Part 4 of our guide to the best hedging plants continues where it left off – with Lilly Pillies.
Lilly pilly Cascade (pbr) tall hedge shrub plant
If you would like to create an informal style hedge or screen (limited or no pruning), then have a look at Lilly pilly Syzygium “Cascade” (pbr).
Lilly pilly “Cascade” has beautiful weeping foliage and a nice bushy habit, which make it quite an interesting screen plant or hedge. Syzygium “Cascade normally only grows to around 3m, however it can grow taller.
The foliage on this plant is light green and the new growth is pink. Not only does it have pink new foliage, it has pink flowers in spring or summer, followed by pink fruit (berries). Lilly Pilly “Cascade” is all about the colour pink.
In regard to pruning, this plant responds well to a light cut back, however it generally does not need pruning like other hedge plants. It has a natural weeping habit which means that it looks and grows quite well without pruning. If you do need to give it a prune … go for it, as it will regenerate in a few months and go back to the way it was, with nice weeping foliage again.
The rate of growth of this plant is medium to fast. Best light conditions for this plant are full sun to semi-shade. Best soil conditions are any well drained soil, this plant is not too fussy about soils and will generally grow in most soils.
Best climates are subtropical, temperate and warm temperate regions. “Cascade” is an Australian native plant.
Pests are normally not a problem. This Lilly pilly does not get the nasty Lilly Pilly Psyllid pest which damages the foliage of some other Lilly pilly plants.
Stake plants well in the early stages to develop a good root system. This is an easy care Lilly pilly that is attractive and better suited to an informal natural shape then a neat pruned hedge.
Lilly pilly “Resilience” tall hedge & screen shrub
Next on our list of the best hedging plants is the Lilly Pilly “Resilience”.
Syzygium australe “Resilience” (pbr) is a recently developed variety which has turned out to be a very good medium to tall hedge plant.
Lilly pilly “Resilience” is fast growing and will grow to a height of around 4m. It makes a good trimmed hedge from around 1.5m to 3m.
The name of the plant, “Resilience”, relates to resistance to a pest called Lilly Pilly Psyllid. These Psyllids create lumps on the new growth on some Lilly Pilly shrubs, which damages the foliage. It is important to choose a Lilly Pilly which does not attract this pest.
“Resilience” is one that does not seem to be attractive to these psyllids. Syzygium “Resilience” gets copper coloured new growth and white flowers in spring.
Plants that are not pruned will get large and bushy and also get berries that are bird attracting. Syzygium australe “Resilience” is an Australian native plant.
This plant responds well to pruning and can be pruned regularly to create a neat hedge. Best light conditions are full sun, however plants will grow in semi-shade.
Best soils are almost any soil which is well drained, they grow well in heavier soils, so are worth trying if you have clay soils.
Best climates are subtropical, temperate, warm temperate regions, overhead protection is required (Eg under a tree) in areas with heavy frosts in winter.
Lilly pilly “Resilience” is quite a low care plant. Plants do not seem to get many pest, although caterpillars in summer could be problem in some areas (easily fixed). The plant seems quite strong and fast growing.
Staking is important in the early stages to develop a good shape for this plant. Plants can go a bit wayward if not staked at planting.
Generally, Lilly Pilly ‘Resilience’ is a good medium-large hedge plant.
Some Lilly Pillies also make superb screening pot plants. To learn more, see here.
Westringia fruticosa Coastal Rosemary hedge
Westringia fruticosa “Coastal rosemary” is a very useful salt tolerant hedge plant.
Westringia Coastal rosemary has small hard foliage which earns it its place amongst the best hedging plants. It is extremely salt tolerant and can grow right on a beach edge if required.
Westringia fruticosa grows as a shrub from 1m to 2m tall and makes a neat pruned hedge from around 60cm up to 1.5m tall. The plant produces white flowers which are produced constantly through the year.
Best conditions are full sun and best soils are sandy, however Westringia will grow in most well drained soils. Clays will slow growth and plants do not like excessive soil moisture in the form of bad drainage.
Westringia will grow in temperate climates and can withstand light frosts. Fertilise with a slow release fertiliser in spring. Plants live around 15 years. Westringia fruticosa “Coastal rosemary” is an Australian native plant.
In regard to care Westringia fruticosa “Coastal rosemary” is a super low maintenance plant. They are drought tolerant and salt tolerant.
