A Guide to Hedge Planting Distances

Measuring distances and aligning rope for digging trench. Planting a Yew Hedge.

Correct Hedge Planting Distances are determined, not by the size of plant you buy, but by the height and density of the hedge you wish to create….

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The height of a traditional hedge is generally considered to be 6’ – 8’ (2m -2.5m) – what, in the tables below, we have called ‘Standard’. Of course, many hedging plants are capable of growing far taller and, therefore, of creating much taller hedges. If that is your intention then the planting gap should be increased. The table therefore includes a recommended planting gap for those varieties (in bold) suited to being grown into a taller hedge.

Hedge Planting Distances: Other Considerations

  • Poor Soil and/or Harsh Conditions

If your hedging plants are being placed is in a challenging location, be it poorer soil or a less benign micro-climate, you should reduce the planting gap by up to 10%. This will help compensate for the reduced rate of growth.

Also, if your aim is a particuarly tall hedge – 2.5m+ – then you should take the trouble to properly dig in at least a good half metre of organic matter and other natural soil improvers before planting.

  • Creating a Particuarly Dense Hedge

While the recommended Standard planting distances will create a full, unbroken hedge, reducing the planting distances by no more than10% will create a denser hedge, more quickly. But…

  • …Don’t Get Impatient!

When a hedge is first planted, it will simply look like a very gappy row of individual plants. The temptation can therefore be to ignore the recommended planting distances and place the plants much closer together. Don’t! While it will look more hedge-like at the start, without the space to develop roots etc, the plants will not thrive

  • Planting a Double Row

If you wish to create an especially wide hedge, the distance between the plants in each row remains the same. The second row should be planted in parallel, the same distance apart from the first row that the individual plants are placed from each other.

Plants in the second row should be placed in the middle of the gap of the plants in the first row to create a zig-zag – it’s the same principle of how bricks are laid to create a wall.

Do remember, though, that the wider apart, the stronger the plant but the longer it will take to mesh

Here are the recommended Hedge Planting Distances (cm):

Standard      Tall 2.5m+

Beech                                    65                   72                  

Cherry Laurel                      80                   88 (up to 5m)

Common Box                       25                   –

Elaeagnus                            85                   –

Escallonia Macrantha         45                   –

Griselinia                              40                   44

Hornbeam                            65                   72

Lonicera                                40                   –

Photinia                                 60                   66

Pittosporum                          80                   –

Privet                                     65                   72

Purple Copper Beech         65                   –

Western Red Cedar           75                   82      

Yew                                        45                   49

And to complete the picture, here are the reccommneded planting distances for Lavenders:


Alba                                        35

Dwarf Blue                            25

Grosso                                   35

Hidcote                                  35

Imperial Gem                        25

Little Lady                             35

Maillette                                 25

Miss Katherine                     35

Richard Gray                       25

Sawyers                                25

Twickle Purple                     25