Best of Ornamental Flowering Hedge Plants

Updated on May 2, 2019
Vellur profile image

A graduate in botany, Nithya Venkat enjoys writing about plants that help sustain life on planet Earth.

Hedge plants provide the privacy that you need or form a beautiful border for your garden. It is easy to plant and maintain hedge plants when you choose the right plants based on what you want.

Think about what type of hedge plants you want, the effort that you have to put in to maintain the hedge and check whether the soil condition is well suited for the plants to grow, flourish and form a hedge.

Here are some of the best of ornamental flowering hedge plants.

Forsythia Flowers
Forsythia Flowers | Source

1. Golden Bells (Forsythia x intermedia spectabilis)

Forsythia x intermedia spectabilis commonly known as Golden Bell 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 yellow in color and blooms from early to mid spring.

The flowers are bright yellow in color. 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 help them to flourish and bloom to its full capacity. Forsythia x intermedia spectabilis should be pruned right after flowering.

Rose of Sharon
Rose of Sharon | Source

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 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, and it has a long bloom time. Prune this plant in spring to encourage more flowering.

Nanking Cherry
Nanking Cherry | Source

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 is a hardy shrub that 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 2 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.

Viburnum carlesii (Korean Spice)
Viburnum carlesii (Korean Spice) | Source

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 blooms from March to April. Buds are red in color and as they open the buds transforms into a beautiful pink color and slowly changes to white in full bloom.

The flowers are grouped together in snow-ball like clusters. In late summer after pollination Koreanspice viburnum flowers produce berry-like drupe fruits.

Hydrangea | Source

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 color of the flowers of the plant Hydrangea macrophylla depends on the cultivar and acidity of the soil.

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.

In alkaline soil with a pH above 6.0, the plant produces red or pink flowers and 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 plants that grow on old growth or the last years 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.

Which one is your favorite hedge plant?

See results


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


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    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      6 months ago from Dubai

      Thank you Patricia, hydrangeas are my favorite too.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      6 months ago from North Central Florida

      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

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      16 months ago from Dubai

      Marlene Bertrand thank you.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      16 months ago from USA

      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.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      17 months ago from Dubai

      Nell thank you for the visit and yes they do attract a lot of bees and butterflies.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      17 months ago from England

      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.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      19 months ago from Dubai

      Rajan Singh Jolly, they are very beautiful hedge plants.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      19 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      All these hedge plants are so beautiful but I like the Golden Bells and Nanking Cherry the most. Thanks for sharing these lovely photos.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      2 years ago from Dubai

      Peggy Woods Hydrangea shrubs are beautiful and would look great on hedges.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      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.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      3 years ago from Dubai

      BODYLEVIVE Hydrangeas are so beautiful when they are in bloom. Golden Bells are great too, Thank you for your visit and comment.

    • bodylevive profile image


      3 years ago from Alabama, USA

      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.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      3 years ago from Dubai

      MartieCoetser thank you and yes one has to make the right choice when buying a hedge plant.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      3 years ago from South Africa

      Beautiful hedge plants. It is important to make the right choice when buying a hedge plant.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      3 years ago from Dubai

      FlourishAnyway hydrangeas are beautiful, purple is my favorite color. It is great to have them in your yard, they add a pop of color.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      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.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      3 years ago from Dubai

      Nell Rose thank you and am glad you enjoyed reading about these beautiful plants.

    • profile image

      Nell Rose 

      3 years ago

      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

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      3 years ago from Dubai

      MsDora thank you for your visit and comment. Different hybrid varieties of Hydrangeas are available, the color depends on the variety you choose.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      3 years ago from The Caribbean

      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.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      3 years ago from Dubai

      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.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for sharing an interesting hub, Vellur. I always enjoy learning about plants. The photos are lovely and the information is useful.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      3 years ago from the beautiful south

      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.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      3 years ago from Dubai

      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.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very pretty and a nice reference guide, Vellur. Thank you!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      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 profile image


      3 years ago from United States

      Beautiful flowers and plants and very interesting work my friend. whonu


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