Westringia do not seem to get any pest problems. The only problems which develop with this plant is stem die-back which occurs under bad drainage conditions or as the plant begins to age.
Regular pruning is required to keep this plant looking neat and extends the plants life.
Westringia fruticosa “Jervis gem” (pbr) hedge
As a low hardy hedge Westringia fruticosa “Jervis gem” is a useful addition to a native, coastal or low maintenance garden.
Westringia fruticosa “Jervis gem” has grey/green foliage and mauve flowers. The small flowers are borne at various times throughout the year and make an attractive display against the foliage.
“Jervis gem” is a dwarf form of Westringia and grows to around 1m as a shrub. As a low pruned hedge it can be grown from 40cm to 1m tall. Westringia “Jervis gem” is an Australian native plant.
“Jervis gem” grows best in full sun conditions. Best soils for this plant are sandy. However Westringia are very adaptable and will grow in any soil with adequate drainage.
Proof that this is considered one of the best hedging plants is evident in its extensive use by landscapers. Gardening professional love it as it is very dependable and can be used in many types of gardens. Plants are salt tolerant and drought tolerant, once established. When used as a hedge you can create very neat and sharp edged hedge.
Pruning enhances the compact nature of this plant so prune regularly if possible, if you would like a sharp edge hedge. However, if you would like to just create a low shrub line that does not need much pruning then this plant is suited to this also.
Best climates for “Jervis gem” are temperate and the plant has a maximum growth period is late winter/spring. Plants live around 12 years.
To care for your Westringia “Jervis gem” use a slow release native fertiliser in spring.
Pests are not usually a problem with “Jervis gem”, however Curl grubs could be an issue in some areas. Curl grubs are in the soil and eat the roots.
Plants can suffer from a form of foliage die-back which is usually a result of damage to the roots. This is normally the result of bad drainage conditions, or Curl grubs.
Generally speaking these plants are easy to care for.
Westringia “Wynyabbie gem” medium hedge plant
Westringia “Wynyabbie gem” is best suited to being a medium sized hedge of around 1.5m. Plants grow naturally as a shrub to around 2m and have a bushy habit.
The foliage of “Wynyabbie gem” is grey/green in colour and the foliage is fairly small and spare. Once pruned however the stems and foliage become more compact and better suited to hedging.
“Wynyabbie gem” has small light blue flowers which are borne in winter and spring. “Wynyabbie gem” is an Australian native plant.
Westringia “Wynyabbie gem” is a plant suited to coastal conditions and is quite salt tolerant. Although it is considered to be drought tolerant, repeated long periods of dry conditions seem to reduce the life span of this plant.
“Wynyabbie gem” will grow in most soils, however it is best suited to sandy soils. Not really suited well to clay soils, plants struggle particularly in badly drained soils.
A useful hedge plant for native gardens. Prune regularly to keep compact. Grows best in full sun conditions in temperate climates. Plants live around 10 years.
Like most Westringia, “Wynyabbie gem” is a hardy plant, however it does require a bit more care then “Jervis gem”.
Plants tend to reduce in vigour under drought conditions and will need extra watering to keep them looking good. They are also more sparse in nature so pruning is important to keep them compact.
Fertilising is important with this variety so use some slow release in spring. Pests are not really a problem, however roots can become weak if drainage is bad or curl grubs are present. If your “Wynyabbie gem” suddenly ups and dies it is usually the result of a soil problem, or soil pest.
Grevillea “Robyn Gordon” medium hedge plant
If you would like to bring birds into the garden and you need a hedge then have a look at growing a Grevillea “Robyn Gordon” hedge. It is one of the best hedging plants for attracting our feathered friends.
Grevillea “Robyn Gordon” is a free flowering shrub that will flower for most of the year. Plants can grow over 1.5m naturally, but make a shaped hedge from 1 to 1.5m tall.
Foliage colour is dark green and flower colour is red. Grevillea “Robyn Gordon” in an Australian native plant.
Best growing conditions for “Robyn Gordon” are full sun, however the plant grows well in semi-shade conditions also. Best soil types are sandy loams or sandy soils. Grevillea “Robyn Gordon” does not do well in clay soils and requires good drainage.
Best climate ranges are cool temperate to warm temperate. Areas with heavy frosts should be avoided.
