Low Growing Garden Hedge Plants
If we paint a picture of a low growing hedge, then the formal box hedges of parterre gardens often come to mind, Without doubt the most popular low growing garden hedge would be some form of box hedging.
Buxus sempervirens is the common or european box is widely used, and Buxus sempervirens Suffruticosa is probably the lowest growing of them all. However with many other plants well suited to a small hedge you can choose something a little different.
Low growing formal hedges are often used as borders along pathways leading to entrances, or as a border between path and garden.
Choosing the right low hedge
As with any hedge the requirement will change a little depending on the landscaping requirements, so consider the following factors
- evergreen or deciduous
- flowering or non flowering
- formal or informal
- shade or full sun
- soil conditions
Best Low Growing Hedges
English, Dutch or Korean, all make great small hedges.
Lavandula angustifolia or 'english lavender is a tough plant well suited as low growing hedge with the added benefit of fragrant flowers. Easy to maintain shape and height. Rosemary
An interesting alternative to Lavender, with aromatic foliage rosemary can work well as a low hedge in the vegetable garden.
Easy to prune, and with some naturally low growing cultivars the smaller leafed varieties are the ones to look for.
- Lonicera pileata
One of the honeysuckles, easily pruned, evergreen and perhaps best suited to slightly informal look due to its arching growth habit.
- Berberis thunbergii
With a few thorns to help act as barrier and red to brown foliage this is a tough customer, and that is why it is used so much in commercial landscaping
- Euonymus fortunii
We like the cultivar Euonymus fortunii 'Emerald Gaiety', attractive variegated foliage and excellent to around 1m (3ft), Good in full sun, but does well in part shade as well
- Rugosa Roses
Yes the tough old Rugosa roses can make a great low growing flowering hedge
- Consider where you are planting and the purpose, if you are after an aromatic hedge, or a dense barrier
- Low growing hedges are often planted in difficult situations, near compacted pathways and the like, so look for tough plants if this is the case
- Many plant can be pruned to keep them low, however others are naturally low growing, this will dictate maintenance requirements
- Evergreen is great, however some deciduous plants do have great flowers, as well as letting the light in during winter
- Those prickly low growing plants are great barriers, but keep them away from pathways and areas where children play
- The closer you plant the quicker the hedge will fill in, however it will cost more and maybe will create an overcrowded root run, so be careful.