Top 3 Local Hedge Plants

Find out the best hedge plants for the Philadelphia area.

Hedges make a nice border to a property or a garden.

Patch asked Peter Brindle from  in Wayne for the best hedge plants for the growing zone that includes southeastern Pennsylvania.

Thuja plicata is a large, pyramidal tree with a buttressed base and seen most often with multiple trunks. Its’ foliage maintains a steady green all year round and it grows best in moist, well drained acidic soils in areas with partial or full sun.. It is a low maintenance plant best used as a shrub, tall hedge or tree.

Buxus Green Mountain, also called “small boxwood,” has an unusual pyramid shape and their dark green leaves keep their color all year and require very little very little pruning to keep its shape. It thrives best in moist soil with full sun but can tolerate partial shade. It’s best used as a landscape or shrub and grows slowly making it ideal for a clipped or shaped hedge. It looks best when located along a foundation or as a border along a walkway or path.

Acer Palmata, a Japanese hedge, is know for its green or red colored leaves and fine leaf texture. Fall color ranges from bright yellow through orange and red. This hedge plant grows best in the shade with a well-drained acidic soil. These hedges compliment  patio areas or used as a small shade tree.

Which hedge plants have been the most successful for you? Tell us in the comments.

Mike M July 18, 2012 at 09:37 AM
Is this article a joke? I cannot believe the author is recommending non-native plants for people’s yards. There are a plethora of native plants to PA that people should be planting that attract more wildlife than a Japanese hedge. Many local organizations sponsor talks on native plants.
Lisa D July 18, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Not so much a hedge, but a great vertical privacy barrier is the Skip Laurel. This shrub tolerates the clay soil and high water table in our neighborhood and is a fast grower.
JJK July 19, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Bamboo will provide a dense privacy screen faster than any of the plants noted in this article. ...Yes, proper care and consideration needs to be taken before planting bamboo. ...And Yes, there are two native species of bamboo. Unfortunately, 99% of the bamboo that is planted locally, has not been controlled or maintained. Unlike the plants noted, bamboo can also be planted at very tall heights (20'+) and for less cost than a good quality 6' evergreen. Locally grown bamboo is available through Chester County Bamboo.
Lucy Bennett July 19, 2012 at 02:27 AM
What native plants would you suggest for hedges?
Adam July 22, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Agree with the first commenter. Boxwood, for instance, does poorly if site conditions aren't "just right" and it is prone to blight. Furthermore, it's an exotic with no wildlife value. Why not use the beautiful native evergreen shrub Inkberry (Ilex Glabra) instead? Unlike Boxwood, it adds biodiversity and wildlife value to your yard. Cardinals, robins and woodpeckers love its berries. Native Viburnum (Viburnum Prunifolium) and Virginia Sweetspire (Itea Virginica) are also lovely substitutes for hedges with wildlife value for birds and pollinators, respectively. Urbanization and suburbanization and replacing native plants with exotics has contributed toward enormous species loss. Make thoughtful choices about what you plant and you can help restore habitat and be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.


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