How Long Do Hedges Take To Grow? Our List Of The Top Hedges In UK!

Written By James
Updated July 7, 2021 by James

How Long Do Hedges Take To Grow? Our List Of The Top Hedges In UK!

How Fast Do Hedges Grow?

Whether you decide to grow your hedge plants as a focal point for your garden or some privacy, waiting for these green hedge plants to grow can take a long time. 

Factors such as the type of hedge, variety of soil types and environment can all impact the growth of your hedge, but on average, a fast-growing hedge will take around five years to reach its full size when cared for with the right conditions. 

To find out how long classic fast-growing hedge types will take to grow, as well as some tips and tricks for having an excellent fast-growing hedge, we have composed a short article below. 

What Do Hedges Need To Grow Fast? 

For hedges to grow fast seasons after planting they need to be planted in the most ideal conditions, a durable fast-growing hedge will need natural light during the summer months, ample water with drained soil holes to prevent drowning the plant and pruning when needed. 

Pruning your hedge at the ideal time a couple of inches off can encourage the growth of the bush. You will also need to protect your hedge from weeds which can disrupt growth and other pests. 

We have summarised the points for helping your hedge dense growth rate below - 

  • Sunlight - Your fastest-growing hedge will need sunlight for growth, this can help a dense hedge close up gaps faster, some hedge types however can be in the shade and still have healthier growth with occasional sunlight.
  • Water - Growth wise, your hedge will need supplemental water for growth during the summer if you have very dry months, other than that these shrubs tend to do well on their own without additional watering, make sure there is the drainage for the hedge in the soil.
  • Trimming - Pruning your hedge can stimulate the growth of your bush and reduce pests and weeds growing on the plant, a hedge with pruning will also make the plant much stronger.

Types Of Fast-Growing Hedge

If you don't want to wait a long time for your hedge to grow, then you can speed up the process by choosing some fast-growing hedge types, these types of hedges have a fast growth rate without too much interference needed, making them great options for privacy hedges. 

We have listed out the best types of fast-growing hedges below and their growth rate to help you decide which type of hedge is right for you. 

Cherry Laurel/English Laurel

The English Laurel also known as a Cherry Laurel is one of the fastest-growing hedges out there, this dense hedge is highly drought tolerant and can grow up to 60cm per year. It also needs pruning up to three times a year and can help get rid of pests in your garden. 

It should be noted that this type of hedge however is poisonous. 

Portuguese Laurel 

If you are looking for a good-looking privacy hedge to grow in your garden, then the Portuguese Laurel might be a great option, not only does the thickness of this hedge act as privacy screens but it is also pest and drought-tolerant as well as easy to grow. 

On average, the Portuguese Laurel can grow up to 45cm a year when cared for right. 

Schip Laurels 

Next up we have the Schip Laurel hedges, these types of hedges can grow in either full sun or shade depending on your environment and can also grow in different soil types. 

If your looking to cover an entire fence in your hedge type then this Schip Laurel would be a great choice, it can grow up to 30-60cm in a year depending on how they are cared for.


Leylandii individual hedge plants can grow up to 90cm in a year and are an enormous fast-growing hedge to choose if you are looking for a hedge for privacy purposes. 

These hedges also need very little maintenance.


Privet hedges are a little less popular than the traditional Laurels and Leylandii but are a great fast-growing choice and good-looking hedge for a focal point in your garden or as a handsome privacy hedge. They can on average grow 30-60cm a year. 

Tips For Planting Your Fastest-Growing Hedge 

Even though choosing a fast-growing hedge type is a great start, planting it the right way is also vital to encourage the growth of the hedge in a short amount of time. 

We have listed some tips for planting your fast-growing hedge below so as you can get your privacy fence in no time. 

Choose The Right Hedge For Your Area 

When picking your fast-growing hedge you should ensure that it corresponds with the conditions of your garden, for example, some hedges might need to be planted with the full sun while others can survive in shade. 

