What Makes A Good Hedge Plant?

Hedges are perfect for screening and for replicating a fence without the cost or hassle of a fence. They are particularly great for very formal landscapes. A good hedge plant should have dense growth habit. The dense growth habit gets that hard to see through hedge if you’re using it for screening. If the plant you choose has a pyramidal shape, you’ll want to plant them a little closer together.

Evergreen or deciduous hedge?

There are two big choices when it comes to the type of hedge to plant, evergreen or deciduous. They both have their pros and cons and we will discuss those here.  Evergreens last all year long so they provide screening and interest even in winter which is valuable if you think you will be outside in the winter and early spring/late fall. But, unlike deciduous plants, the evergreens do not flower and provide different interest throughout the year. You won’t get the beautiful white or lavender flowers from a lilac in the spring/summer or the fire colored leaves from dogwoods. Also, evergreens are about twice the cost of deciduous. We believe that every landscape is different so consulting with a landscape design professional is recommended to find the best use of your money for your yard.

south minneapolis planter boxes annuals under windows hedgesLow Hedge

These are fantastic for a more modern, formal plant bed, especially in the front yard. Boxwoods are the best option for this type of hedge (we like green velvet for Minnesota climates).They grow slowly, are low lying, and can be easily shaped. Alpine currant also work and arborvitae or barberry.

holmstrup arborvitae hedgesMid-Size Hedge

We use mid sized hedges for hiding air conditioner units or other unsightly objects around a home. They’re also nice along neighboring yards if you don’t have a patio or true outdoor space (like you want some privacy but not a ton). Specific plants that we use often for these applications include lilacs, burning bush, coneyester, ninebark, and dark green yew.

Large Hedge MinneapolisLarger Hedge

The larger hedge is of course used when you want the ultimate privacy. This comes with a high cost but the results are undeniable. We love using these two ypes of plants for a large one: holmstrup arborvitae, techny arborvitae, upright yew japanese, and pinnacle birch.


Again, if you’re looking for a hedge for your plant bed, we strongly suggest you consult with a trusted, experienced landscape designer who can help you get the most value for your money.