14 Stunning Flowering Hedges and Privacy Shrubs 

There’s no better way to create privacy or a sense of enclosure around your property than by planting hedges. Yes, there are lots of evergreen choices that are perfectly functional. Yet, flowering shrubs take that function a step further with interesting architectural form, fragrance, and vibrant color.

If you’re finding it challenging to decide which shrubs to plant, then you’ve come to the right place. Here, I’ll show you fifteen flowering hedges that thrive in different hardiness zones. Yet, all provide that important sense of privacy and enclosure, in addition to improved curb appeal.

Flowering Hedges 

In landscape design, hedges fall into two categories of function. Those that simply define spaces (when planted around them and consistently pruned to a set height) and those that grow tall enough (when allowed) also to create privacy. 

Below, I’ll show you eight distinct flowering hedge options that do both with form, color, and scent. When imagining each one of these in your garden, there are a few boxes to tick in order to find the perfect fit:

  • Will it thrive in your hardiness zone?
  • Is the mature size and growth rate right for your planting space?
  • Will the texture and color compliment your existing plantings?
  • Are you comfortable with the amount of care it needs or are you looking for something more low-maintenance?

Ready? Let’s dive in.

Waxleaf Privet Hedge 

Waxleaf Privet Hedge 

(Ligustrum japonicum ‘Texanum’)

Summary

In growing zones 7-11, these hardy, low-maintenance shrubs quickly expand 2-3 ft. per year, to a mature size of 8-10 ft. (That’s just one plant!) It prefers full sun. Yet, can tolerate partial shade, with at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. As long as the soil is well-draining with a pH between 6.0 to 8.0.

Appeal

The compact growing habit of its glossy green leaves and fragrant white blooms, in spring, makes the Waxleaf Privet a great choice for hedging walkways and increasing curb appeal. Fast-growing and low maintenance, they can also be grown to privacy height. Or as individual topiary plants.

Care

Water well, in the first season, for strong root establishment. If necessary, a general-purpose fertilizer can be added in early spring. In late winter, pruning will maintain a tidy topiary or hedge shape. 

Lynwood Gold Forsythia

Lynwood Gold Forsythia 

(Forsythia x intermedia)

Summary

Growing at a rate of 2-4 ft. per year (to a mature size of 6-9 ft, all around), each Lynwood forsythia shrub you plant, to create your hedge, offers fantastic value for money. Not to mention the wow factor these provide when planted in full sun, loose, well-draining soil, and a pH of 7.0-8.0. 

Appeal

This golden forsythia clearly goes beyond mere flowering. Thousands of tiny, yellow florets set this shrub ablaze with color that ebbs into autumn with hints of orange and red, as soon as the first year. The end result is an impressive focal point anywhere on your property.

Care

For the first year, forsythia shrubs will need weekly watering to maintain adequate moisture and encourage healthy root establishment. Starting in the second year, natural rainfall is sufficient. When needed, a phosphorus-rich fertilizer will increase color vibrancy and bloom numbers. 

Tri-Color Dappled Willow

Tri-Color Dappled Willow 

(Salix integra ‘Hakuro-nishiki’)

Summary

Dappled willow shrubs expand 2-3 ft. per year, quickly achieving their maximum height and width of 8-10’ in around three years. Thriving in zones 4-9, they’re tolerant of most soil types but prefer well-draining loams with a 5.6-7.8 pH.

Appeal

The beautiful Tri-color willow is a deciduous shrub with a heavy-branching growth habit. Presenting long stems along which soft pink foliage emerges. As leaves mature, they slowly merge into shades of gray-green and white. Who needs flowers with fast-growing and low-maintenance beauty like this? 

Care

Dappled willows need to be kept well-watered to develop such stunning color variations. When young, water twice per week, tapering off weekly as they age. Equal-balanced fertilizer granules can be applied in early spring when needed, and pruning will only be required to remove any broken or damaged branches. 

Conversation Piece Azalea

Conversation Piece Azalea 

(Rhododendron x Robin Hill ‘Conversation Piece’)

Summary

This unique azalea variety is the perfect anchor piece around a cottage garden. With flowers spanning 4” across, this shrub grows 1-2 ft. per season to a mature size of 3-5ft tall and wide. In zones 6-9, these pretty partitions prefer nutrient-rich soil with an acidic pH of 5.5-6.5 and full to partial sun exposure. 

Appeal

Unlike single-color azaleas, flowers in shades of fuchsia, pink and white bloom abundantly, here, in both spring and fall for a continuous show throughout the growing season. Requiring little upkeep, these cold-hardy shrubs are pest, disease, and deer resistant.

Care

Like the dappled willow, the Conversation Piece Azalea requires ample water, especially in the first year and during hot weather. A slow-release azalea fertilizer will support continuous blooming and light pruning, just after flowering has finished, will encourage new growth. 

