Best Hedge Plants For Small Gardens

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:26 pm

When it comes to choosing hedge plants for small gardens, it’s essential to select species that won’t outgrow the available space, are easy to maintain, and provide an attractive, tidy appearance. Here are some hedge plant options suitable for small gardens:

  1. Boxwood (Buxus spp.): Boxwood is a popular choice for small gardens due to its compact growth and neat, formal appearance. It’s available in various cultivars, making it easy to find the right size for your garden.
  2. Dwarf English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Munstead’): Lavender is a fragrant, low-maintenance option for a small garden hedge. The ‘Munstead’ cultivar is a compact choice that doesn’t grow too tall.
  3. Dwarf Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria ‘Schillings’): This dwarf holly is well-suited for small spaces. It’s evergreen and provides attractive red berries in the winter.
  4. Dwarf Korean Lilac (Syringa meyeri ‘Palibin’): This lilac shrub is compact and adorned with fragrant, pink-purple blossoms in the spring.
  5. Dwarf Japanese Holly (Ilex crenata ‘Helleri’): Dwarf Japanese holly forms a low, dense hedge and is easy to shape and maintain. It’s evergreen and has small, dark green leaves.
  6. Dwarf Box Honeysuckle (Lonicera nitida ‘Baggesen’s Gold’): This low, spreading shrub has attractive, golden foliage and is ideal for creating small, informal hedges.
  7. Dwarf Spiraea (Spiraea spp.): Spiraea shrubs come in various compact cultivars, such as ‘Little Princess’ or ‘Goldmound.’ They produce delicate, colorful flowers in the spring.
  8. Dwarf Privet (Ligustrum spp.): Dwarf privet, such as ‘Ibota’ or ‘Lodense,’ is a small, hardy, evergreen shrub that makes for a tidy hedge.
  9. Dwarf Weigela (Weigela florida): Dwarf weigela varieties, like ‘Midnight Wine’ or ‘Wine & Roses,’ are small, deciduous shrubs with colorful foliage and bell-shaped flowers.
  10. Dwarf Barberry (Berberis thunbergii): Compact barberry shrubs, such as ‘Crimson Pygmy’ or ‘Golden Nugget,’ are perfect for small hedges and provide colorful foliage.
  11. Dwarf Rose (Rosa spp.): Certain compact rose varieties are suitable for small hedges. Look for miniature or shrub roses that stay small and bloom profusely.
  12. Dwarf Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster spp.): Dwarf cotoneaster varieties like ‘Coral Beauty’ or ‘Tom Thumb’ form low, spreading hedges and produce small red berries.
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When planning your small garden hedge, consider the growth habit, foliage, and maintenance requirements of the chosen plants. Regular pruning and shaping will help maintain the hedge’s compact and tidy appearance. Additionally, ensure the selected hedge plants are suited to your local climate and soil conditions.

Best Hedge Plants For Small Gardens
Low-growing hedge plants are particularly suitable. Compact growing hedge plants are made for gardens with limited space.

What hedge plants are ideal for a small garden?

Best Hedge Plants For Small Gardens

In a small garden you need a hedge plant that grows neither too fast nor too wide.

Low-growing hedge plants are particularly suitable. Compact growing hedge plants are made for gardens with little space. The cherry laurel grows rather quickly in width as well, which is why it is not the first choice for smaller gardens. However, there are three exceptions: the cherry laurel varieties ‘Otto Luyken’, ‘Etna’ and ‘Zabeliana’. These varieties grow more slowly and also not as much in width as others.

The various ivy varieties also make excellent hedge plants for a small garden. How fast does an ivy grow? Set up a trellis for the ivy to grow up. Such a structure is very narrow and requires very little space. You can decide for yourself how high you want your garden border to be. Ivy is not only hardy, but also an evergreen hedge plant, so you can have an opaque, green screen in your garden all year round. After all, even in a small garden you want to be protected from prying eyes!

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Best Hedge Plants For Small Gardens
Conifer hedges, although much appreciated by garden enthusiasts, in general, they are not particularly suitable for smaller gardens.

Conifer hedges for smaller gardens

While conifer hedges are highly prized by gardening enthusiasts, they are generally not well suited for smaller gardens. Conifers such as thuja grow very large and take up a relatively large amount of space. Still, there are conifers that can fit into a small garden. Mock cypresses are best suited because these petite conifers grow very slender in height. However, you need to regularly prune mock cypresses. Otherwise, the conifer hedge will still grow too full and tall for your small garden. Yews can be planted just as well in smaller gardens. Again, it is best to keep the plant fairly low and prune it at least twice a year.

Best Hedge Plants For Small Gardens
Oil willows can also be kept in shape particularly easily by means of pruning.

What other hedge plants are there for your garden?

Oil willow is also particularly easy to keep in shape by means of pruning. This hedge plant not only looks very graceful, but also withstands strong wind and even sea wind. Do you have a small garden near the coast? Then the oil willow is most definitely a hedge plant you should consider. Scented flowers are also plants that fit perfectly in a small garden. The fragrant flower ‘Burkwoodii’ is especially suitable: for one thing, it grows very slowly, and for another, it doesn’t grow very wide.

Japanese holly ‘Convexa’ also looks very nice in a small garden. This variety of Japanese holly stays low and has compact branching. It also does not grow very fast. All in all, this Japanese holly is the perfect hedge plant for a garden that is not too big.

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Best Hedge Plants For Small Gardens
It is important to trim the hedge regularly in a small garden to prevent it from becoming too tall.

Trimming hedge plants in small gardens

It is important to trim hedges regularly in a small garden to prevent them from growing too tall. Most hedge plants need to be trimmed twice a year. Be careful not to reach for the hedge trimmer during frosty or very sunny days. It is also important to provide your hedge with a good fertilizer after pruning. This will keep your hedge in good condition. Fortunately, a small hedge is very low maintenance due to its small size. At you will find many beautiful hedge plants that you can use to create a beautiful hedge even in a smaller garden. Take a closer look at our website to choose the right hedge for your garden.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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