Grevillea “Robyn Gordon” is best suited to only intermittent pruning, once or twice a year. They make a great informal hedge and flower best under this type of pruning. Pruning is important in the early stages of hedge development, but will need less and less as the hedge plants age. Plants live around 20 years.
To care for your “Robyn Gordon” hedge fertilise in spring with a native fertiliser or use slow release.
Stake plants well in early stages to develop a good root system. Plants can become weak around the roots if not staked.
Major pests are aphids, caterpillars and soil borne Curl grubs which eat the roots, plants mostly die from prolonged attack by Curl grubs.
Good soil drainage is important and plants standing in sodden soil will get fungal problems. When grown under good conditions these plants are quite low maintenance.
This plant also thrives in pots with a bit of attention. See here for more details.
Grevillea “Moonlight” tall hedge & screen shrub
Grevillea “Moonlight” has proved to be an excellent flowering tall shrub & screen plant for larger blocks. It can be hedged, however it is much better suited to being an informal hedge, growing in a more natural shape.
Grevillea “Moonlight” makes a great shrub-line along a back fence to provide a visual screen. The best thing about this Grevillea is the wonderful flowering. Grevillea “Moonlight” will flower for most of the year in good conditions. The plant produces masses of large white flowers on the end of every stem.
This is a tall and bushy growing grevillea, so is better suited to areas where it can branch up and out. Most “Moonlight” plants will grow from around 3m tall to over 4m tall and around 2 to 3m wide. Grevillea “Moonlight” is an Australian native plant.
In regard to growing conditions Grevillea “Moonlight” is best suited to full sun growing conditions, however, if they get shade for a short part of the day, they still do well.
Best soil types are loams, sandy loams and sandy soils. “Moonlight” is much more tolerant of clay soils then a lot of Grevillea plants so if you have a heavier clay soil they should do okay.
They do not like sodden clays, so pick an area with some well drained soil. Grevillea “Moonlight” will grow in most temperate climates, cool to warm temperate. Plants live around 25 years.
Grevillea “Moonlight” is drought tolerant, in good soil conditions. Pests are not normally a problem, however soil borne Curl grubs could be a problem in some areas, particularly close to bush areas.
Caring for your “Moonlight” is fairly straight forward. Make sure you stake you plant well when you plant it. Larger growing Grevillea plants have a tendency to grow tall and thin in the early stages, so they tend to need some extra stability.
You may like to give your Grevillea “Moonlight” a prune now and then. Once a year is normally all you need to do if you would like to keep it compact. Late summer or early autumn is a good time in most areas, avoid pruning in hot weather periods. Many gardeners do not prune them at all.
Best fertilisers to use on this type of grevillea is a native slow release, or a specific native general purpose fertiliser. Once a year in spring is enough. You may not need to fertilise at all, as most “Moonlights” seem to thrive without fertiliser.
If you have a passion for Growing Metrosideros Hedging Plants, see here.
Grevillea “Honey gem” hedge & screen shrubs
Another popular Grevillea on our best hedging plants list is the “Honey Gem”. This is a large growing Grevillea shrub that is often planted for screening purposes.
Grevillea “Honey gem” tends to grow tall, to around 3 to 4m tall and around 3m wide. They can be pruned into a hedge shape, however, they tend to lose flowers when pruned regularly. Many gardeners prune them infrequently, so flowers have time to develop.
The flowers are honey coloured and quite numerous. Grevillea “Honey gem” flowers are a great food source for many native birds and will bring many honey eaters into the garden. Grevillea “Honey gem” tend to flower for most of the year.
“Honey gem” is a bushy style of Grevillea and make a good screen plant when grown as a shrub-line. Grevillea “Honey gem” is an Australian native plant.
Best growing conditions for Grevillea “Honey gem” are full sun with sufficient space for the shrub to spread. Best soil conditions are loams, sandy loams and sandy soils. Grevillea “Honey gem” are one of the few Grevillea plants that can grow in heavier clay soils, but it is important that soil drainage is good.
If you find that your grevillea is showing signs like leaf drop, or tips dying back, it could be an indication of bad drainage or sodden soil.
Best climates for “Honey gem” shrubs are temperate, cool temperate and warm temperate regions. Grevillea “Honey gem” plants live for around 20 years.
Grevillea “Honey gem” shrubs are known as easy care, low maintenance plants. It is important to stake them well in the early stages to ensure strong root growth.