Kleim's Hardy Gardenia Shrub

Kleim’s Hardy Gardenia Shrub 

(Gardenia jasminoides ‘Kleim’s Hardy’)

Summary

With a mature size of 2-3ft, this generously blooming gardenia variety puts on a spectacular show as both an in-ground or potted hedge, when several pots are placed side-by-side. Preferring full to partial sun, these grow best in moist, well-drained soil with an acidic pH of 5.0-6.5

Appeal

As a relatively small evergreen shrub, the Kleim’s Hardy gardenia presents thick, glossy green leaves that peer out through a veil of highly fragrant, star-shaped, white flowers. Cold hardy down to 0°C (32°F) and deer resistant, these are great choices for increasing front entrance appeal on both rural homesteads and urban dwellings.

Care

In spring, natural rainfall is sufficient. But, in hot summer months, one inch of water weekly will keep your gardenia properly hydrated. Use a slow-release gardenia fertilizer when growth becomes stunted or nutrient deficiencies are observed. 

Wine & Roses Weigela Shrub

Wine & Roses Weigela Shrub 

(Weigela florida ‘Alexandra’)

Summary

This richly-hued Weigela is versatile enough to plant as a low hedge, privacy border, foundation planting or even a potted garden feature. Reaching a mature height of 5ft, at a rapid rate of 1-2ft per year. Surprisingly hardy in colder climates (zones 4-9), this shrub likes partial sun and moist, well-drained soil with a 5.5 and 7.5 pH.

Appeal

There’s nothing more romantic than rose’ pink blossoms against full-bodied, burgundy foliage. On top of providing brilliant, season-long color, this weigela variety attracts lots of hummingbirds and other pollinators. But, not deer, pests, or disease. 

Care

Water weekly, in the first year, to encourage healthy root growth. Once established, watering is necessary only in times of drought. Pruning is typically unnecessary unless a formal look is desired. When unusually slow growth occurs, fertilizer can be applied in early spring. 

'Ever Red' Loropetalum

‘Ever Red’ Loropetalum 

(Loropetalum chinense)

Summary

In zones 7-10, this stunning evergreen shrub can grow to 4-6’ tall and equally as wide, at a rate of 12” per year. It thrives in well-draining, nutrient-rich soil with a 4.5-6.5 pH. As well as full sun, more hours of sunlight equal more intense color. 

Appeal

In late winter, dark red blooms emerge, against deep burgundy foliage, that will fill your outdoor spaces with their heavenly fragrance all season long. The compact size of this low-maintenance Loropetalum variety means only occasional shaping is needed to keep your hedges looking beautiful. 

Care

In the first year, water is deeply to encourage a robust, drought-tolerant root system. When fertilizing is necessary, apply one made for acid-loving plants in late winter, prior to blooming. While fast-growing, these need little pruning. But can tolerate quite a bit if they become overgrown. 

Miss Molly Butterfly Bush

Miss Molly Butterfly Bush 

(Buddleia x ‘Miss Molly’)

Summary

Famous for attracting beneficial pollinators, this Miss Molly buddleia can reach 4-5’ tall and wide in as little as two years. These bushes are sensitive to root rot. So, they prefer loamy, well-draining soil, in zones 5-9. Six to eight hours of daily sunshine will encourage abundant blooming and vibrant color. 

Appeal

Spring foliage emerges in pale green hues that darken with maturity. At the same time, sprays of purple florets reach out to attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees throughout the season.  This non-invasive shrub is sun and heat-loving, making it perfect for warmer climates. 

Care

Pruning is typically unnecessary, but these shrubs do need a moist environment in the first year, to become well-established. After that, natural rainfall should be sufficient. If stunted growth or a lack of flowering occurs, a granular NPK for roses will provide adequate nutrients. 

Flowering Privacy Shrubs 

So far, we’ve seen some gorgeous examples of flowering hedges on which form and color are the stars. But, if you’re looking for some serious flower power, keep reading. These next six hedge options provide just that. 

When looking for privacy hedges specifically, you’ll want to keep a look out for those with dense growing habits. Branches, foliage, and flowers should grow thick enough to block any view into your private outdoor spaces. In addition to adding the same kind of color, texture, and fragrance as the previous examples.

Endless Summer Hydrangea Shrub

Endless Summer Hydrangea Shrub

(Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Balimer’)

Summary

These hydrangeas bloom profusely in zones 4-9 when planted in full morning sun and afternoon shade. Maturing to 4’ up and across, these compact shrubs form an elegant privacy screen around decks and patios that are open to neighbors or the street. Nutrient-rich, well-drained soil, with a 4.5-7.5 pH, is ideal for season-long flowering.

Appeal

The Endless Summer Hydrangea displays large mophead blooms that can change from pink to purple to blue, depending on soil acidity. All on a bed of dark, green leaves that span 4-8” in length. This spectacular show starts in early summer and can last until late fall in warmer climates. 

Care

In summer, water 1-2 times per week to avoid drooping, and use a hydrangea fertilizer with an NPK formulated for acid-loving plants. Prune away dead branches in late spring, prior to new buds emerging. 

