Top 10 Hedge Plants in India for Live Fencing
Shrubs or trees planted at regular intervals to form a continuous screen is called a hedge. A garden hedge can serve the purpose of compound wall, give shelter from strong winds, ensure privacy, and form a background screen for a flower garden, vegetable garden etc. A live impregnable hedge, reinforced with barbed wire, is inexpensive compared to a boundary wall and if appropriately maintained looks better. Monsoon is the best time to start a new hedge by planting seeds or cuttings.
Following are the top plants that can be used as hedges in the live fence:
1. Euphorbia antiquorum (Tridhara):
This is the most common spiny succulent shrub grown in India along the fenceline of farmlands. Because of its look, this plant is often misidentified as a cactus. Once established, it makes an impregnable, tall, protective hedge and reaches up to 3 meters high. Buy cacti & succulents online.
2. Pedilanthus tithymaloides (Devils backbone):
This spineless & often leafless succulent belonging to spurge family is commonly used as an ornamental hedge. It’s a very hardy plant that forms a thick live fence in real quick time. Stem cuttings are planted 10-15 cm apart in double rows spaced 15 cm from each other.
3. Clerodendrum inermis (Vilayti Mehendi):
This shrub is the most suitable for ornamental and protective hedging. The leaves are attractive and polished green in colour. It is hardy, drought resistant, stands trimming very well, and does not harbour snakes as the leaves have an offensive odour. It is rather slow growing and takes about two years to form into a good hedge. It is planted 15-20 cm apart in double rows spaced at the same distance.
4. Bougainvillea spectabilis:
Many hardy varieties of Bougainvillea form right protective as well as ornamental hedges capable of withstanding frequent trimming. Planting is done at 60 to 90 cm spacing, and the plants are trained against the barbed wire of a fence. Stems, including side shoots, are trimmed to form bushy appearance. Plants without support can also be prepared as a live fence, but supported hedge of Bougainvillea looks neat.
5. Carissa carandas (Karonda):
A thorny bushy shrub which is used as an effective protective hedge. Apart from this, the plant produces delightful fruits in summer which are cherished all over India. Seeds are sown 60-75 cm apart in single rows. Stem cuttings also root easily in monsoon. Read about monsoon gardening tips.
6. Jatropha curcas (Mogli Erand, Biodiesel):
Jatropha is a perennial poisonous shrub, up to 5 m high. It is an uncultivated non-food wild-species which have naturalized in India. It is used as a living fence to protect gardens and fields from animals as no livestock feeds on the leaves. Stem cuttings root easily in rains.
7. Duranta erecta:
This large, fast-growing, multi-stemmed shrub is famous as a screen, background planting and live hedge. Pale blue flowers attract butterflies in summer and are followed by bunches of golden-orange berries, popular with birds. The variegated or golden yellow varieties look very ornamental. It is planted 30-40 cm apart in multiple rows & can be kept quite low by trimming.
8. Lawsonia inermis (Henna, Mehendi):
A shrub that can grow up to 2.5 m tall. Grows without care and it is a good hedge for dry localities. The white sweet-scented flowers are borne in perfusion, followed by berries. The crushed leaves are used for colouring nails and palms. The shrub needs severe pruning if you wish to keep it in shape. It is grown from seeds or cuttings spaced at 40-60 cm apart.
9. Murraya paniculata (Kamini, Kunti):
A tall shrub, growing up to 3 m and sometimes even more. The foliage is beautiful, dark green, glossy and pinnate. White flowers appearing in rains are fragrant. This plant stands to prune well and forms a good, tall, attractive hedge when adequately trimmed. The shrub is propagated from seeds or by air layering.
10. Hamelia patens (Firebush):
A perpetually flowering, handsome shrub with branching habit. It has ornamental shining foliage. A well-trimmed hedge of Hamelia is an object of beauty. It goes very well in a fence and grows well either in light shade or full sun. It is planted 30 cm apart, and branches at the centre require pruning every year.
Apart from these, there are many more plants that can be used for hedging viz. Palms, Acalypha, Caesalpinia, Aralia, Eranthemum, Lantana Tecoma, Cactus etc.
Read more about How to Build a Hedge Like a Pro.