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….
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:
Dwarf Blue 25
Imperial Gem 25
Little Lady 35
Miss Katherine 35
Richard Gray 25
Twickle Purple 25