Fast growing hedge plants

A hedge does not always have to be really high so that you can no longer look over it. This is often not recommended at all, especially within a garden. It is ideal for delimiting individual sections and creating spaces. Fast-growing and evergreen hedges are the most popular, but deciduous plants should also not be left out.

Advantages and disadvantages of fast-growing hedge plants

Of course, a fast-growing hedge will provide good protection from prying eyes, noise and wind after just a few years, but there are not all advantages.


  • Fast privacy protection
  • Often good noise protection
  • Wind protection not in all hedges, Chinese reeds and bamboo e.g. are a bit prone to wind.
  • Natural demarcation
  • If the planting distance is correct and the hedge is dense, you normally do not need a fence.


  • usually don’t stop growing.
    • cut so they stay at the desired height.
    • often not just once a year
  • Fast-growing hedges usually have to be cut more than slow-growing ones.
  • There is a lot of hedge cutting involved. It has to be disposed of.
  • Do not use waste from coniferous hedges for compost / mulching because of the resin it contains
  • Many trees of life and also the Leyland cypress make a small garden very dark and make it look even smaller
    • In winter they change their color to an unattractive green-brown (exception: Thuja occidentalis ‘Smaragd’)

Fast growing hedge plants

A distinction is first made between deciduous and coniferous hedges. Then there are low hedges, hedges up to 2 meters high and hedges that are higher. So it always depends on what height you want to reach.

Deciduous hedges

In the case of deciduous hedges, a further distinction is made between summer green and winter green or evergreen hedge plants. Evergreens offer protection all year round, but there are also some of the deciduous plants that keep the foliage for a very long time, often until they sprout, so that the privacy screen is also provided almost continuously. So you have to think carefully beforehand which hedge you are going to buy. The winter hardiness should also be considered. Cherry laurel and loquat are actually ideal hedge plants: evergreen, with beautiful foliage and great flowers, fast-growing, easy to prune, reasonably priced and a lot more. However, they are not really ideal for our climatic conditions, unless you live in a wine-growing climate. Every year in spring you can see many brown medlars and cherry laurel plants, where there is hardly anything green to be seen. In frosty and sunny winters, the plants suffer a lot and often do not survive. The hedge looks bad and often enough some plants or the entire hedge need to be renewed.

Field maple (Acer campestre)

Field maple (Acer campestre)
A fast-growing deciduous wood, which can be kept to a dense hedge from a height of 1.50 m through an annual cut. The leaf shoots in bronze tones, the numerous green-yellow flowers in May and the autumn colors in bright yellow-orange are particularly beautiful. The growth is upright. The field maple is a deciduous wood.

  • Height: 300 to 500 cm
  • Width: 100 to 250 cm
  • Annual growth: 40 to 50 cm
  • Location: sunny to shady
  • Soil: normal garden soil
  • Cut: before budding in spring or autumn
  • Plant requirement: 2 to 3 plants per m

Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus)
A deciduous wood belonging to the birch family, which is very popular as a hedge plant. The hedge drives out early and the foliage is preserved for a long time in autumn. The plants are very easy to cut and can be cut to any height and width. The flowering in May is rather inconspicuous. From July winged fruits develop. The hornbeam branches very densely and is extremely capable of regeneration.

  • Height: depending on the cut of the hedge. Can be several meters.
  • Width: depending on the cut. Can also be several meters.
  • Annual growth: 50 to 70 cm in youth, 20 to 40 cm in age
  • Location: full sun to deep shade
  • Soil: normal garden soil, also sandy or poor in nutrients
  • Cut: very cut compatible. Can also be put on the stick. It is best to cut in the spring, before the start of the shoot!
  • Plant requirement: 2 to 3 plants per m. Approx. Half of the desired height, but at least 50 cm

Loquat (Photinia)
The Loquat is one of the most beautiful hedge plants. However, there is again the problem with winter hardiness. Therefore, for me it is not an eAlternative to cherry laurel. The loquat has beautiful glossy leaves, flowers abundantly and decoratively, the leaf shoots are often colored and the whole appearance is great. The plant is also well tolerated by pruning. For wine-growing regions, it is ideal to plant in all other areas with restrictions.

  • Height: up to 500 cm, usually 150 to 300 cm
  • Width: 120 to 180 cm
  • Annual growth: 20 to 50 cm
  • Location: sunny to partially shaded and protected
  • Soil: undemanding, but without waterlogging
  • Cut: cut compatible. Thin out after flowering.
  • Plant requirement: 2 to 3 plants per m

You can also use the red barberry (Berberis thunbergii ‘Atropurpurea’), the firethorn red column (Pyracantha Red Column) and the potato rose (Rosa rugosa) as a hedge. With all of them you can reach a good privacy hedge about 2 meters high. Also Chinese reed (Miscanthus sinensis), bamboo (Fargesiamurieliae Jumbo), white panicle spar (Spirea cinera ‘Grefsheim’), blood beech (Fagus sylvatica ” Purpurea), the red-leaved pheasant spar (Physocarpus opulifolius’), the Filled garden jasmine ” snow storm ” (Philadelphus’ ‘snow storm’) or the tall starry bush (Deutzia magnifica) are suitable. However, they are not used quite as often as the trees and shrubs described in detail.

Cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus)

cherry laurel (prunus laurocerasus)
Cherry laurel is a very popular hedge plant. The problem is the winter hardiness listed above. Almost all varieties are described as sufficiently hardy. However, the plant does not come from our climate. It is not for nothing that most of the deciduous trees in Central Europe shed their leaves in winter. They shut down their metabolism and thus protect themselves. Evergreen plants, especially those with large leaves, often have a hard time.
Cherry laurel is decorative, evergreen, flowers beautifully, many varieties have interesting shoots in bronze tones and attractive flowers. Overall, a nice hedge plant, if that wasn’t a problem.

  • Height: as a hedge 100 to 200 cm
  • Width: depending on the variety. Some are broad, others narrow. 60 to 100 cm.
  • Annual growth: 20 to 30 cm, some varieties even more
  • Location: sun to shade
  • Soil: normal, humus and loamy soils
  • Cut: Cut annually, preferably in March. Also tolerates a radical cut. Do not cut with the hedge trimmer to avoid damaging the leaves. Diseases can penetrate there.
  • Plant requirement: 2 to 4 plants per m, depending on size and variety. Sometimes a distance of 80 to 100 cm is better

Privet (Ligustrum vulgare ‘Atrovirens’)
This privet is a semi- evergreen , densely branched and extremely pruning shrub with short side shoots and white flower panicles, which is often used for hedges. In mild winters, the variety remains evergreen. The plants often shed their leaves when the temperature fluctuates or is very wet in winter. The privet is very hardy.

  • Height: 300 to 500 cm
  • Width: 300 to 500 cm
  • Annual growth: up to 100 cm, but mostly 40 to 60 cm
  • Location: sunny to shady
  • Soil: any garden soil, undemanding
  • Cut: cut twice a year. The first cut shortly before Midsummer (mid-June), the second in late summer. Can be cut very well.
  • Plant requirement: 3 to 5 plants per m.


The conifers have the advantage that they are evergreen (exception – larch). They offer privacy all year round, filter noise and keep wind out. However, this thick wall works to the disadvantage of the brightness. The hedge looks dark, sometimes even threatening. It casts ample shadows and looks grim. However, none of this detracts from its popularity.

Tree of Life (Thuja occidentalis ‘Brabant’)

Tree of Life (Thuja occidentalis 'Brabant')
This tree of life is extremely robust and easy to care for. The thuja forms a tightly closed pyramid (column) with upright growth. The ‘Brabant’ variety does not change its needle color in winter. The lush green is retained. The cut is well tolerated. The variety grows narrower than other arborvitae species, but it grows quickly and densely. The popular variety Thuja occidentalis ‘Smaragd’ only has an annual increase of 20 c, but is also well suited as a hedge plant. It shines with its beautiful coloring, which does not change even in winter.

  • Height: 200 to 400 cm
  • Width: 70 to 120 cm
  • Annual growth: 20 to 40 cm
  • Location: sun to partial shade
  • Soil: no demands, preferably fresh, moist and nutrient-rich soil
  • Pruning: important to achieve a thick hedge. Cut in late May or late August / early September.
  • Plant requirement: 2 to 4 plants per m, depending on size.

Leyland cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii)
This cypress is very fast growing, often up to a meter a year. The crown is quite wide and the branches are covered with dense needles. There is probably one difficulty with the cut, although most retailers indicate a good cut tolerance. It shouldn’t be cut too often. These trees are sometimes sensitive to damage to the wood. They then no longer grow or even die. With a rare cut, this hedge will of course be extremely high. There is another negative point for the fact that many people are allergic to the ingredients of the cypress.

  • Height: 800 to 2,500 cm
  • Width: 150 to 450 cm
  • Annual growth: at a young age up to 100 cm, later 40 cm
  • Location: sun to partial shade
  • Soil: nutrient-rich garden soil
  • Pruning: in spring and annually so that no excessive pruning is necessary. Also drives out of old wood.
  • Plant requirement: 2 to 3 plants per m

European larch (Larix decidua)

European larch (Larix decidua)
The European larch makes a beautiful, dense, but deciduous hedge. It can be cut into shape well. The branching is dense, so that a reasonably good privacy screen is given even in winter. The great autumn coloring is cheap. The small cones are also beautiful. The flower is rather inconspicuous. The larch is very resistant. The hedge is ideal for holiday homes, bungalows, garden settlements that should not be viewed in summer. In winter it makes more sense with such properties that you can see what is happening there so that burglars cannot hide.

  • Height: 15 to 35 m
  • Width: 7 to 15 m
  • Annual growth: 25 to 50 cm
  • Location: sunny and free
  • Soil: rich in nutrients, deep and moist
  • Cut: easy to cut. It is best to cut after the shoots have finished, in June / July
  • Plant requirement: 3 to 4 plants per m

It is of course cheap if a hedge grows quickly so that you can quickly have privacy screens for your house and garden. Vigorous trees, however, have to be cut regularly so that they do not become too big and wide. This results in a lot of vegetable waste that has to be disposed of, not to mention all the work. Before planting such a hedge, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of each plant.

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