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Fill Gaps In Hedges – How To [Inc. Leylandii And Privet Hedges]

It is bothersome to see gaps in your fully-grown hedges. Although there are imperfections when growing hedges, it is possible to fill in these gaps. By doing so, you create neat and more attractive hedges. Find out how to fill your hedges with our in-depth research.

Here are some ways to fill gaps in hedges:

  • Mask the bare bottom.
  • Add flowering shrubs.
  • Make use of the outlying branches.
  • Add decorative garden ornaments.
  • Arrange wood gratings, vines, trellis, and structures.

Filling the gaps in hedges is easy. You can be creative in covering the gaps with your chosen plants and other hedge adornments. When filling the gaps, you also need to ensure the healthy growth of the hedge plants. Continue reading to learn how to fill gaps in different hedges.

How To Fill Gaps In Hedges

A Swedish girl who sees through a hedge. The concept of curiosity or what lies on the other side.

Garden hedges provide you with both beauty and privacy for your gardens. However, gaps can make them look unattractive. Do not fret because there are easy solutions that will revive the beauty of your hedges.

Here are some ways to fill the gaps in hedges:

Mask the Bare Bottom

Conceal the void at the hedge's base by planting new and bigger plants in front of it. Choose big plants because smaller ones will not grow enough when it is time for trimming.

Add Flowering Shrubs

You can add your choice of flowering shrubs to hide the gaps and unattractive parts of the hedge. This way, you not only fill in gaps but also add blooms that enhance the hedge's appearance. The small to medium size of the shrubs is ideal as camouflage for a hedge.

Make Use of the Outlying Branches

Try hiding gaps with neighboring branches of plants in the hedge. You can do this by redirecting the shoots of the adjacent plants with some support. Give it time, and the gaps will close.

Add Decorative Garden Ornaments

Showcase your creativity by adding decorative garden ornaments in front of the hedge. There are plenty of hedge decor you can buy online and in gardening stores.

Arrange Wood Gratings, Vines, Trellis, and Structures

Arrange wood gratings, plant vines, trellises, and similar supports to conceal any void area of the hedge. This technique creates an illusion of a filled hedge by adding some structures behind the hedge, such as a fence, brick wall, or stone columns. In that way, the gaps will not be obvious.

Tips When Filling Gaps In Hedges

When you fill in the gaps, there are some tips worth noting:

  • The plants you can grow under or in front of the hedge will depend on the type of hedge. You can get some plant ideas here: What To Plant Under Hedges [7 Ideas Including Flowers!]
  • When adding new plants, consider the growing room. Hedges have deep and established roots that you might sever while planting. The new plants need more nutrients, so give them enough room to avoid competing with the existing hedge.
  • Place the new plants or other structures close enough together, otherwise they will not effectively conceal the gaps. The distance of the masking plants or structures also depends on the type of hedge.
  • Regularly water and nourish the plants with fertilizer. By doing so, you also keep the hedge healthy and lively.
  • Prevent new gaps from forming by taking care of the hedge. Remove pests and avert diseases that affect the growth of hedge plants.
  • If your hedge has gaps on the bottom, dig a 1-foot deep trench in front. Then fill the trench with compost. Afterward, plant contrasting shrubs that can tolerate some dry shade.

How To Fill Gaps In Leylandii Hedge

Garden hedges in England outside a Victorian house (England), Fill Gaps In Hedges - How To [Inc. Leylandii And Privet Hedges]

Leylandii is a popular conifer, producing a lush, dense, and evergreen hedge. This fast-growing conifer will create an effective privacy hedge because it can grow up to 4 meters tall. You can also trim the hedge to any shape you want.

If your leylandii hedge has gaps, you can grow plants underneath it. Leylandii is an evergreen plant that uses hedgerows as fillers.

Below are some plants suitable for leylandii hedges:

  • Bergenia
  • Climbing hydrangea
  • Fargesia
  • Griselinia
  • Laurel
  • Persian ivy

There are many choices of plants that grow well with leylandii. You can grow shrubs, herbs, bushes, flowers, grass, creepers, and climbers. All of which help fill the bare areas of the hedge.

If the gap is big enough, you can add a new leylandii tree.

If you have other conifer hedges in your garden, you can refer to this post: How To Fill Gaps In A Conifer Hedge [In 5 Easy Steps].

How To Fill Gaps In Privet Hedge

hedge made of leylandii spurce

A privet hedge is one of the common hedge types. It creates a classic feel but is affordable to create. Privet can grow tall and wide while producing dense foliage. This hedge is popular as a boundary for properties and topiary displays.

They will grow well in the right conditions. Hence, the right maintenance will keep the hedge looking good.

However, there will be gaps that ruin the appearance of the hedge. Just like leylandii, you can also grow to fill in gaps.

For a privet hedge, you can plant the following underneath:

  • Aspidistra
  • Ferns
  • Geranium
  • Sweet woodruff
  • Rusty foxglove

Besides adding new plants, you can also cut back the hedge base in the summer. If the base gets sunlight and you prune the vertical tips, it will grow back.

How To Fill Deciduous Hedges (Like Hawthorne And Beech)?

You can add suitable plants for this type of hedge. It is best to choose bare-root or root-wrapped plants to add to the hedge. The best time to fill the gaps is during fall.

Besides planting, you can also cut off the height of the hedge. Although deciduous hedges will shed leaves in fall or winter, they can grow back from old wood. Hedge experts recommend that you renovate during the winter.

Also, you can do hedge laying. You can lay the following plants near the hedge base:

  • Ash
  • Blackthorn
  • Elm
  • Field maple
  • Hazel

There are courses for hedge laying that you can join to know the best practices.

What Causes Gaps In Hedges?

converging hedges park green and healthy plants

In addition to learning how to fill the gaps, you should also know what causes them. You must know the causes to prevent or minimize the gaps. The common causes are the following:

Not Enough Sunlight

Most gaps are on the bottom of the hedge. That happens because they do not get enough sunlight. Plants need the sun to photosynthesize, and with shade from the rest of the hedge, the bottom can deteriorate.

Pruning Problems

Pruning can help keep the hedge's shape, but too much pruning may cause a cessation of growth for some branches. Be careful not to prune the young and budding branches.

Pests And Diseases

Another reason is the presence of pests and diseases specific to a species of hedge. You must act immediately to remove the pests and treat the hedge. With the dense leaves and tall heights, the problems can spread to the whole hedge.

Environmental Factors

Moreover, there can be gaps due to the weather or season. The cold winter can be harsh for the hedge. Also, you may cause damage to the hedge when recklessly plowing the snow. Storms and strong winds can break the tiny branches and remove the leaves.

Keeping the hedge with no gaps is hard work, but it will surely pay off because you get your desired privacy in your garden.

In Summary

Garden hedges in England outside a Victorian house (England)

Hedges create good privacy or boundary for your garden. However, they can develop unsightly gaps.

You can fill the gaps with easy solutions. The most common is adding new plants under the hedge to conceal a bare base. Others have a creative way to hide gaps by adding fences, vines, or walls. Some redirect the tiny branches of the plants to close the gaps.

By filling in the gaps, you maintain the attractiveness of your hedge.