What is a Hedge Shrub?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2019
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A hedge shrub is one of the most important plants in any landscaper’s design. It adds substance to the landscape, giving a burst of color or catching the eye of someone simply passing by. If it is planted near a wall, the hedge shrub forms an aesthetically pleasing backdrop. If several are planted next to each other, they can form a natural fence.

Shrubs can be evergreen or deciduous. They can be rounded, flowing, or tapered. Many varieties of hedge shrubs have bright flowers with heavenly scented blooms, bountiful fruits, or brilliantly colored fall leaves. Many people opt to plant several hedge shrubs very close to each other in a row, often marking a property line between neighbors or direct traffic in an often-visited garden. Although many home developments have rules regarding the installation of a fence, planting a hedge shrub – even a dozen of them - will not likely be subject to those same rules.

There are a few general pointers that will help even the most inexperienced gardener grow a beautiful hedge shrub. First, prune a flowering hedge shrub after the flowers begin to wilt. For example, if the flowers bloom in June, the pruning should occur in July. Some varieties grow multiple stems from the base of the shrub, so the old stems should be removed each year. Lastly, evergreens can be pruned throughout the year – spring or fall.


There are many different kinds of hedge shrubs, creating thousands of landscaping possibilities. For example, the Japanese boxwood is one of the most commonly planted shrubs for formal hedges or natural fencing. It has thick foliage that is comprised of oval-shaped leaves that are dark green in color.

Some people prefer the hedge shrub to be a low to the ground. Those individuals may prefer a natal plum. It has a star-shaped white flower that blooms throughout the year and a red fruit that can be eaten. It can be planted to form a low hedge, perfect for directing people in an established garden.

The flowering quince is one of the earliest shrubs to bloom each year. It has pink or red flowers that grow on branches that are equipped with sharp thorns and no leaves. It can be clipped and consequently transformed it a hedge, making a brightly colored border along the property lines of someone’s yard.

The evergreen euonymus is another favorite for those wanting their hedge shrub to create a formal border. It has small, green leaves that are thick. It grows quickly in an upright fashion; so, pruning it is essential. The benefit is that it can quickly be created into a natural fence.



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