The Fastest Growing Hedge Plants

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

Privacy in the garden can sometimes be necessary. If a garden needs to be protected from the prying eyes of neighbors or pedestrians fairly quickly, then a wooden fence or a wall made of bricks in the garden is often used. But there are plenty of other options to provide more privacy in the garden in a lively way: with a hedge. For example, a prefabricated hedge with a height of two meters is a good option, but it is a bit more expensive. Which prefabricated hedge suits your garden? More advantageous is then to use fast-growing hedge plants. We will now take a closer look at the fastest among the hedge plants, so you know exactly when your privacy hedge will reach the desired height.

The Fastest Growing Hedge Plants
If your garden conditions are ideal, then popular Leyland cypress can grow almost a meter within a year.

Leylandii: the fastest growing conifer hedge.

Conifers are known for their fast growth, except for yews, but Leyland cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii) tops the list here. If your garden conditions are ideal, then the popular Leyland cypress can grow almost a meter within a year. And if not? Then it’s guaranteed to grow half a meter per year. We’re talking about the slow-growing Yellow Leyland Cypress ‘Castlewellan Gold’ (Cupressocyparis leylandii ‘Castlewellan Gold’) right now. The green variety grows around 80 inches per year. A conifer hedge that has already grown above eye level will emerge within two to three years. In the UK, the Leyland cypress is a real best seller.

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The Fastest Growing Hedge Plants

Does a Leyland cypress actually have only advantages? No, unfortunately, it doesn’t. In fact, because this variety grows so quickly, it should be pruned up to four times a year. This should also be done regularly, because the Leyland cypress cannot sprout on old wood. If you do not do regular pruning, then the only way to correct this later is to give your hedge bare spots when you cut it. Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to prune a Leyland cypress hedge. Leyland cypress, by the way, quickly grows tall enough for a privacy hedge, but with arborvitae hedges or Lawson’s mock cypress hedges, the growth tends to be open at first and opaque later.

The Fastest Growing Hedge Plants
An ivy hedge can therefore be used as an evergreen hedge plant in smaller gardens for extra privacy.

Quickly a lot of privacy with a hedge of ivy.

It is well known that the ivy (Hedera) grows quickly. Anyone who has ever dealt with this plant knows that this plant can quickly climb along surfaces. The ivy is also well suited as a hedge plant, but hardly anyone knows this. However, the ivy should then be directed over a wooden or metal framework, so that it can also grow in height. As a result, however, you have a tall garden hedge that remains wonderfully narrow. An ivy hedge can therefore also be used as an evergreen hedge plant in smaller gardens to get extra privacy. Not many plants can do that!

You don’t have to wait long for this, because the common ivy (Hedera helix) and the Irish ivy (Hedera hibernica) both grow a minimum of half a meter per year and sometimes they even grow up to 70 centimeters per year. It does not matter then which garden soil you use for your ivy hedge. The root system of Hedera consists mainly of adhesive roots that allow the plant to hold onto a horizontal or vertical surface. You should prune the ivy regularly. If you do not do this, then the ivy will quite quickly overgrow other plants. By the way, you can cut back the ivy at any time.

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The Fastest Growing Hedge Plants
Cherry laurel variety (Prunus laurocerasus) grows just as fast.

Other fast growing hedge plants

The particularly fast growth of Leyland cypress and ivy is almost unique among hedge plants, but there are still plenty of hedge plants that can reasonably keep up. You really have plenty to choose from, because these fast-growing hedge plants all have very different, external characteristics as well. If you prefer evergreen hedges with a fresh, cheerful look, then you can plant a cherry laurel hedge in the garden, for example. Not every cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) variety grows as fast, but the fast-growing varieties, such as the cherry laurel ‘Rotundifolia’, ‘Novita’ or even ‘Genolia’®, can grow between 40 and 60 centimeters per year.

The copper beech hedge (Fagus sylvatica) is also an excellent plant that can quickly form privacy hedges in the garden. Perhaps this is a bit of a surprise to some garden owners because the beech is deciduous, but if it’s not particularly cold in the winter, the leaves will just stick to the copper beech hedge until they are shed by new, green leaves. They do get fall color in the fall, but that need not be a problem further on. A copper beech hedge can grow almost 60 inches per year if conditions are favorable. If conditions are not so good, it will still grow around 30 centimeters per year.

In new housing developments, there’s a good chance you’ll find one or more privet hedges. This is no accident either; privet hedge (Ligustrum ovalifolium) and common privet (Ligustrum vulgare) grow quickly and give a new garden a beautiful look in a short time. Some privet varieties, especially the Wintergreen Privet ‘Atrovirens’ (Ligustrum vulgare ‘Atrovirens’), also have the advantage of usually staying green through the winter. For privacy in your garden, of course, this is excellent and especially desirable.

See also  How Fast Do Conifers Grow?


  • 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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