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Low-Maintenance Hedge Plants: The Best Options for Busy Gardeners

Low-Maintenance Hedge Plants: The Best Options for Busy Gardeners

Transforming your garden into a lush and inviting space doesn't have to be time-consuming. With the right choice of low-maintenance hedge plants, even the busiest gardeners can enjoy a vibrant and thriving outdoor oasis.

Whether you already have green fingers or you’re just dipping your toes into gardening, these easy-to-care-for hedge options are perfect for your garden.

Selecting the Right Plants

Choosing the right hedge plants is the first step towards creating an effortlessly beautiful garden. Opt for species that are well-suited to the UK climate, as they will naturally thrive without excessive attention.

Green Spire (Euonymus japonicus)

Green Spire is an evergreen hedge known for its dense growth and versatility. The dark green foliage provides a similar appearance to box hedging, one of the reasons why Green Spire has rapidly grown in popularity over recent years.

You can easily shape and prune your Green Spire hedge into various forms, making it a popular choice for formal gardens.

In addition to looking smart, you usually only need to trim your hedge once a year. Green Spire loves sunlight but is also shade tolerant and grows well in both acid and alkaline soils. It prefers drier soil and doesn’t like being waterlogged.

We sell root balled and container Green Spire hedges. A root-balled plant gives you a larger, more mature hedge quicker, while container plants have an increased chance of success. To learn more, read our blog on root-balled plants.

Privet (Ligustrum)

Privet hedges are hardy, fast-growing, and can tolerate various soil conditions. Their dense foliage provides both privacy and aesthetic appeal. A privet hedge is semi-evergreen, meaning it stays green except in particularly cold spells.

Again, this type of hedge requires minimal pruning, grows in both sun and shade and is available container-grown all year round and root-balled during the winter.

Yew (Taxus baccata)

Yew hedges may grow slowly, but they live long and offer year-round interest with their dark green needles. They are known for their tolerance to shade and urban pollution.

This native UK plant likes most soil types as long as it’s not waterlogged. They also thrive in sunny and shady locations.

Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)

If you prefer a more natural look, hawthorn hedges are a great option. Sometimes referred to as “quickthorn”, these native hedges produce beautiful blossoms in spring and berries in autumn, attracting wildlife to your garden.

A natural all-rounder, hawthorn will grow in most soils. Pruning in spring encourages healthy growth during the summer months.

Soil Preparation

Proper soil preparation is essential for the success of your hedge plants. Most low-maintenance species prefer well-draining soil. Work in compost to improve soil structure and water retention. Conduct a soil test to ensure pH levels are right for your chosen plants.

Structural Considerations

Before planting, consider the layout and design of your hedge. Low-maintenance hedges can define garden borders, create privacy screens, and block out noise. Plan the height, width, and spacing of your hedge plants according to their growth habits and your design goals.

Maintenance Practices

The beauty of low-maintenance hedge plants lies in their ability to thrive with minimal care. However, some basic maintenance practices will help ensure their health and longevity, regardless of the type of hedge you choose.


Regular, light pruning is often sufficient to maintain the shape and size of your hedge. Avoid heavy pruning, as it can lead to sparse growth.

Check out our blog post on hedge trimming for more information.


Applying a layer of mulch around the base of your hedge helps retain moisture, suppress weeds, and improve soil quality.


Although established hedges are generally drought-tolerant, regular watering is vital while establishing your hedge. Deep watering less often will encourage deeper root growth.

Follow our guide to watering your hedge for more tips.


Low maintenance doesn't mean no fertilisation. Apply a balanced, slow release fertiliser in spring to provide essential nutrients.

Creative Design Ideas

Even with low-maintenance hedge plants, you can create stunning garden designs that reflect your personal style.

  • Mixed Hedge: Combine different plant species with varying colours and textures to create a visually interesting hedge that requires minimal effort. 
  • Curved Hedges: Instead of traditional straight lines, experiment with curved or wavy hedge designs to add a playful touch to your garden.
  • Flowering Accents: Integrate flowering plants or bulbs within your hedge to add seasonal bursts of colour.
  • Wildlife-Friendly Hedges: Choose hedge plants that attract pollinators and birds, contributing to the biodiversity of your garden. Hawthorn and Leylandii are both great options.

Low-Maintenance Hedge Plants at Mathias Nurseries

Hedge maintenance doesn’t need to take up too much of your time. By choosing the right plants and preparing the ground, you can enjoy a beautiful hedge without the hassle.

At Mathias Nurseries, we want to ensure you get the hedge that suits your lifestyle and needs. We stock a wide range of low-maintenance plants to suit every garden, and our expert team is on hand to answer any questions you may have. Get in touch today.

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