9 Best Small Hedge Plants for Compact Gardens

Best Small Hedge Plants

Small hedge plants are a fantastic choice for gardeners looking to create natural boundaries, enhance privacy, or simply add aesthetic appeal to their landscape without the extensive space requirements of larger shrubs.

These diminutive hedges serve multiple purposes: they can define property lines, edge garden paths, or encircle flower beds, all while maintaining a manageable size that’s easy to prune and care for.

Effective Hedge Pruning Tips

When choosing small hedge plants, it’s important to consider factors such as growth rate, maintenance level, and hardiness zone compatibility. These versatile plants not only boost the charm and character of a space but also enhance biodiversity by providing habitat and food for wildlife.

Whether used for formal or informal garden styles, small hedge plants are an invaluable asset to any garden design.

Best Small Hedge Plants

1. Lonicera Pileata

small low maintenance hedge plants

Lonicera pileata is a popular, fast-growing hedge plant with evergreen foliage that grows in an arching, spreading habit. Lonicera pileata, or the Box-leaved Honeysuckle, is a wonderful low-growing hedging plant with glossy, dark green foliage.

Lonicera pileata is a low-maintenance hedging plant and ideal for garden hedging and landscape hedging alike. It can create a wonderful compact hedge or screening plant and can be grown in a variety of garden types and locations where it will add color.

The Lonicera Pileata thrives in a sunny, partially shaded area of the garden with well-drained soil. An easy-to-maintain shrub that is good for gardeners of all abilities. Prune back any dead or damaged branches to encourage a healthy, bushy growth

2. Buxus Semperviren

hedging plants

Buxus sempervirens, the common box, European box, or boxwood, is a species of flowering plant in the genus Buxus, native to western and southern Europe, northwest Africa, and southwest Asia, from southern England south to northern Morocco, and east through the northern Mediterranean region to Turkey.

Boxwood might stop the parasite that causes malaria from reproducing. It might also stop viruses. Buxus sempervirens (European Box, Buxaceae, boxwood) has been used in folk medicine to treat rheumatism, arthritis, fever, malaria and skin ulceration while, in recent years, interest has grown on possible employment of boxwood extracts in cancer therapy.

It is a slow-growing species; Buxus sempervirens will grow about 10 – 15 cm a year.

3. Pitto Sporum

hedges plants

These evergreen shrubs come in a multitude of sizes and shapes with shiny, often variegated or colorful leaves and small scented flowers. They are really, really tough and durable. They grow from the sea to the mountain as long as they are in a free-draining spot.  

They are very easy to look after. Low-maintenance plants, they thrive well in either shade or sun. In hot areas, mulch the roots to keep the moisture. Use an all-purpose fertilizer once a year. They make a great hedge. It is also used to treat fever, malaria, inflammation, and stomach aches and as an antidote for insect bites. The leaves have been reported to possess antimicrobial properties.

Pittosporums are a fairly fast-growing screening plant; you can expect 75cm of growth per year in good conditions. Keep plants well watered during summer with a layer of mulch to retain the moisture in the soil.

4. Hebe

low maintenance hedge plants australia

These evergreen shrubs make colorful focal points and provide year-round structure in borders and containers. Lovers of a sunny spot, they flower for many months in summer, with spikes of small blooms in shades of purple, pink, and white that attract bees and other pollinators.

They’ve recently had a name change and now Hebe is Veronica – but it may be a while before you find this on plant labels at the garden centre. They tighten tissues, dry up secretions, stop bleeding, and keep infections contained.

Tannins also have an anti-inflammatoryqualities, which enhance their soothing effect. The plant has medicinal properties for centuries. The leaves were chewed to help cure diarrhea and applied to the skin to aid ulcers and wounds. Hebe elliptica grows to 1-2m, flowering from late spring to autumn.

5. Euonymus

front yard gardenia hedge

A genus of about 130 species of shrubs, woody climbers, and small trees in the staff tree family (Celastraceae), native to temperate Asia, North America, and Europe. The genus includes many popular landscape ornamental shrubs and ground covers, a number of which are known for their vibrant fall foliage.

Euonymus alatus (Thunb.) Siebold (E. alatus), a well-known medicinal plant, has been widely used for thousands of years in China for the treatment of various diseases such as urticaria, dysmenorrhea, wounds, dysentery, blood stasis, rheumatism, and arthritis.

Depending on the variety you’ve chosen to grow, Euonymus ranges widely in height from 60cm to 2.5m tall, so even if you have no garden at all, the smaller varieties will thrive very happily in pots or containers.

Euonymus prefers full sun to medium shade, moist to dry-mesic conditions, and soil containing loam, clay-loam, sand, and gravelly material. It tolerates heavy shade, is pH adaptable, is easily transplanted from woody cuttings, and tolerates a variety of soils other than wet ground.

