7-9 in the United States. 

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14. Bearberry Cotoneaster, or Cotoneaster Dammeri

Bearberry is often used as a ground cover rather than a shrub since it only grows up to a foot (30.48 cm) tall and can grow up to six inches (15.24 cm) in diameter. It may, however, be trimmed into form and turns out to be quite attractive.

It will grow if you let it, but you can teach it to form a respectable thicket for you.

Dry soil is the preferred environment for bearberry, which means it’s drought-resistant and will require more water during blooming and fruiting (white flowers, reddish berries). It also prefers loamy soil but will survive in less-than-ideal conditions as long as it’s relatively dry.

In the fall, leaves turn purplish red, and there may be purple leaves as well. Bearberry is a simple-to-grow shrub that also aids with soil retention and erosion control. This shrub thrives in temperatures ranging from 5 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit. It will not thrive in zone 8 because it cannot survive below 7°F (-14°C).

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15. Osmanthus X Burkwoodii

Burkwood Osmanthus, also known as evergreen shrub with leathery, sharp leaves that look like holly and are somewhat similar in shape, is a very hardy, easy-going hedge plant that may grow in full light or part shade.

It’s a gentle grower that only needs trimming if it outgrows its area. This is best done in late spring, after the display of starry and wonderfully fragrant white blooms (the botanic name means “fragrant flower”).

It’s one of the most popular plants available, with a lovely fragrance that fills your home. It is versatile, easy to grow and can thrive in all kinds of soil types. It’s perfect for small garden ideas and grows well in the UK, Australia, and the US, but it doesn’t like extremes of temperature or drastic changes in soil moisture.

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16. Daisy Bush, or Olearia X Scilloniensis

Because it is extremely hardy, this plant appears on the list. It is a sun-loving, drought-tolerant, and virtually disease-proof plant. It’s also unaffected by salty air, which is why it’s so appealing as a hedge by seafront areas.

Daisy bush is a white-flowered member of the aster family, and it can grow up to six feet tall (1.82 m) when in bloom. It bears white blooms that resemble daisies and does well at four feet (1.21 m) tall, though it may grow up to six feet (1.82 m) tall, which makes it too big for the “low hedge” category.

plants that will object to wet soil if there is adequate drainage. This plant thrives in zones 8-10.

Daisy Bush, or Olearia X Scilloniensis

17. Japanese Spirea, or Spiraea japonica

Give it full sun, average water, and good drainage, and it can usually take care of itself. Spirea is resilient, easily grown, reaches a height of four feet (1.21 m), and comes in a variety of cultivars.

S. japonica is suited for zones 3 to 9 and features pink petals throughout the summer, which makes it highly drought-resistant.

The main goal of the various cultivars is to provide summer blooms. The tiny, light pink “Little Princess” flowers, the vibrant multi-coloured “Shibori,” and the dark pink “Magic Carpet” bloom throughout the year… It really is the type of plant that doesn’t fall short of what it can offer you.

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18. Bush Honeysuckle, or Diervilla lonicera

Bush Honeysuckle, with bronzy-green leaves, creates a lovely hedge that will turn orange in the fall. It’s a hardy plant that grows up to three feet (0.91 m) tall and can survive as far north as Zone 3.

D. lonicera, which is not a honeysuckle plant despite its name, is native to East Asia and can be found in the United States as an invasive species. It thrives in shade, as shown by the green of its leaves being so dark.

Bush Honeysuckle grows into thickets, making it a great hedge plant and also attracting butterflies and hummingbirds with honeysuckle-like blooms.

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People also ask

What is the best low maintenance hedge?

A small hedge may be a beneficial addition to any garden, adding formality and texture. Traditional varieties such as Box and Yew are among our smaller hedge types, but there also exist more popular choices such as Euonymus, Sarcococca, Osmanthus, Pyracantha, Griselinia, Elaeagnus, Lonicera nitida, and Lavender.

What is the cheapest hedging?

Because it is the quickest growing evergreen hedge plant that isn’t a conifer, if you don’t want a conifer hedge, Laurel is the quickest and most cost-effective technique to create an evergreen hedge.

How do you grow a small hedge?

To grow a small hedge, you will need to start with small plants. Look for varieties that are advertised as “dwarf” or “compact.” You can also try shearing young plants to encourage them to branch out and become dense. When planting, space the plants close together so they will touch when they mature. fertilize regularly and water during dry spells. Prune in late spring or early summer to maintain the desired shape.

evergreen foliage

What is the best height for a small hedge?

Most small hedges are between two and four feet tall, although some may be as short as one foot or as tall as six feet. The best height for a small hedge depends on its purpose and location in your garden. If you want a low hedge to define a space, look for varieties that stay under two feet tall. If you need a taller hedge to provide privacy, choose a variety that grows four feet or taller.

What are the best small hedges for privacy?

The best small hedges for privacy are those that grow quickly and densely. Some good choices include Leylandii, Buxus, Ilex crenata, Thuja plicata ‘Atrovirens,’ Osmanthus x burkwoodii, Pyracantha koidzumii, and Ligustrum delavayanum. These varieties can all be pruned to maintain a compact shape and will provide year-round privacy.

What is box hedging?

Box hedging is a type of small hedge that is typically made up of boxwood (Buxus) plants. Boxwood is a slow-growing evergreen that can be pruned into a variety of shapes. It is a popular choice for small hedges because it is easy to care for and maintain. Box hedging can be used to create low borders, define garden beds, or line walkways.

moist well drained

Can Rowan be used as a hedge?

Rowan trees are highly sought-after by gardeners and naturalists alike, due to their distinct colouring and shape. They have a lovely reddish hue and form an excellent hedge or screen in the cottage or informal garden. This hardy hedge plant is also resistant to pollution, so it may be placed in the city or in urban settings.

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Oliver Wright
Oliver Wright

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