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Here are some Frequently Asked Questions and advice about Leylandii and Hedging Plants. If you can't find the answer or are having difficulty ordering online, please contact us and we will try and help you.

How far apart do I need to plant to form a dense screen?

We recommmend planting Leylandii, Laurel and other evergreen shrubs* between 60cm and 100cm apart (approximately 2-3 feet apart). Hedges with plants 60cm apart "fill in" quicker than those planted 100cm apart but you get just as good a hedge in the long run at either distance apart.

If you want to form a very tall hedge (5m or taller) or are planting our extra bushy laurel (180cm+ sizes) then plant at 100cm apart.

Click here to go to our Planting Distance Calculator to work out the number of plants you need

*Buxus sempervirens (Common Box) needs to be planted 30cm (1ft) apart

How do I get the hedge to "fill in" quicker?

Trim the shoots coming out of the hedge, this will encourage the side shoots within the hedge to grow and the hedge will fill in much quicker than if you leave these shoots to get long and wide. If you imagine how wide you want the hedge to be and trim any shoots coming out wider than you want the width of the hedge, this will create a narrow but dense hedge. Leave the top shoot until it is about 15cm (6 inches) lower than you want the hedge to be and then trim this off.

When is the best time to plant leylandii and other evergreen shrubs?

The best time to plant is between September and March but container-grown plants can be planted at any time of year provided they are given sufficient water. If you plant between September and February, you probably won't need to water them unless you want to increase the amount of growth you get over the summer period. If you plant between April and September, then you will need to water the soil around their roots twice a week or more to ensure the roots do not dry out while they are getting established in the soil.

Can I keep a leylandii hedge small and/or narrow?

Yes, leylandii can be kept trimmed to any height and width. It is a myth that they can't be kept small. If you want to keep a leylandii hedge small, you will need to trim it twice a year to keep it looking neat. We have kept a leylandii hedge at 120cm (4ft) tall by 45cm (18 inches) wide for 20 years by trimming it twice a year. There is also a picture of a 90cm (3ft) leylandii hedge on our Hedge Gallery - proof that they can be kept small. To keep a hedge narrow, you need to trim off any shoots/branches coming out of the hedge wider than you want the hedge to be. Do this from the start, as soon as you plant the hedge, and you will encourage the side shoots to grow within the hedge. This will create a narrow hedge that "fills in" quicker.

When is the best time to trim a leylandii hedge?

You can trim a leylandii hedge at any time of year. We do ours annually in September. You should avoid trimming during the bird's nesting season (March to July) as many birds like to nest in leylandii and you will disturb them if you trim at this time.

How often do I need to trim a leylandii hedge?

Once or twice a year will keep the hedge neat. There is less waste to get rid of and it is an easier job if you trim it twice a year. We trim ours once a year on the nursery and this keeps them looking good. We do not recommend trimming them more than twice a year as it can weaken the plants especially if they are trimmed back too hard. We recommend leaving 10cm (4in) of green growth on the hedge. Do not trim it back close to the brown.

All hedges made of evergreen shrubs (e.g. laurel) need trimming once a year.

How fast do they grow a year?

Under ideal conditions, leylandii will grow up to 100cm (3ft) per year. The golden form of leylandii, Castlewellan, grows slightly slower than the green form (approx 75-80cm per year) but Castlewellan tend to put more of their energy into "bushing out" as they grow upwards so in overall terms, there is little difference in time to form the hedge. Leylandii will often grow less in the first year as they establish their root systems but growth in their first year can be achieved by watering them regularly over the summer - this means giving the soil around their roots a good soak once or twice a week.

Laurel grows up to 60cm (2ft) a year under ideal conditions. 

Do smaller plants grow faster than larger specimens?

No, not if all the plants are planted well and are given sufficient feed and water while they are establishing. A plant that is 2m tall will form a 2m+ dense hedge quicker than one that is 1m tall. We planted some of our 175-200cm leylandii in Greenshutters Multipurpose Compost and watered them regularly. We got 60cm+ growth in the first year after planting, 90cm growth in the second year.

What are ideal conditions for growth?

Ideal conditions are a moist but well-drained soil with adequate feed for the first year or two. We recommend planting them with Greenshutters' Multipurpose Compost that contains Osmocote 12-14 month Controlled-Release Fertiliser. It's the compost we grow them in, so it's got all the feed they need for a whole year. You will also get more growth from your plants if they are watered during the summer and if they are in full sun. Leylandii will grow well in shade (just not quite as fast). Leylandii will stand up well to strong winds but this will reduce their speed of growth and make them grow bushier.

How deep do the holes need to be when I plant them?

It depends on the size you buy from us. Plants in 3 litre pots need a hole about 30cm wide by 25cm deep. Plants in 7.5 litre pots need a hole about 40cm wide by 35 cm deep and plants in 15 litre pots need a hole 50cm wide by 40cm deep.

My leylandii hedge has grown too tall and wide. Can I trim it back?

