The best fast-growing hedges
One of the most popular questions we get asked is, "What's the fastest-growing hedge?"

The fastest-growing screening plants are climbers. If you want a really speedy solution to cover an eyesore, block out the neighbours, create almost-instant shade - then climbers are your perfect plants. Train one along your fence line and you'll soon have a living green wall.

If you want something more traditional, something less maintenance-heavy, or something that you can clip into a tidy shape, then here are some of our favourite fast-growing plants for hedging in a hurry.

Herbaceous Perennials

Herbaceous perennials, often used for mixed bedding and garden borders, can also make useful and attractive hedging plants too, especially in a cottage-style garden.

The term means a herb-plant (not a tree or shrub) that lasts a long time (not an annual).

Herbaceous perennials generally live for at least three years, often longer; and have a dormant period in cold weather. Depending on your climate they may lose their leaves, or die back completely to the roots, ready to regrow when the temperature warms up . In mild climates, they can carry on growing, or at least stay as they are.

Because herbaceous perennial plants do all their living in a relatively short time, they have to grow up fast, which makes them a useful solution if you want a quick boundary edge.

 salvia, lavender, cat's whiskers, lion's ear

Here's some of our favourite herbaceous perennials , that will give you flowers as well as a soft lush leafy border to your garden :

 

 

Woody Perennials

Some perennials, left to grow and not cut back hard each year, will develop a woody base to the stems as they mature; and turn into shrubs.

This means they can be grown as a permanent hedge. Some may lose leaves in cold weather, but the branch and twig structure will remain in place as a barrier.

 Annual hard pruning will encourage bushy dense growth, to help the plants form close hedges. In some cases a light clip each season will be needed too.

plumbago, kerria, melastoma, duranta

Here's some of our favourite woody and shrubby perennial plants that make good hedging :

 

 

Traditional Hedging

Fast-growing woody hedges do not generally race up to a metre high in the first year, and then stop. Fast-growing hedges tend to be ones that will carry on growing, to reach several metres high - so please bear this in mind when choosing, or you could find your quick-fix suburban screen turns into a light-blocking legal issue.

Fast-growing traditional-style hedges will need regular clipping - maybe monthly or more - to keep them neat, unlike their slower-growing cousins which might be happy with a once-a-season haircut. Important to consider if you have a busy schedule or a lot of hedge...!

eucalyptus, stenocarpus, pittosporum, leyland cypress

Here's our suggestions for traditional green (or coloured-leaf) hedges that may grow up to a metre a year in a mild climate :

 

 

Helping Your Hedge in a Hurry

Our tubestock plants will grow fast if you give them a good start in life - take a look at the proof in gardeners' photos, in our How Fast Will My Tubestock Plants Grow? blog.

However fast-growing a hedging plant is in theory, it won't grow well in the wrong conditions. Make sure you have the right plant for your soil type, your climate, and your light levels. (You can use the filters on our website to find the perfect plant for you.)

If it's a non-native plant, dig plenty of organic compost into the soil before planting.
Water your new tubestock in well, and remember to water them regularly while they establish, if you want them to grow fast.

Protect them from pest attack, cold snaps, and leaf burn with appropriate shelter, like a tree guard or cloche.

When they are bigger, feed your hedging plants regularly to support and encourage new growth. You should have a lush and lovely hedge in no time!

give your plants the best start