Tips for choosing the right plants for your hedge

Tips for choosing the right plants for your hedge

Dreaming of creating your very own labyrinth? Or maybe you want something a bit less elaborate, but more functional? Whether you’re choosing hedges for security reasons, to buffer noise and wind, or just to beautify your landscape, get started with these tips to choose the best shrubs or plants.

Deter intruders

Worried about crime in your neighborhood? Look for a thorned or prickly shrub to keep out potential burglars.

If thieves won’t climb over a barbed wire fence, they likely won’t climb through a barbed bush either. Prickly plants can also help keep critters from eating the goods in your garden.

Some popular options include firethorn and holly bushes. These cost $5 to $15 each and spread across a range of 6 to 40 feet. Both plants can grow up to 20 feet high and thrive in both partial sun and full sun. Plant firethorn in the fall and holly any time the temperature is cool, such as in late fall, early winter, or early spring.

Gain privacy

Like to keep to yourself, but desire a year-round green boundary? Choose an evergreen shrub.

They grow several feet tall, and serve as a natural fence or disguise for unattractive features in your garden. They also buffer noise, block wind and provide a safe nesting site for birds.

Popular evergreen hedges include boxwood, emerald arborvitae and American arborvitae. These shrubs range in cost from about $3 to $10 per plant, grow 10 to 30 feet high and have a 15-foot spread.

Plant evergreens in the spring, right after the frost ends, or in early fall. Be careful not to plant them too late — the roots need time to establish before the ground freezes in the winter. Boxwood can handle partial or full sun exposure, while the emerald and American arborvitae varieties require full sun exposure.

Add color and beauty

Desire an extra splash of color for your yard? Consider a flowering plant.

Lilac, glossy abelia and arrowwood viburnum are popular options to improve the aesthetics of your landscape. Arrowwood viburnum plants also produce berries, which will attract birds to your yard.

Flowering plants require full or partial sun exposure, cost about $8 to $10 per plant and have a 3- to 20-foot spread. They grow from 3 to 15 feet high, and they should be planted in fall or early spring so they can bloom during the summer.

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