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The Best Hedge Plants in Australia (with Pictures)

Hedges are the perfect way to add privacy and curb appeal to your home.

You don’t have to be a professional landscaper to know the benefits of hedges. They can improve the look and feel of your property, provide privacy, and they can be even used as a windbreak.

There are, however, several things to keep in mind when choosing what type of hedge to plant. Some are more suited to certain climates than others, some are easier to maintain, while others are faster growing.

The best hedge plant for you will depend on your specific circumstances and preferences.

To help you in your search for the perfect hedge, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite hedge plants for Australian gardens to provide you with some inspiration for growing your own.

The best hedge plants

Here are our picks for the best hedge plants for Australian gardens.

Click one of the links to jump to the relevant section below.

Pittosporum Silver Sheen

Pittosporum tenuifolium Silver Sheen hedge | Plant varieties
Pittosporum ‘Silver Sheen’ by Nadiatalent / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 4.0

Pittosporums are lovely evergreen shrubs that lend themselves perfectly to hedging.

Pittosporum varieties such as Silver Sheen and James Stirling are grown in many parts of the country as successful screening trees.

Most people will prune these into tall hedges that can reach a height of 5 metres.

Lilly Pilly (Acmena, Syzygium)

Lilly Pilly hedge 6 | Plant varieties
Syzygium Australe Lilly Pilly

Lilly pillies are one of the best and most popular hedge plants for Australian gardens.

They are more suitable for areas with a more temperate climate. However, if you protect young plants from frosts, they can be grown successfully in southern areas as well.

Lilly pillies are fast growing natives that can reach a height of 3 to 5 metres. However, they are quite happy to be pruned to a more suitable height.

Apart from their glossy green leaves, these plants also have gorgeous white flowers and small edible fruits. Plus, you’ll be delighted with the new growth that is flushed with pink.

Photinia Red Robin (Photinia fraseri)

Photinia Red Robin | Plant varieties
Photinia Red Robin

In southern parts of the country, Photinia Red Robin is a very popular hedging plant.

It not only lends itself to creating a lovely, dense hedge but also adds a little extra colour to your garden with its attractive new red growth. 

Photinia, a flowering shrub, is part of the rose family. This family includes roses, apples, berries, and pears.

This plant thrives in full sun or partial shade, in any well-drained soil.

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua | Plant varieties
Camellia sasanqua

For a stunning floral hedge, nothing beats the Camellia sasanqua. This variety of camellia has smaller leaves so is easier to train than other options.

It’s also available in a huge variety of flower colours that bloom from late autumn through to the middle of winter.

Camellias are hardy plants and will grow in full sun or part shade. However, you’ll get the most flowers when growing these in the sun.

Camellias can range in height from 1 to 4 metres depending on the variety you choose.

Escallonia

Escallonia | Plant varieties
Escallonia / Photo by Sten Porse / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0

If you love a little fragrance in your garden, escallonias would definitely suit. Their pink or white blooms appear in clusters in summer and have a lovely scent.

There are various varieties available with the tallest reaching a height of around 3 metres.

These plants are better suited to cooler climates and are frost-tolerant. Their glossy green leaves will provide plenty of privacy when clipped regularly.

Indian Hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis indica)

Rhaphiolepis indica | Plant varieties
Rhaphiolepis indica

Rhaphiolepsis indica or Indian Hawthorn is a hardy plant that flowers from autumn through to spring. It’s incredibly low-maintenance and perfect for use as a hedging or screening plant.

There are many cultivars of the Indian Hawthorn species. Popular varieties include ‘Oriental Pearl’ and ‘Snow Maiden’.

Rhaphiolepis indica has lovely dark green leaves and will produce clusters of small white flowers in spring and early summer that are lightly scented.

The blue to black berries that follow are popular with birds.

Japanese Box Hedge (Buxus microphylla japonica)

Japanese Box Buxus microphylla japonica | Plant varieties
Buxus microphylla japonica / Photo by Agnieszka Kwiecień / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 4.0

Many gardeners will be familiar with the common box hedges that are found all over the world.

