This is understandably one question that we get asked a lot. How far apart should we space the plants? Customers are often confused by different companies recommending different plant spacing or quantities of plants per metre.
The further apart the plants are spaced at planting, the longer it will take for the plants to join together to form a hedge. Planting closer together will reduce this timescale but will also require more plants. It is therefore really a matter of time over budget.
Ideally a hedge will have foliage running all the way from the ground upwards without gaps. If plants are planted too far apart and are not pruned in the first few years after planting, it is likely there will be gaps at the base of the hedge. The closer the plants are spaced, the less pruning is required to get the plants to join together and form a hedge without gaps.
You will find our recommended spacing for all the hedging plants we sell on the product page for that species. Our recommendations are based on planting at a density that the plants will start to touch after 1 full growing season. This is only a guideline and please use more plants to reduce this timescale or less plants per metre if you have time to wait. You may find it helpful to look at our “hedge plant spacing photographs” that show some of our hedging plants spaced at different planting densities and should help give you an idea of how long it would take to form a hedge using different densities of plants per metre. We are always happy to provide our recommendations based on your specific requirements so please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are unsure.
Other Factors To Consider
The size of the plants initially purchased
Young plants planted at 2-3 foot (60-90cm) apart will not resemble much of a hedge when just planted. Given a few years and plenty of pruning during the first few years to encourage lateral branching, the plants will start to join together to form a hedge.
Using bigger bushier plants allows a wider spacing to be used whilst still achieving a good initial planting density.
The ultimate height of the hedge or screen
A tall hedge or screen will require sufficient room to grow into. For lower hedges the plants require less space and a greater number of plants can be used without causing distress to the plants.