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How to plant a hedge

At Dolphin we LOVE hedges! We love trimming them and we love planting them.

Are you thinking about having a hedge but you are unsure where to start?

Hedges can be a perfect way to shield out neighbours with a nice tall thick line. They can create paths through your garden. A hedge for a front fence is the perfect soft solution too.


Generally Autumn is the perfect time to plant a hedge however in Sydney we are fortunate to have a climate where you can plant at almost anytime.

How many plants will you need:

  • For a 180cm tall hedge (head height), space your plants 180/3 = 60cm apart. For a 5m long hedge, that's 500/60 = 8-9 plants.

  • For a 90cm tall hedge (waist height), space your plants 90/3 = 30cm apart. For a 5m long hedge, that's 500/30 = 16-17 plants.

TIP 1: If you want a faster result for your hedge, order double the number of plants, and space them twice as close. For a 1.8m hedge, 30cm apart; for a 90cm hedge, 15cm apart.

TIP 2: For a thicker deeper hedge, space the plants twice as close - but in a zigzag, rather than a straight line. Clip as they grow, to gradually develop a straight front to your hedge.

Data from Australian Plants online

Plants for hedges

Here is a list of the most popular choices:

Murrayas - (Murraya paniculata) an incredibly versatile plant that can be grown in most situations as a medium hedge. They suit planting with other plants and have beautifully perfumed white flowers that appear in Spring and Summer. These plants are very easy to look after and can grow to 4 metres if left. Regular pruning keeps them to the desired height and looking dense.

Sasanqua camellias - will grow in sun or shade and cope with reasonably cold conditions. They come in various sizes and produce a beautiful flower along with a dark green foliage.

Buxus - probably the best known of all hedge plants. It is used to create a formal, tight hedge which is decorative more than a functional hedge. Slow-growing and not known for its screening ability. Perfect for a driveway or garden bed boundary and it doesn’t dominate the garden.

Lilly Pilly - There are many varieties available for you to choose from and they can either be kept to 1metre or 10metres, like the Acmena Smithii “Goodbye Neighbours”. Take care to choose the right ones for your landscape. If you are looking for a little colour, Syzygium and Acmena have cherry red to copper coloured new growth giving your hedge a changing look.

Tips: look for a variety that is “psyllid-free”. The psyllid typically won’t kill your Lilly Pilly hedge but up close it certainly won’t look very healthy. Watch also for wax scale that can attack the branches of your plants.

If you would like to discuss a hedge for your garden contact the team at Dolphin Property Maintenance. We can advise you of the best options, select the right plants and plant them for you. As they grow we can trim and maintain your hedge so that in no time at all you have the hedge you dream of.

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