What Plants Make the Slimmest Hedges?

Updated July 19, 2017

Plant varieties with narrow, upright growth make ideal specimens for slim or narrow hedges. They require annual pruning to keep them healthy and maintain a formal hedge shape but once established hedges can provide screens to provide privacy from neighbours, form boundaries and provide barriers to wind and noise pollution.

Cupressus sempervirens

This evergreen forms a slim, upright cylindrical shape and does not usually grow more than three feet wide. It is fast growing with dark-green fine-textured foliage, can reach 50 feet and makes an excellent screen. It is also known by its common name Italian Cypress. This variety prefers full sun to partial shade and clay, loam or sand soils.

Juniperus chinensis

Also called Chinese Juniper, Juniperus chinensis has upright growth and a slim spread of five feet wide. It can reach 10 to 50 feet high. Foliage varies from blue-green to grey. This variety prefers full sun and well-drained soil.

Ligustrum japonicum

This evergreen’s compact growth habit make it an ideal specimen for slim hedges, reaching 5 to 6 feet wide and 10 feet high. It is often referred to by its common name of Japanese Privet. It grows at least 25 inches a year so will require pruning to trim it into a formal hedge shape. If left to grow, it will develop into a small tree. Japanese Privet has glossy green oval-shaped leaves. It thrives in partial shade to full sun and will grow in most soils apart from those that are permanently wet according to Clemson University.

Ilex crenata

There are more than 400 species of Ilex, but smaller varieties such as Ilex crenata only reach 3 to 10 feet wide and a similar measurement in height. Ilex crenata is also called Japanese holly. They have dark green glossy spineless leaves.

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