Hedge Plants for Cold Climates
All plants need water and sunlight to survive, so naturally, most hedge plants enjoy a sunny summer day and some extra water. The colder temperatures and shorter daylight hours of the winter are too much to bear for some plants, especially in the relatively cold north of the UK. Fortunately, there are many hedge plants for cold climates available. It is always wise to pay attention to the hardiness of your hedge plants, but especially if your garden is located in an area that is particularly cold or windy, it is important to know if your hedge is fully frost hardy. Though it is possible to protect non-hardy plants against the cold, planting a hedge that can withstand the frost would be a wiser choice.
Evergreen Hedge Plants for Cold Climates
The fact that a plant retains its leaves throughout the winter months does not necessarily mean that it is frost hardy. Most hedging conifers – yew, dawn redwood and all thuja varieties in particular – are perfectly able to cope with temperatures below zero, but if you are looking for an evergreen non-conifer hedge, we advise you to carefully select your plants. Oleaster, broadleaf, photinia and laurustinus are not good choices for cold-resistant hedges, as they are prone to frost damage. Holly would be a much better choice, which explains why it is so commonly associated with the holiday season. The cherry laurel varieties ‘Etna’ and ‘Zabeliana’ do not mind frost either. There are even evergreen flowering hedges that can survive the winter months without too much trouble; rhododendron varieties are not only colourful, but also very hardy.
Deciduous Hedge Plants for Cold Climates
Despite shedding their leaves, some deciduous plants can be surprisingly hardy, beech being the most obvious example. Both the common beech and the copper beech will grow happily at a relatively cold site, though it should be noted that they may shed some of their leaves when the temperatures drop too far below zero. This may seem logical, with beech being a deciduous species, but they will hold on to their dry leaves in most warm or sheltered positions. We would recommend anyone living in a relatively cold place with a preference for hedges with striking flowers to avoid planting a butterfly bush hedge in their gardens. Hydrangea and especially potentilla are better options for cold sites. Fortunately both of these flowering hedge plants are available in many different colours.
A cold climate is not favourable for any plant, but that does not mean that you cannot have a beautiful hedge if you live in an area where winters are relatively harsh. In fact, there is a large and varied selection of hedge plants available that will do just fine in a relatively cold garden: from colourful flowering hedge plants to varieties that lend themselves perfectly for privacy hedges.