Prune them a little in the early stages to develop the shape you want. Most gardeners tend to let them grow naturally and prune them once a year if required. Best times for pruning are late summer or early autumn, avoid periods of hot weather.
In regard to fertiliser, use a native slow release or a Australian native general purpose fertiliser in spring. Only pests that seem to affect “Honey gem” are soil borne Curl grubs, which can eat the roots.
The “Honey Gem” is a very dependable shrub that will brighten up your garden and provide a useful food plant for native birds.
“Honey Gem” is also one of the many Grevillea that can be grown as a pot plant. To learn more, see here.
Grevillea “Superb” hedge & screen shrub plant
Grevillea “Superb” is another great flowering Grevillea hedge and screen plant for the garden. It is similar to the well known “Grevillea “Robyn Gordon”.
It has the advantage of being faster growing than “Robyn Gordon” and has better flowering characteristics and it also grows taller. Honey eaters and many other birds love “Superb”, so if you would like to bring birds into the garden it would be a good one to grow.
Grevillea “Superb” usually grows around 2m tall and 2m wide if left un-pruned. The flowers are a light red in colour and the leaves are light green. The leaves are soft to touch compared to other Grevilleas.
Grevillea “Superb” is an Australian native plant.
Grevillea “Superb” hedges well, frequent pruning keeps it compact. To develop a good flower display prune only a few times of year to give the plant time to develop flowers. “Superb” makes a good pruned hedge from 1.2m to 2m tall and around 1.2m wide.
Best growing conditions for “Superb” is full sun, however they can take some shade during the day. Best soil conditions are loams, sandy loams and sands. “Superb” does not seem to like growing in heavier clay soils, as the roots become weak.
Grevillea “Superb” grows in temperate and warm temperate regions. In areas with heavy frosts plants would need some protection from an over hanging tree or similar.
To care for your Grevillea “Superb” make sure you stake them well when planting. Plant them in a well drain soil where the roots can develop well.
Fertilise in spring with a general purpose Australian native fertiliser or a native slow release fertiliser. Pest problems are infrequent, but aphids can attack new growth and Curl grubs can attack roots. Keep your plant healthy to avoid any pest problems.
Generally speaking Grevillea “Superb” is an attractive and useful hedge or screen plant for the garden and the birds love them.
Grevillea “Ned Kelly” medium hedge shrub plant
Grevillea “Ned Kelly” has similarities to both Grevillea “Robyn Gordon” and “Superb”. It has however very compact growth, which makes in great for hedges of around 1m to 1.5m tall. Grevillea “Ned Kelly” grows un-pruned to around 2m tall and 1.5m wide.
The foliage is light green and the flowers are a dark red colour. Flowering occurs on an off during the year. Grevillea “Ned Kelly” flowers provide a food source for Australian native birds and honey eaters.
Grevillea “Ned Kelly” is an Australian native plant.
Having a nice compact growth habit means that “Ned Kelly” does not need a lot of pruning to create a hedge. However, shaping it correctly in the early stages is important. The focus should be on removing stems which are branching outward, so preventing it from spreading too much.
Best soil conditions for “Ned Kelly” are loams, sandy loams and sandy soils. Like “Superb” , “Ned Kelly” does not do well in heavier clay soils as the roots seem to become weak as the plant grows larger. Best light conditions are full sun.
“Ned Kelly” will grow well in most temperate climates. Another factor that makes it a no-brainer when selecting the best hedging plants.
To care for your Grevillea “Ned Kelly” stake it well when planting. Like “Superb”, “Ned Kelly” can develop weak roots if not staked well when planted. Winds tend to whip the plant around at the base, staking ensures better root development.
Plant “Ned Kelly” in an area with good soil drainage and deep soil. Fertilise in spring with a general purpose Australian native fertiliser or a slow release fertiliser.
Pest problems are not normally an issue with “Ned Kelly”, but like a number of other Grevillea shrubs, Curl grubs can damage roots.
“Ned Kelly” is a low maintenance shrub, with pretty flowers and makes a good hedge around 1m + in full sun situations.
Grevillea “Sandra Gordon” Tall screen shrub plant
Grevillea “Sandra Gordon” is a tall growing shrub that is better suited to screening than hedging. It has tall arching branches and grey green foliage.