However, for Australian conditions, the Japanese Box is much more suitable as it can handle warmer temperatures. 

This plant has small green leaves that are quite glossy. It lends itself really well to hedging and also shaping into topiaries.

Sweet Viburnum (Viburnum odoratissimum)

Viburnum odoratissimum | Plant varieties
Viburnum odoratissimum

Sweet viburnum is another popular hedging plant, especially for gardeners in temperate, coastal, and subtropical climates.

It produces large glossy green leaves and small fragrant white flowers.

It’s ideal for large hedges and can grow to a height of around 3 to 4 metres.

Plants should be spaced around 1 metre apart as they can easily spread to around 2 to 3 metres in width.

Mock Orange / Orange Jasmine (Murraya paniculata)

Murraya paniculata hedge 2 1 | Plant varieties
Murraya paniculata

Murraya paniculata is a popular screening plant thanks to its lush foliage and lovely citrusy scent. It is ideal for pruning into a nice dense hedge.

These flowering hedge plants can reach a height of 4 metres and are fast-growing.

They produce the most delightful white flowers in summer and spring that have the same scent as orange blossoms.

To get a nice dense hedge, you want to space the plants around 50 cm to 1 metre apart. Remember to keep the plants watered well until they become fully established.

Hebe

Hebe hedge | Plant varieties
Hebe flowers / Photo by Akos Kokai / Wikimedia / CC BY 2.0

Nothing beats the profusion of flowers on a hebe hedge. These low-maintenance hedge plants are perfect for growing into a low hedge that is kept nicely trimmed. 

The gorgeous, long-lasting blooms come in a variety of different colours including white, pink, purple, and blue.

Although there are some varieties that can grow up to 3 metres in height, it’s best to keep them to a lower height because they tend to get a little woody at the base.

Coastal Rosemary (Westringia fruticosa)

Coastal Rosemary Westringia fruticosa | Plant varieties
Westringia fruticosa / Photo by Drew Avery / Flickr / CC 2.0

For people who garden in coastal areas, Coastal Rosemary is a great choice for a low-maintenance native hedge plant. It has lovely grey-green foliage and small white or lavender flowers.

Coastal Rosemary prefers well-drained soil and needs to be kept watered while young.

Plants should be spaced around 50 cm apart to get good coverage for your hedge.

Hydrangea

Hydrangea hedge | Plant varieties
Hydrangea

This classic and beautiful garden shrub makes a gorgeous flowering hedge when pruned and trained from early on.

The gorgeous large showy flowers that appear in spring and summer are available in shades of blue, pink, purple, and white.

Hydrangeas are also ideal if the area that you want to grow the hedge in is partly shaded throughout the day.

Hydrangeas are also ideal if you want a hedge that is not too tall because they will grow to a maximum height of around 1.5 metres.

Neighbours Be Gone Lilly Pilly (Syzygium paniculata)

Syzygium paniculata | Plant varieties
Syzygium paniculata

This Lilly Pilly variety is a fast-growing screening or hedge plant that can be grown in containers or directly in the soil.

Neighbours Be Gone is a hardy plant that is highly adaptable to various conditions, making it perfect for planting almost anywhere.

It’s coloured white, green, and deep red so it looks great throughout most of the year. Pink berries appear in spring and white flowers are produced in summer.

Hedge Plant FAQ

What is the easiest hedge to maintain?

Popular low maintenance hedge plants include Murraya, Photinia, Lilly Pilly, and Sweet Viburnum.

How far apart should hedging plants be planted?

The general rule of thumb is to use the 3 to 1 ratio. This ratio relies on how tall you want the hedge to be to determine how far you need to space the plants. For example, for a 3-metre high hedge, you should space your plants 1 metre apart. 

Photo of author

Steve Kropp

Based in Melbourne, Steve's passion is vegetable gardening, and he’s been writing about it for almost 5 years. He also loves all things DIY and is always looking for a new project. When not working on his own garden projects or blogging, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, cooking meals with produce harvested from his garden, and coaching his son’s footy team.

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