Hedging plants are one of the best ways to get privacy and screening in your garden. Stopping the neighbors peering in one of the main reasons we like hedges but they are also excellent at blocking the western sun, slowing down strong winds and reducing noise.

In reality any plant that is grown closely to another will form some sort of “hedge” but there are certain ones that do the job beautifully and with the best results.

Here are a few good questions to ask when choosing:

How high do you need to screen? The average fence is about 1.8m tall so if that is all you need make sure you don’t plant something that will grow to 20m. It will just create a lot of work.

How much maintenance do you what to do? For many people the answer to this is “None!” Sadly with hedges you will need to do something but a wise chose will reduce that amount by quite a lot.

How much sun or shade will the plants get? For most hedging species they like full sun, so if you have an area with more shade, you will need to pick a species that will thrive in those conditions. When plants don’t the amount of sunlight they need they become spindly with long open branches. They push up to get to the sun leaving the bottom open and bare. Exactly what you don’t want in a hedge.

What is the soil like? This is one of the biggest problems I see. Plants on top of retaining walls with really poor soil or planted into narrow bed between concrete fences and driveways. A plant is only as good as the soil it grows in so if your isn’t great, spend the time and money to improve it before you plant. Because this will save you a lot more time and money later on.

So here are my top 5 hedging plants for Brisbane’s beautiful sub tropical climate.