A graduate in botany, Nithya Venkat enjoys writing about plants that help sustain life on planet Earth.
Beautiful, Blooming Border Plants
Hedge plants provide privacy and form a beautiful border for your garden. It is easy to plant and maintain hedge plants when you choose the right plants based on your needs and desires.
Think about what type of hedge plants you want and the effort that you have to put in to maintain the hedge. Then, check whether your soil conditions are well-suited for the plants to grow, flourish and form a hedge.
5 Top Picks for Pretty Hedges
Here are some of the best options for ornamental flowering hedge plants.
- Golden Bells
- Rose of Sharon
- Nanking Cherry
- Korean Spice
1. Golden Bells (Forsythia x intermedia spectabilis)
Forsythia x intermedia spectabilis, commonly known as Golden Bells, is a hybrid garden variety derived by crossing Forsythia suspensa and Forsythia viridissima. It is a deciduous shrub that grows to a height of 8–10 feet with a spread of 10–12 feet in width. The flowers are bright yellow in color and bloom from early to mid spring.
These plants grow well in areas that receive a maximum amount of sunlight during the day. Forsythia plants need well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. They grow very fast and spread rapidly.
Watering these plants regularly helps them to flourish and bloom to their full capacity. Forsythia x intermedia spectabilis should be pruned right after flowering.
2. Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)
Hibiscus syriacus is a deciduous shrub that blooms through summer and fall season up until it gets frigid. It is also referred to as the Rose of Sharon, Chinese Hibiscus, and the Althea shrub.
The flowers of this plant are colorful, cup-shaped and bloom in colors of blue, pink, red, lavender, purple and white depending upon the plant variety. Most varieties of the Rose of Sharon plant grow up to 6–10 feet tall.
Hibiscus syriacus is an easy-to-maintain hedge plant. They have to be planted in spring. Dig a hole just as deep as the root ball of the plant with a width of 2–3 cm. Plant them 6 to 10 feet apart. Prune the hedges in early spring. Remove dead, diseased and broken branches for a flourishing growth.
Though Hibiscus syriacus is a slow bloomer and appears late in the season, it has a long bloom time. Prune this plant in spring to encourage more flowering.
3. Nanking Cherry (Prunus tomentosa)
Nanking cherry is also known as Manchu Cherry, Chinese Dwarf, and Downy Cherry. The scientific name for the Nanking Cherry is Prunus tomentosa.
Nanking Cherry, native to China, is a medium to a large deciduous shrub that produces juicy small, shiny, red berries in late May to early June. These berries can be eaten plain or used to make pies, jams or jellies.
The Nanking Cherry is a hardy shrub that grows well in full sun and can tolerate shade. These plants grow to a height of 6–10 feet with a spread in the range of 15 feet in width. It flourishes in well-drained soil, can tolerate drought and can grow in semi-arid conditions.
The Nanking Cherry blooms in early spring with pink buds and pale pink or white flowers. It can tolerate cold winters, hot summers, and drought.
The Nanking Cherry does not self-pollinate; two or more shrubs must be planted near each other to ensure cross-pollination. It can be pruned in winter and can be made to bloom indoors in early spring.
When planting the Nanking Cherry, dig the hole two feet wider than the root system. Plant them 4–5 feet apart, depending on how dense you want the hedge to be. The depth of the hole must be must be slightly deeper than the root system. Water the plant once a week.
4. Korean Spice (Viburnum carlesii)
Viburnum carlesii are also known as Korean Spice viburnum. It is a low-maintenance, deciduous shrub native to Korea. It grows to a height of 4–6 feet with a lateral spread in the range of 4–7 feet wide.
The Korean Spice viburnum plant flourishes in well-drained soil and needs full sun to partial shade for best growth conditions. The leaves of this plant are dark green that turns attractive shades of red in fall.
The flowers are fragrant, white in color and bloom from March to April. The buds are red in color and, as they open, they transform into a beautiful pink color and slowly change to white in full bloom.
The flowers are grouped together in snowball-like clusters. In late summer after pollination, Korean Spice viburnum flowers produce berry-like drupe fruits.
5. Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)
Hydrangea is a perennial plant that flowers in a range of beautiful colors such as blue, pink, red, lavender and dark purple depending on the variety. They grow up to 3–9 feet tall. They are shade-loving plantings that flourish shaded from the sun and strong winter winds.
The flower buds form in late summer and flower later on in the following, so it is best to avoid pruning after August 1. Cut and remove dead wood in fall or very early spring.
What Determines the Hydrangea's Color?
The color of the flowers of the plant Hydrangea macrophylla depends on the cultivar and acidity of the soil. In alkaline soil with a pH above 6.0, the plant produces red or pink flowers. Hydrangeas that are grown in acidic soil pH below 6.0 produce blue or lavender flowers. The color of the flowers cannot be controlled by the pH of the soil across all species of Hydrangea.