6. Lavender

best hedge plants

Lavender is a wonderful plant to grow indoors,’ explains Rachel Crow, garden editor for Homes & Gardens. ‘Lavender is a hardy plant that can be grown easily in pots with little attention, making it one of the best low-maintenance indoor plants for adding color to your home.’ 

its strong fragrance is often despised by many house pests and common houseplant pests, making it the ideal addition to a houseplant collection to protect your home from unwanted infestations.

Lavender essential oil may be beneficial in a variety of conditions, including insomnia, alopecia (hair loss), anxiety, stress, and postoperative pain. However, most of these studies have been small. Lavender is also being studied for its antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Lavender can be a difficult plant to grow from seeds as its sprouts often emerge unevenly and can take a while to germinate. ‘Keeping them in a controlled environment will help maintain a consistent germination rate,’ Rachel says. ‘Once germinated, it can take one year for the plants to bloom fully, only flowering lighting in their first season.

It requires a lot of sun and fast-draining soil. It will not survive long in shady, damp, or extremely cold conditions. It prefers poor, dry, or moderately fertile soil, including chalky and alkaline soils.

7. Berberis

best hedge plants

Berberis, commonly known as barberry, is a shrub that grows tart, red berries. While the plant is native to parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia, it can now be found all over the world. Its berries have been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat digestive issues, infections, and skin conditions.

Barberries contain several beneficial compounds, most notably berberine, an antioxidant that may help manage conditions like diabetes, fight dental infections, and treat acne. They are also highly nutritious, rich in carbohydrates, fiber, and several vitamins and minerals.

In particular, berries are an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that may help protect against cellular damage, which can lead to heart disease and cancer. In Ayurveda, it is traditionally used to cure various infections of eye, ear and mouth, to lose weight, to heal wounds quickly, to cure piles and hemorrhoids, to treat dysentery, indigestion, uterine and vaginal disorders as well as to treat snake or Scorpion bite as an antidote.

Berberis are versatile shrubs and can be grown in borders, rock gardens, containers, or hedges. Bear the following in mind when choosing a site for your plant: A full sun or partly shaded position is best for most species.

8. Shrub Roses

best hedge plants

Shrub rose bushes are defined by the American Rose Society (ARS) as “a class of hardy, easy-care plants that encompass bushy roses that do not fit in any other category of rose bush.” Some shrub roses make good groundcovers, while others work well to form hedges or screening in the landscape.

The rose may be an icon, but it often gets a bad reputation as a plant that demands a lot of care. In reality, many roses are landscape-worthy shrubs that don’t require constant devotion. The one thing most shrub roses have in common is that they have naturally attractive growth that doesn’t have to be shaped or fussed over very much to look good. They usually mix well with other types of shrubs, perennials, annuals, and small trees.

Enchanting Holographic Garden

The medical benefits of roses include the treatment of inflammation, diabetes, dysmenorrhea, depression, stress, seizures, and aging. Rose water is precious beauty water for skin care and has antibacterial effects on various microbiota.

Rose bushes should receive six to eight hours of sunlight daily for the best show of flowers and the healthiest plants. They should also be planted in well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. In especially hot climates, roses do best when they are protected from the hot afternoon sun.

9. Llex Crenata

hedge plants

Ilex crenata is a stunning, evergreen hedge plant with an abundance of small, rounded, dark green, glossy leaves and an extremely dense and bushy habit. Ilex crenata is ideal for low-hedging and also works well as a privacy screen and windbreak for your outdoor space whilst providing year-round interest

Ilex crenata hedging has a slow growth rate and will achieve between 10-20cm per annum. It is ideal for heights of up to 1 m. The fruits of at least some members of this genus contain saponins and are slightly toxic. If eaten in quantity, they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and stupor.

 Ilex crenata ‘Kinme’ prefers partial to full sun, but can also tolerate partial shade.prefers well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. .


Having small hedge plants in your garden can bring several benefits. Small hedge plants can add structure and beauty to a garden. They can be trimmed into neat, formal lines or maintained in a more natural, bushy style, depending on the desired look. natural barrier, adding privacy and defining the boundaries of your garden without the need for fences or walls. Hedges provide habitat, food, and protection for various species of wildlife, including birds, insects, and small mammals.

Selecting the best small hedge plants can greatly enhance the aesthetic and functionality of low-maintenance gardens. Low hedges, such as evergreen shrubs with glossy dark green leaves, offer year-round privacy and structure without overwhelming the space. Opting for low-hedging plants, particularly evergreen varieties, ensures minimal upkeep while providing a continuous lush look.

These plants are ideal for creating ornamental hedges that flourish in early spring and maintain their glossy green leaves throughout the seasons. By focusing on low-maintenance hedges, gardeners can enjoy beautiful borders with less effort, making these hedging plants a top choice for both practicality and visual appeal.

Johan Perez
Johan Perez is an experienced agriculturalist with over twenty years in the field. He holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Sciences and has contributed extensively to research on sustainable farming practices. Johan has also written for numerous agricultural periodicals, offering expert advice on farming technologies and methods. In his free time, he enjoys outdoor adventures, which often inform his professional insights into ecological agriculture.

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