Common Purple Lilac

Common Purple Lilac 

(Syringa vulgaris)

Summary

This luxurious lilac matures to 15’ feet tall, forming an exquisite and lush alternative to other privacy shrub options. Known for their cold hardiness, lilacs thrive in zones 4-8 and are tolerant of most soil conditions. They grow fast, filling in nicely as a hedge, at a rate of 1-2 ft per year. 

Appeal

There’s nothing “common” about the breathtaking show of color and scent that lilacs put on. These make abundantly blooming hedges that can improve curb appeal and privacy by leaps and bounds! Pale violet flower clusters bloom throughout spring against large, heart-shaped leaves.

Care

In the first year, lilacs should be well-watered for healthy root growth. In extreme heat, weekly watering will keep branches from drooping. Pruning isn’t necessary aside from removing damaged branches and if needed, an all-purpose flowering shrub fertilizer can be applied in early spring. 

Sunny Knock Out Rose Tree

Knock Out Rose Tree

(Rosa ‘RADsunny’)

Summary

The knock-out rose offers bright, sunny color. In zones 4-11, mature sizes can reach 3-5 ft, growing a full 2’ in a single season. Lots of blooms result from full sun, moist, well-draining soil, and a 5.5-6.5 pH.

Appeal

This is a deciduous tree with a denser growing habit than other rose varieties. 3” blooms range from white to pale yellow to canary yellow and are dotted among dark green leaves. When planted in a row, these trees will grow together to form a very appealing hedge.

Care

Water deeply, once or twice per week, right at the soil line. While knockouts are more disease resistant than standard roses, avoid getting the foliage wet. A well-balanced rose fertilizer can be applied just after the first flowering stage and an early spring pruning will encourage vigorous new growth. 

Limelight Hydrangea Tree

Limelight Hydrangea Tree 

(Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ )

Summary

Growing 6’ tall and 7’ wide, Limelight Hydrangea trees planted in a row will form a stunning privacy hedge, with plenty of room for lovely under plantings that like a bit of shade. These exhibit a growth rate of 2’ per year, in zones 3-9, when planted in full sun to partial shade and acidic soil.  

Appeal

Limelights are panicle hydrangeas that present an abundant display of 10-inch, conical blooms, each summer, that transition from pale green to soft white, cream, and pink through fall. Cold-hardy and drought-tolerant, these are surprisingly low-maintenance.

Care

To maintain moisture consistency for new plantings, water every week to 10 days. Once established, natural rainfall will be sufficient. Fertilize Limelights in April and June with an NPK formulated for acid-loving plants. Pruning these back by ⅓ in early spring will encourage new growth and budding. 

Miss Kim Lilac Shrub

Miss Kim Lilac Shrub 

(Syringa pubescens ‘Miss Kim’)

Summary

More compact than the common lilac yet still sizable enough to serve as a hedge, “Miss Kim” stands 4-5 feet tall and 5-7 feet wide, in maturity. With a growth rate of 12-24” per year, in zones 3-8. This means maintenance is even easier and your hedge grows faster! Thriving in full sun, this lilac variety is tolerant of most soil types that drain well. 

Appeal

From spring to early summer, this bushy, deciduous shrub produces numerous panicles of fragrant florets in lavender and light blue hues. Sturdy branches deliver dense green foliage that fades to a rich autumn burgundy. 

Care

Weekly watering will satisfy the needs of this pretty bloomer, including rainfall. One fertilizer application in spring will encourage longer bloom times and winter hardiness. Pruning is needed only if a specific hedge shape is desired. 

Ruby Prince Crape Myrtle Tree

Ruby Prince Crape Myrtle Tree 

(Syringa pubescens ‘Miss Kim’)

Summary

This regal bloomer may have a short 3-4ft stature, but one shrub can grow 15-20 ft wide. I was making these the most economical flowering hedges on this list! In zones 6-10, this compact crepe myrtle variety thrives in full sun and most well-draining soils with a pH range of 5.5-7.5. 

Appeal

The Ruby Prince is named for its gleaming pink blossoms that shoot through emerald green foliage. Its long bloom time, from early summer to late autumn, along with being low-maintenance and drought-tolerant, only add to its effortless appeal. 

Care

Though drought is tolerant, new plantings will need more water in the summer heat. A slow-release Crepe Myrtle feed in early spring and summer will encourage repeat blooms. For increased visual appeal, prune back all but 5 strong trunks. As well as all lower branches. 

Flowering Hedges Final Thoughts 

So, which ones can you imagine incorporating into your landscape? The rapidly growing, tri-colored dappled willow or cottage-inspired conversation piece azalea will give you great value for money while graciously welcoming guests and increasing your curb appeal.

How about a privacy hedge around your patio, deck, or front yard? Did you see one that would fit your space and have a dense enough growing habit? A row of endless summer hydrangeas or lilacs would undoubtedly provide that, as well as fill your outdoor spaces with stunning color and fragrance.