How to Create a Hydrangea Hedge
No Garden Has Space For Boring Hedges
Add Timeless Charm With A Flowering Hydrangea Hedge
Hedges serve an important purpose in the garden – creating privacy, covering eyesores, and adding structure to the landscape. Arborvitaes, boxwoods, and tall ornamental grasses fit the role of traditional hedges with their large habits and lush foliage. Still, they may not create the show-stopping performance your garden needs. Overhaul your traditional hedge and build a wall of flowers using hydrangeas instead!
Whether you’re looking to create a tall privacy hedge or a low border, there is a hydrangea that fits the bill. Hydrangeas come in an array of colors, shapes, and sizes, all of which make a huge impact when planted in a row. In the summer, your hedge will be exploding with flowers, lasting through the fall and winter if spent flowers are left standing. Gardeners are always amazed at the charm they bring to their gardens, and neighbors never seem to complain either.
Making your own hydrangea hedge can be intimidating, especially if you’re starting from scratch. That’s why we’re here! We’ll guide you through how to recreate the magic in your own garden.
Spacing For Hydrangea Hedges
When designing a hedge, the most common question we hear is, “how far apart should I space my hydrangeas?” The answer to this depends on a few different factors, including which hydrangea you’re using, where you live, and what look you’re going for. A general rule of thumb is to start by looking at the width of the plant. For example, Incrediball smooth hydrangeas (pictured above) reach a mature size of 5 feet tall and wide. Therefore, plants can be spaced with their centers 5 feet apart to be nearly touching at maturity.
If you don’t want to wait a long time for your hedge to fill in, you may want to consider planting them a little closer. It can take several years for plants to reach their full size, and even longer in colder areas. Planting them closer means that separate plants will touch sooner, and then overlap at maturity. The result is a lush wall of foliage and flowers that is hard to resist!
It may be tempting to plant them close together, but make sure you’re not planting them too close. When they’re packed close together, airflow is reduced and disease is more prevalent. Leave adequate space between plants to allow airflow for happy plants (and happy gardeners). All of our plant pages have spacing recommendations under the “more information” section in the “how to grow” tab. Incrediball hydrangeas are recommended to be 3-5 feet apart, so you can plant them spaced 3 feet if you wish.
The number of plants you’ll need for your hedge depends on the plant spacing. Try using our plant calculator to help determine the number of plants for your space!
See How Some Of Our Great Gardeners Created Hedges
Over the course of spring and summer in 2018, Christopher and Eric (@growforme5b) purchased several ‘Limelight’ panicle hydrangeas for a hedge. They connected a string from the back corner to the front corner of their lot, mapping out where a hedge should be placed. Knowing the height and width of Limelights, they measured 5 feet in from the property line where they wanted the hedge to start and end. They planted 15 hydrangeas, each 5 feet apart from the center, all along the property line.
Not all of their plants were purchased from Great Garden Plants, so they were not uniform at planting. They spent a great deal of time pruning them in the fall and spring to ensure uniformity. That was the most important stage in creating a uniform hedge.
Now, in 2021, their Limelight hedge is finally filled in and budded up to bloom all summer long! Swipe through the images below to see their hedge grow from 2018 to now.
Are Hydrangea Hedges Difficult To Maintain?
With how elegant your hedge looks, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to maintain! If the hydrangea you choose grows on old wood (bigleaf and mountain hydrangeas), then only deadheading is necessary for another season of blooms. If your variety blooms on new wood (smooth and panicle hydrangeas), you should prune your hedge in early spring.