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Best plants for hedging in Melbourne

Garden advice
Best plants for hedging in Melbourne
All Green
All Green
November 21, 2019
minute read

Tall hedges or low borders — choosing the right plants for a Melbourne garden

Our nursery grows lots of hedging plants, as these are always in high demand in Melbourne.

One of the main reasons people love to plant hedges is to stop the neighbours peering in, but they also block out strong sun, winds and noise and make a beautiful and cost-effective alternative to a fence.

Almost any plant grown in close rows will form some sort of hedge, but for best results, it’s important to choose the right plant to meet your specific needs and growing conditions.

Whether you’re looking to grow a tall screening hedge or small decorative border hedge, pop into one of All Green Nursery's stores and chat to our expert horticulturalists about which plants will best meet your needs.

Top 5 plants for tall hedges

1. 'Goodbye Neighbour' Lilly Pilly

Lilly Pilly Hedge

Acmena smithii minor is a tough Australian native that will quickly grow over 6 metres in height, but it can be trimmed to any height. It's a great dense hedge that it is commonly known as the ‘Goodbye Neighbour’ plant.

It's a very attractive addition to any garden with its glossy green leaves, crimson new growth and pretty cream flowers which produce edible maroon berries.

'Goodbye Neighbour' Lilly Pillies need:

  • Full sun
  • Moist, fertile soil
  • Well-drained soil

This Lilly Pilly is tolerant of most conditions including drought and mild frost, and is resistant to psyllids (tiny sap-sucking insects that can disfigure the leaves of some Lilly Pillys).

2. 'Backyard Bliss' Lilly Pilly

Backyard Bliss Lilly Pilly

The Backyard Bliss variety of Lilly Pilly (Syzgium paniculata) grows to 3-4 metres in height and has such fine, thick foliage it is often used for topiary.

It is low-maintenance, fast-growing, and commonly known as the Neighbours-Be-Gone plant because it makes an excellent privacy screen around areas such as a courtyard or the pool.

'Backyard Bliss' Lilly Pillies need:

  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Well-drained soil
  • No frost until it's established

3. Green Pillar

Green Pillar

Pittosporum Green Pillar is an evergreen shrub up to 4 metres in height. It has bright apple green foliage that makes a lovely contrast to its black twigs.

It is a very popular hedging plant because it's so easy to grow. It also produces small brown flowers in Spring, which emit a honey-like scent.

Green Pillar shrubs need:

  • Moist, well-drained soil
  • Sunny or partly shaded positioning

4. Viburnum Tinus

Viburnum Tinus

Viburnums are tough evergreens that originate from the Mediterranean. Viburnum Tinus reaches about 3 metres in height, and produces masses of lovely pink buds, white flowers, and blue berries for several months over Winter.

Viburnum Tinus evergreens need:

  • Pruning in Spring to encourage thicker growth and new flush of flowers
  • Plenty of water

5. Mock Orange

Mock Orange

Murraya paniculata is native to Australia and Asia. It grows to around 3 metres in Melbourne, has glossy dark green foliage and pretty white orange-scented flowers, and is one of the most widely used hedging plants across Australia.

Mock Orange hedges need:

  • Regular pruning
  • Sunny positions
  • Rich, moist, and well-drained soil

NB: The Mock Orange is generally very hardy, but it is susceptible to frost so it may suffer damage in colder areas.

Top 5 plants for short hedges and garden borders

1. Native Rosemary

Australian native rosemary

Westringia fruticosa is an indigenous plant known as the Coastal or Native Rosemary, although it is not edible.

The Grey Box variety is a popular hedging plant nationwide. It is low-growing and very compact, reaching around 45 cm in height, with pretty contrasting grey leaves and small white flowers.

Grey Box needs:

  • full sun to part shade
  • adequate drainage
  • is very frost tolerant and drought resistant

2. Caprosma Karo Red

Caprosma Karo Red

Caprosma Karo Red is a very compact shrub with striking black and maroon foliage that grows to just over a metre.

It makes a tough hedge that takes pruning well and looks amazing when used for lower hedges or garden borders. For best results, feed with a slow-release fertiliser in spring.

Caprosma Karo Red needs:

  • A sunny to partly shaded position
  • well-drained soil

3. Tom Thumb

Tom Thumb

The Tom Thumb variety of Euonymus japonicus microphyllus is a really attractive, compact and fast-growing shrub. It reaches around half a metre in height.

It can be trimmed, but it doesn’t need constant pruning to maintain its shape. It can tolerate poor soil, heat and frost. These plants do benefit from light applications of an all-purpose fertiliser, and should be lightly trimmed in spring and autumn.

Tom Thumb needs:

  • full sun or part shade
  • moist, well-drained soil

4. Hebe Beverly Hills

Hebe Beverly Hills

Hebe Beverly Hills hails from New Zealand and is a small evergreen shrub up to 1 metre in height that produces stunning violet blue flowers in spring.

It is so attractive that it is used as a pot plant or general garden plant, but it also makes for a very pretty hedge that doesn’t require much watering once established.

Hebe Beverly Hills needs:

  • Full sun to part shade
  • Well-drained soil

5. Sacred Bamboo

Sacred Bamboo

Nandina Domestica Nana is known as Sacred Bamboo, although it is not a true bamboo. It reaches up to a metre in height and boasts red and green and foliage that becomes brighter red in the cooler months.

Nandina is striking when mass planted, or when used as a low hedge or border. Gardeners like it because it is so hardy and drought resistant.

Sacred Bamboo needs:

  • full sun or part shade
  • an occasional light pruning to stimulate new growth

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