You can always reduce the height but you cannot cut back into old wood to make it much narrower as leylandii will not re-shoot from old wood (wood with no green shoots on it). As long as you leave green shoots, then the plants will shoot back. Leylandii should be trimmed regularly from a young age, if this is done, they can be kept any height and any width. Unfortunately, if you have inherited a huge hedge or let one go, then, in many cases, it is better to cut it down and start again.

How far from a wall or fence can I plant them?

We recommend about 45-60cm (18-24 inches). Bear in mind that the part of the hedge against the wall or fence will turn brown once the hedge has filled-in as no light will get to that side of the hedge. Above the fence growth will be normal. This will not harm the hedge and you will not see it but if the wall or fence is removed at a later date, the hedge will look brown on that side and will not re-shoot.

How do I plant leylandii or other evergreen shrubs?

Clear any weeds or grass from the area where the hole is to be dug. Dig the hole to a suitable size (see above). Break up the soil in the bottom of the hole with a spade and mix in some compost (we recommend Greenshutters Multipurpose Compost with Osmocote 12-14 month controlled-release fertiliser). Water the root-ball of the plant so it is moist all the way through. Remove the pot. Place the plant in the hole and back-fill with soil and compost. Firm around the sides of the root-ball. Stake the plant if necessary.

Do I need to stake the leylandii plants?

If they are large plants and/or are in a windy position, then you will need to stake the plants.

How do I trim my tall leylandii hedge? I don't like going up ladders with a hedgetrimmer in one hand.

Either keep the hedge at a height where you can cut it without a ladder (e.g. 2m or 6 feet) or we recommend using a Henchman Hi-Step Hedgecutting platform. These are available from Henchman and provide a safe and stable platform for cutting hedges up to 4.75m (15ft) tall. Both hands are free to cut the hedge. The platforms have four adjustable legs so can be used on uneven grown. For further details please call us on 01460 281265 or email sales@evergreenhedging.co.uk. If you would like us to send you a brochure, please include your name and address.

Are your plants container-grown or field-grown?

All our leylandii are container-grown. Some of our large laurel are field-grown.

Will they need watering after I plant them?

It depends on the time of year you plant them. If you plant between October and March, then you probably won't need to water them unless you want to increase the amount of growth you get over the summer period. If you plant between April and September, you will need to water the soil around their roots twice a week or more to ensure the roots do not dry out while they are getting established in the soil.

How long does it take to form a really dense screen?

It depends on the growing conditions and how far apart you plant them. Under ideal conditions, leylandii should create a good screen after two years growth when planting 120cm+ plants at 60cm apart and it will take about three years at 100cm apart.

Laurel and other evergreen shrubs will generally take longer although the extra bushy 180cm+ tall Laurel should form a reasonable screen immediately when planted 100cm apart

Is there any difference between Green Leylandii and Castlewellan Gold, apart from the colour?

The golden form of leylandii, Castlewellan, grows slightly slower than the green form (approx 75-80cm per year) but Castlewellan tend to put more of their energy into "bushing out" as they grow upwards so in overall terms, there is usually little difference in time to form a dense hedge.

What is the current legislation about leylandii & other high hedges?

Leylandii can still be planted as a hedge without any problems as long as they are well-maintained. The Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 relates to high hedges and allows councils to take action where "reasonable enjoyment of a property is being adversely affected by the height of a high hedge situated on land owned or occupied by another person". Nuisance hedges (not always leylandii) are often planted deliberately to annoy neighbours. Hedges should be kept to a height where they are not a nuisance to neighbours.

There are complicated calculations to determine what constitutes a nuisance hedge that take into account factors such as proximity to a neighbours house, height of hedge and the loss of light to a house or garden. If you are planting a hedge close to a neighbour's house you must not let it grow more than 2 metres (6'6") tall. For more details see the Government Paper on Hedge Height and Light Loss -click here to follow the link

Is there free delivery for orders over £50?

Unfortunately not. Delivery will be charged at cost. We try and keep the price of our plants as low as possible. We do not include delivery charge in the cost of the plants in case you would like to collect the plants from our Plant Centre in Somerset. Orders must total more than £50.00 for us to deliver. For more details on our delivery charge, please click here.

Where will you deliver?

We deliver to most of the UK. Our minimum order is £50.00 worth of plants plus delivery charge. Please enter your postcode when you view your Basket and then click Update. The delivery charge will then be displayed. If your postcode is not recognised or the plants are too tall for delivery by courier, please ring us on 01460 281265 to get a quote for delivery. To see how we calculate delivery charge, please click here

If plants are in stock, we are usually able to deliver within 2-3 working days. You can choose your delivery date just before the payment stage of the checkout process.

How can I pay?

Payment can be made by credit card online or over the phone. We may need to get a signature and see the card at the time of delivery, especially if the card address is different from the delivery address.

How do I place an order?

You can place your order online or you can ring us on 01460 281265 and we can take your order over the phone. Our opening hours are 9.00am-5.30pm Monday to Saturday and 10.00am-4.00pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays.


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