One of the major issues when planting a hedge is planting distance. The spacing of plants will determine the density of the hedge and the over all aesthetics. How far apart to plant common hedging plants will depend on the species and the effect you wish to create.
Spacing is usually measured from the centre of the plant to centre of the next plant and allow 1/2 that space at each end of the hedge. Now different hedges will need to be planted at different distances, and yes you can plant them, closer, or further apart than recommended.
If planted to close together, the plants will be competing with each other. Planted to far apart means a sparse hedge, the closer the more plants (read expensive) the further apart the cheaper. If you do compromise for cost reasons just be aware that the hedge may look ‘a little thin’.
Spacing or planting distance guide for hedges
A Box hedge is usually planted at 30cm centres (distance between plants) so a rough calculation of 3 per metre. The advantages of a closer spacing are a quicker formation of the hedge and a denser hedge. Wider spacing of course is cheaper, less plants, however a good box hedge is a little difficult to grow with much wider spacing than this. The size of the plant you are putting in is not relevant as a small plant will grow.
How far apart to plant some common hedging plants?
- A Lilly Pilly hedge such as Acmena Smithii, plant around 1m apart for a dense hedge
- Magnolia Little Gems, Kay Parris and Teddy Bear I would go a little closer 80 – 100cms
- Privet at around 30 cms apart
- Lavenders and Rosemary around 30cm apart for a dense hedge
- Leylandii between 80cm and 100cm apart
Spacing and Landscaping
Remember that spacing will determine the long term density of the hedge. Landscapers often try closer planting so that you will get a ‘quicker result’. A lot will depend on how well you prune, especially in the early stages.
The number of plants, and the end planting requirements depends on the plant itself and how quickly you want to ‘fill in the hedge’.
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