Why? Because it suffers from box blight and box tree moth larvae (among other things), this popular plant is positively plagued with problems—making it a less-than-ideal addition to your backyard.
However, there are still plenty of great alternatives out there, if you just know where to look…
Best hedging plants
If hedging is on your list of garden ideas (and it makes perfect sense if so, since this is one garden trend that can add value to your home), you’re in luck: there are plenty of options available to you.
“Planting a hedge is always a great investment, both environmentally and financially, as it is much cheaper than walls and will not need to be painted or replaced like a hedge,” explains Maurice Hankinson, director of Hobbs Grove Nurseries.
Maurice Hankinson is the founder and managing director of Hopes Grove Nurseries Ltd, the UK’s only specialist hedge plant grower and retailer, which he founded after graduating with a degree in commercial horticulture from Writtle College, Essex in 1992.
Morris continues: “As well as being much more attractive, hedges filter out wind and particulate pollution, and over time will grow to become a habitat for birds and many types of beneficial insects.”
Here, then, is our expert-approved selection of the best hedging plants to introduce into your garden, stat.
One of the most beautiful hedge plants out there, learning how to grow a hawthorn hedge is a great option for anyone looking for an attractive, low-maintenance addition to their home.
Packed with seasonal interest with its white flowers, glossy green leaves and bright red berries, it is a hedge that looks great all year round.
It is considered one of the best security hedges as well, thanks to its large number of thorns. And let’s not forget that it’s a must-have for anyone with a long list of wildlife garden ideas, too.
“Hawthorn is great for birds because it provides them with food and shelter all year round,” says Christopher O’Donoghue, co-director of Gardens Revived.
A gardener with over ten years’ experience, Christopher founded Gardens Revived with his brother Andrew in 2018 to create a thriving family business. They have worked together on residential gardens, buildings, terraced gardens, flower shows and large estates some exceeding 70 acres – many of which are of historical importance.
With this in mind, be sure to follow Monty Don’s advice when deciding the best time to cut your hedges, as you won’t want to disturb any nesting birds if you can avoid it.
2. Traditional yew
“Traditional yews are selling well at the moment, as are bare root and rooted yew hedges,” says Morris, who describes it as one of the best hedging plants out there.
Whether you want to use its evergreen color in your garden border ideas, as an effective privacy screen, as a noise and wind barrier, or even as a topiary, there are many ways to use this elegant hedging plant in your garden.
And again, yew is a great way to provide some extra protection for your favorite garden birds too – just remember, if you plan to feed your new feathered friends, to protect your bird feeder from mice and squirrels.
If you’re looking through this list of the best hedging plants for a truly stunning option, you’ve found it: photinia – especially the Red Robin variety – is a great way to add color and texture to your garden.
Although it’s not incredibly bushy, Christopher points out that photinia is an incredibly versatile plant.
‘He. She “It can be grown as an ornamental or hedge shrub,” he said, noting that it is also among the best trees for small gardens for this very reason.
Whatever you decide, you are guaranteed a brilliant display of colors and an atmosphere of serenity. Win win, eh?
4. Japanese holly
If you’re looking to replace your box fence (or completely twist it), Morris is counting Japanese holly — also known as… Holy cranes – As one of the best hedging plants for this job, note that it can be shaped to form topiary balls, pyramids, clouds or hedges.
“Japanese holly may be pruned to make a low hedge almost identical to the box, and again like the box, it can make a larger hedge with patience,” Morris promises.
Once again, this is one gorgeous hedge that will produce lots of glossy black fruit in the fall, making it a boon to hungry garden birds everywhere.
5. Portuguese laurel
If you’re looking for a gorgeous, bushy hedge, you can’t go wrong with Portuguese laurel: it’s an evergreen hedge that has fragrant summer flowers – perfect for bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
“Portuguese laurel makes a beautiful addition to any garden,” says Christopher, promising that it is “easy to grow in any conditions and soil conditions, too.”
6. Cherry laurel
last Laurel on the list of best hedge plants? In the words of Miranda Priestly, “a pioneer.”
To be fair to this attractive evergreen number, it is fast-growing and thrives almost anywhere, making it an easy win for greener gardeners.
“Not only does cherry laurel provide a good privacy screen, it is also very good at reducing noise pollution,” explains Christopher.
Throw in pollinator-certified flowers (perfect for all your bee garden ideas), and you’ll have more than enough reasons to buy a cherry laurel. Just remember to leave the berries for the birds, as they are incredibly toxic.
7. Euonymus japonicus
Morris is a big fan of Euonymus japonicus, calling it one of the best hedging plants, and notes that more and more gardeners are investing in Euonymus japonicus varieties such as Jan Hughes And GreenspireAs excellent alternatives to hedge funds.
“These plants are easy-to-maintain evergreens that have year-round appeal, and with over 130 total species available, there’s bound to be a euonymus hedge to suit your garden,” he promises.
These classic plants are among the best hedging plants, not only because of their dense foliage, but also because they can tolerate shade and poor soil.
It’s also one of those hedges that is great for wildlife – which, considering that a wildlife garden can boost your property value by 39%, is not something to underestimate.
“There are lots of reasons to love a private hedge, but people who live in urban areas will be particularly happy that it withstands pollution,” says Christopher.
Which plant is best for hedging?
While many tend to assume that this is the best plant for a hedge, its countless problems and pests mean it should be at the bottom of your list. Instead, turn your attention to the likes of traditional yew, hawthorn, privet, Japanese holly, cherry laurel, Portuguese laurel, photinias and euonymus japonicus.
What is a good evergreen hedge?
There are plenty of options if you’re looking for a good evergreen hedge, including Photinia Red Robin and the classic cherry laurel. If you’re looking for a low-profile fence to separate the boundaries of your garden, lavender is also a great option!
What is the cheapest way to grow a hedge?
If you’re looking for the cheapest way to grow a hedge, you’ll definitely want to consider bare root options.
“Renewed interest in bare-root hedge plants continues, and there is some notable trading from spot options, rootball options or potted options, no doubt driven by cost of living pressures,” says Morris.
‘Our original hedging mixes are selling very well, and are another economical staple and an environmentally sound purchasing option. Customers are planting them in record numbers, which is great news all round!’
Now that you know our selection of the best hedging plants, it’s time to figure out what you want from your plants: privacy, shade, seasonal interest, or a combination of the three.
Just be sure to research varieties that will thrive in your garden’s soil and shade conditions before you start planting…