Mature hedges are also much easier to start with when planting and can speed up the growing time of your privacy fence in your garden considerably.

Plant At The Right Time

It's best to avoid planting your hedge in the height of summer due to lack of water, just after summer tends to be the best for a deciduous hedge, you should avoid planting your hedge completely in winter if you live in an area with frost as this can ruin growth to plants.

Prepare The Ground First 

Before planting your quick-growing hedge you should make sure to prepare the soil well first, preparing a fence from animals and protecting your hedge from weeds is vital for its growth at least six weeks before you plant your box hedges or container hedges. 

Space Them Out 

Depending on your type of hedge you need to ensure that they are spaced out appropriately, for hedges like the popular choice Privet type they should be planted closer together (around 4 plants per metre) so as they can grow as an effective privacy screen. 

For the English Laurel, on the other hand, these hedge plants can be planted with more space in between them and will still grow into a thick hedge eventually. 

Give Them Water 

During the first two years of planting your hedge, you should ensure that you are watering them well, after the first two years you can typically get away without watering the common Laurel and letting the rain do its job instead. 

Feed Your Hedge 

When you first plant your hedge, giving it some plant food and fertiliser can help encourage growth during the first few years.

Prune Well 

Pruning your hedge during the first few years of its life is essential for helping it grow fast and stay neat, not only does it make the hedge stronger but it prevents any new shoots from freezing during the wintertime from frost. 

Why Does My Hedge Have Stunted Growth? 

If you have followed the tips above yet your hedge is still not growing well, then you might have a few issues worth troubleshooting below to see if they can help bring your hedge back to life. 

  • Depth of planting - Planting your green fence too deep or too shallow can affect its growth, your hedge should ideally be at a medium depth in your soil.
  • Lack of water - If you did not water your green fence sufficiently during its first two years then it might be struggling with growth, dryness of the roots can lead to a stunt in growth for the hedge.
  • Transportation - When buying a container or box hedge you should ensure that its roots are protected with foil, if not this could lead them to dry out during transportation and affect its overall growth.
  • Fertilisation - You should never over fertilise your green fence, doing so can overwhelm its roots, especially if you fertilise the roots directly.
  • Pruning - Pruning is essential for your hedge to grow well, you don't want to prune too much of your hedge or too little either.
  • Neighbouring plants - Planting your green fence too close to other strong plants can weaken its roots and stunt growth. 

Frequently Asked Questions About How Long Hedges Take To Grow 

What is the difference between Evergreen and Deciduous hedge plants? 

Deciduous shrubs are more heavy-duty than Evergreen hedges but lose their leaves during the winter, while a fast-growing Evergreen hedge on the other hand gives privacy all year round but will need a lot of care and attention.

Will a clipped hedge help with growth? 

Yes, clipping your hedge whether it is Evergreen hedging or Laurels will encourage growth during the first couple of years.

Are Evergreen fast-growing hedges? 

Evergreen shrubs are very fast-growing and are one of the best choices for privacy hedging on the market.

What are ideal hedge shapes for green fence privacy? 

You should choose a hedge type with large leaves such as the green giant arborvitae hedge, hedge sizes with feathery foilage are also a great option for added thickness.

How can I protect my green fence from animals?

Some hedge types such as the English Laurel and Portuguese Laurel are naturally pest repellent, you should also make sure that your fence strength is durable enough.

Final Words 

Overall, to round up our hedge growing article, buying a fast-growing hedge type can help you grow your plant much quicker than a standard type, by following the tips above and creating a good environment for your hedges you can also help promote fast growth.

Always ensure you prepare the soil right for your hedges and ensure there are enough feet between trees when planting your hedges so as they grow correctly and as thick as you would like.

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My father, and his father before him, and his father; for the past 3 generations, my family have always been into gardening. The green fingers is a gift passed down to me and I thoroughly enjoy it! I also have worked in the manufacturing department for Bosch and DeWalt so I like to think I know a thing or two about tools and such!
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