There are numerous suitable shrubs that can make beautiful hedges large and small, it would take a high density book to cover all of them. However, we have covered some of the best evergreen hedge shrubs that offer great privacy screens due to their dense foliage. Most of them are fast-growing if you want to see a full-grown hedge soon enough. What you decide to plant and grow, is entirely based on your needs and preferences.
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Evergreens for privacy
Evergreen hedge shrubs are simply fantastic. You can’t underestimate the beauty a green hedge adds to your compound. Not only the aesthetics, think of the privacy benefits when it acts as a privacy screen.
A beautiful hedge also acts as a sound barrier, a wind breaker against vigorous winds and helps reduce the snow in your compound during winter. The advantage of going for an evergreen shrub is that it will keep these benefits all year round.
However, it doesn’t remain green and lively entirely on its own. You will have to prune it often, water it and incorporate the necessary requirements for a healthy growth.
When selecting an evergreen shrub, you need to consider some factors to find out what shrub suits your needs. How high do you want it to grow eventually, how wide, what space do you have, how much care and time will the shrubs need before getting to maturity, and how much care and time are you willing to invest in it. Don’t forget you need the right equipment to maintain hedges well.
To help you narrow down your choice, we have highlighted some of the best evergreen hedge shrubs to consider. All of these shrubs are great evergreens for privacy.
Top 9 Best Evergreen Hedge Shrubs
1. Emerald Arborvitae
The shrub is in the Cypress family. Do not confuse the Emerald Green with the Leyland Cypress since they look very much alike. It may not do well in very dry climates but it does pretty well in full sun conditions.
However, it is mandatory that you water it often and apply mulching to retain water during the hot summers. It is recommended that you grow it in a well-drained place with some slight acidic soil ph.
The emerald doesn’t grow fast, and normally grows to a maximum height of 12-14 feet, with a 3-4 feet spread. It naturally takes the shape of a pyramid when fully mature.
Pruning should be carried out during early spring before a new growth comes out.
Observe a 2-3 feet space when planting it to serve as a dense privacy screen. However, one drawback of this crowded spacing is that it may cause Seiridium blight or Keithia due to insufficient air flow.
A four feet spacing will help you ensure the shrubs grow in a healthy manner. Note, the Emerald green is vulnerable to deer pests. So, it is not advisable to grow it if there are deer in your surrounding area.
2. Nigra Arborvitae
A full sun and partial shade highly favors this Arborvitae species. The dark green shrub grows in a pyramid shape and slowly matures to a maximum height of 20-30 feet and spreads along 4-10 feet.
It does well in well-drained, clay, wet, loam, sandy, rich, moist, loamy, alkaline or acidic soils. However, protect it from dry soil. For a low maintenance hedge, grow it 3 feet apart. The Nigra most especially adapts well to pruning, doesn’t need too much care and tolerates air pollution.
3. Portuguese Laurel
One of my personal favorites, the prunus lusitanica has an average growth rate of 45cm per year. It has attractive red stems and white flowers. This plant is the ideal choice if you love the natural but neat and tidy hedges which can be tamed to any shape and size.
However, it may regenerate from old wood if it is left unattended to overgrow. This too, will flourish in any well-draining soil including the chalky ones. Under full sun or partial shades, it will reach a height of 18 feet if it goes untrimmed.
4. Leyland Cypress
This is one of the fastest growing hedge shrubs at a speed of 3feet per year. This makes it one of the cheapest and most popular choice for many. This wind and cold tolerant plant can grow to a height of over 4 feet. Perfect for a fence.
You can achieve a box shaped hedge by pruning it every year. Its dense foliage forms a good sound and air pollution barrier. It does well in full sun, partial shade and wet heavy clay soils. Note, the soil should not be water logged.
5. Cherry Laurel
This is a extremely fast growing shrub with up to a 3 feet per year speed. It is tough and handy and grows in most soils. If you don’t want a conifer hedge, this is your best bet. It can grow up to 18 feet in height (If it goes untrimmed) and has a dense foliage if planted close enough.
Cherry Laurel leaves are bright green, thick, glossy, rounded and stay vibrant all year round. The shrub will prosper in almost all types of soils except the shallow chalky or very wet soils.
It is important to mention that the berries of the cherry laurel are highly toxic, so it’s probably one to avoid if you have pets or children running around the yard.
6. Red Robin
This fast-growing shrub gives your landscape a beautiful red hue especially during spring. For best results, prune it twice a year. This will help to keep it dense. Also, consider trimming it in late spring or early summer.
That way, it will produce more red shoots during summer. Red Robin flourishes in any free-draining soil. If let untrimmed, it can grow up to 15 feet in height. Perfect for a red theme screen.
7. Griselinia littoralis
Under ideal conditions, this shrub will grow at an average rate of 45 cm per year. The plant is easy to maintain, comes with lively apple green leaves and will do pretty well in coastal areas since it is salt-tolerant. Free-draining soils, full sun or partial shades will come in handy for the Griselinia. If left untrimmed, it can grow up to 18 feet tall.
8. Korean Boxwood
The small versatile shrub comes with diverse uses. It can serve almost every imaginable purpose on your landscape. It has a compact and dense foliage that can be sheared into different precise shapes. The Korean Boxwood can grow to a 2 feet height with a 4-6 feet spread at maturity.
The growth late is quite slow and a six-hour unfiltered sunlight period will do the shrub a lot of good. The soils favorable for the plant are clay, sandy, moist, loamy, well-drained and acidic. It is ideal for lining pavements, driveways and low borders. It grows in a round shape.
This is the common name for Taxus baccata. The shrub is tough and handy, does well in full sun or partial shades, keeps its leaves evergreen all year round and exudes the formal, tidy and neat appearance. It is however slow growing since it posts a 20cm growth only in an entire year.
With its ability to be trimmed into any shape, it does well for a low growing hedge. It requires well drained soils to flourish. Water logged soils during winter will cut short its existence. If it goes untrimmed, it could get to 30 feet in height.
I hope this article has been of some use to you on your search to the best evergreen hedge shrubs for your privacy hedge. If you made your choice you might want to read more about planting, watering and trimming your new hedge.