Most Grevillea “Sandra Gordon” plants grow to around 4m + and around 3m wide. The flowering is fantastic, with beautiful bright yellow coloured flowers being produced on the end of stems.
Flowering occurs throughout the year in most regions where it grows. Birds love the flowers and this plant provides a food source for honey eaters and many other bird varieties. Grevillea “Sandra Gordon” is an Australian native plant.
Best growing conditions for “Sandra Gordon” is full sun. Best soil conditions are loams, sandy loams and sandy soils. “Sandra Gordon” tends to grow better in clay soils then other Grevilleas. However, good drainage is important.
Good climates for “Sandra Gordon” are temperate and warm temperate. When growing this plant it is advisable to give it a prune once a year to keep it compact.
Best time to prune Grevillea “Sandra Gordon” is after a major flowering, late summer or early autumn.
In regard to care, Grevillea “Sandra Gordon” is a low maintenance shrub that grows quickly. Pruning is the major activity, however many gardeners choose not to prune them. Plants will grow like a small tree if left unpruned.
If you would like “Sandra Gordon” to grow more shrub like, it is worth giving it an initial prune in the early stages of growth. Staking is important as this assists the plant to grow more upright.
Fertilise in spring with a general purpose Australian native fertiliser or slow release fertiliser. Flowers can be used as a cut flower in the home.
Grevillea “Misty Pink” hedge & screen shrub plant
If you are looking for a screen plant with pink flowers then Grevillea “Misty Pink” could be the screen plant for you. The pink flowers on this Grevillea are an outstanding feature, which make this a very popular plant for the home garden.
Generally this Grevillea will flower for most of the year, in climates where it grows. The flowers are large flower spikes which develop on the end of stems. Plants normally grow to around 3m tall, however they can grow larger. The flowers on “Misty Pink” are bird attracting and will bring honey eaters and other birds into the garden.
Grevillea “Misty Pink” is an Australian native plant.
Grevillea “Misty Pink” can be pruned into a hedge shape, however it has a broad branching habit which is better left as a tall screen plant.
We think “Misty Pink” is better suited to larger garden blocks. It makes a good shrub-line along a fence line. “Misty Pink” has fairly thick branches which make regular pruning difficult, but a prune once a year after flowering helps keep the plant compact.
Pruning is best done in late summer or early autumn. Best growing conditions are full sun, however they can grow in part shade for some of the day. Best soil types to grow Grevillea “Misty Pink” are loams, sandy loams and sandy soils.
Best climates are subtropical, temperate, warm temperate regions.
In regard to care a prune once a year keeps plant compact. Stake plant well when planting and plant in a well drained soil.
Grevillea “Misty Pink” is a low maintenance plant that does not get many pest problems. Fertilise in spring with a general purpose Australian native fertiliser or a slow release fertiliser.
Grevillea barklyana tall hedge or screen plant
And finally on our rundown of the best hedging plants, we have the Grevillea Barklyana.
Grevellea barklyana is a tall hedge or screen plant suited to larger blocks. Grevillea barkylana has a tendency to grow tall and bushy if left unpruned. Plants can grow to around 4 to 5 m .
Grevillea backlyana is a fast growing Grevillea that has upright foliage. The leaves are broader in nature then other Grevilleas and a dark green colour. The flowers are tooth brush like and dark red.
Birds are attracted into the garden by the flowers on this plant, particularly honey eaters. Grevillea barklyana is an Australian native plant.
This Grevillea grows very thickly, particularly if pruned regularly, however, it is probably better suited to a shrub-line screen plant, rather than a neat, trimmed hedge. Many gardeners just prune the front of the hedge as the height tends to make pruning the top difficult.
Best light conditions are full sun. Best soils are loams and sandy loams, however they will grow in heavier soils, if well drained. Avoid sodden, wet soils.
Best climates are sub-tropical, temperate and warm temperate.
Pests do not seem to be a problem with this Grevillea and it is quite easy care. Grevillea barklyana is probably best suited to larger scale native gardens or blocks.
It is important to stake these Grevillea plants at planting to prevent the development of week roots. Once these plants have a good start they are quite a strong grower.
Fertilise in spring with a general purpose Australian native fertiliser or native slow release.
This article is Part 4 in an extensive piece on the Best Hedging Plants. For the previous and subsequent Parts, please see below.