Hydrangeas should be planted about 3–10 feet apart in a hole three times the width of the root ball. During dry conditions water the Hydrangeas once a week. Add one inch of compost or manure once a year. The best time to plant Hydrangeas is during fall. Prune the Hydrangeas when they seem overgrown and need to be cut.
There are two groups of Hydrangeas: the plants that bloom on new growth or this year's stems, and the plants that grow on old growth or the last year's stem.
Hydrangea macrophyla bloom on last year's growth or old stems. The buds of Panicle Hydrangeas and Smooth Hydrangeas form in early summer on new growth and will flower each year without any special care.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2016 Nithya Venkat
Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on December 30, 2019:
Thank you Patricia, hydrangeas are my favorite too.
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on December 30, 2019:
So many lovelies...hydrangeas always been a favorite. Thank you for sharing so many lovely faces with us Angels are your way this morning ps
Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on March 15, 2019:
Marlene Bertrand thank you.
Marlene Bertrand from USA on March 15, 2019:
You have helped me learn about some new hedges to consider. I have not previously heard of any of these plants except the hydrangea, which I like a lot. I want to look into a couple of the others now. Thank you for this very informative and interesting article.
Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on February 09, 2019:
Nell thank you for the visit and yes they do attract a lot of bees and butterflies.
Nell Rose from England on February 05, 2019:
So lovely to see all this color. We have lots of Rose of Sharon near where I live, I call them the butterfly and bee plants because they attract hundreds of butterflys and bees. loved it, thanks for the info.
Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on November 20, 2018:
Rajan Singh Jolly, they are very beautiful hedge plants.
Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 19, 2018:
All these hedge plants are so beautiful but I like the Golden Bells and Nanking Cherry the most. Thanks for sharing these lovely photos.
Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on January 15, 2018:
Peggy Woods Hydrangea shrubs are beautiful and would look great on hedges.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 19, 2017:
We used to have hydrangea shrubs growing in Wisconsin. Now I have one growing in a pot living here in Houston. Love the flowers of a forsythia as well as many other of the flowering shrubs you mentioned.
Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on March 12, 2017:
BODYLEVIVE Hydrangeas are so beautiful when they are in bloom. Golden Bells are great too, Thank you for your visit and comment.
BODYLEVIVE from Alabama, USA on March 10, 2017:
I love both the Hydrangeas and the Golden Bells. I have one of each. My Hydrangeas sits at my back entrance and the other is across the drive way from it. They are so beautiful when in bloom.
Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on November 30, 2016:
MartieCoetser thank you and yes one has to make the right choice when buying a hedge plant.
Martie Coetser from South Africa on November 28, 2016:
Beautiful hedge plants. It is important to make the right choice when buying a hedge plant.
Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on November 24, 2016:
FlourishAnyway hydrangeas are beautiful, purple is my favorite color. It is great to have them in your yard, they add a pop of color.
FlourishAnyway on November 24, 2016:
I love hydrangeas and have had them in my yard for many years. My favorite color is purple. I love the fact that you can manipulate their color withsoil quality.
Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on November 23, 2016:
Nell Rose thank you and am glad you enjoyed reading about these beautiful plants.
Nell Rose on November 23, 2016:
Beautiful hub! and its lovely to read about plants and flowers that I know nothing about. I don't have a garden so I am useless at knowing the various plants. really interesting, nell
Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on November 16, 2016:
MsDora thank you for your visit and comment. Different hybrid varieties of Hydrangeas are available, the color depends on the variety you choose.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on November 16, 2016:
These all make very beautiful hedges, but I'd love to see the hydrangea hedge in a variety of colors. Thanks for the very helpful information and for the beautiful views.
Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on November 11, 2016:
Jackie Lynnley thank you:). Rose of Sharon is a beautiful flower and it must be great to look at them every day.
Alicia C am glad you enjoyed reading about these plants, thank you.
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on November 11, 2016:
Thanks for sharing an interesting hub, Vellur. I always enjoy learning about plants. The photos are lovely and the information is useful.
Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on November 10, 2016:
Rose of Sharon is my favorite and I have about three different ones but some white with scarlet centers are my prettiest and they are just gorgeous. Maybe because the blooms are so much bigger than on the other trees. I just have to stop and stare at them every time I go by.
Happy Birthday again! Many many more.
Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on November 10, 2016:
whounwho thank you for your visit and comment.
always exploring it must have been lovely to have Forsythias and Hydrangeas in different colors.
billybuc thank you for your visit and comment.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 10, 2016:
Very pretty and a nice reference guide, Vellur. Thank you!
Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on November 10, 2016:
I love all the flowers you have highlighted here. Before I downsized to a smaller home I had the forsythia and hydrangea in many colors. I've never planted any, so your instructions on planting was helpful. Thank you. Well done...
whonunuwho from United States on November 10, 2016:
Beautiful flowers and plants and very interesting work my friend. whonu