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Leylandii Hedging Questions

Hello everyone.

I'm new to gardening and am after some advice please.

I'm planting a hedge row in the garden of my first home (using Leylandii) and am wondering a couple of things;

1. What's the benefits of a 5ltr pot plant over a 2ltr pot plant?
2. How far in from the pavement will I need to plant?
3. How much 'footprint' will each plant take up when grown to about 200cm? I.e. what gap do I need in between each plant?

I've researched for hours online but have found differing answers and am somewhat confused by it all.

Many thanks in advance, any assistance would be gratefully received!



  • glasgowdanglasgowdan Posts: 632
    I'd plant 18" back from the pavement and about 24-30" apart. I'd also probably go for 5l pots over 2l ones as they'll be less likely ro be trodden on or damaged accidentally in the first year.

    Trim them annually once they start getting to size and it'll be an excellent hedge.
  • Thanks very much. I'd put a similar post on Facebook and had been shot down about Leylandii as they can be out of control. Are they really as bad as people make out? Or would 1 trim a year suffice?

  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,272
    edited April 2018
    Leylandii has some advantages and quite a few disadvantages.

    Advantages: It’s cheap, it grows quickly and it’s evergreen.

    Disadvantages: It’s natural height is probably more than your house so its mature trunks are more than a foot in diameter. It dries out the soil and nothing will grow under it. Its branches don’t regrow if they are pruned back. It has a nasty habit when older of losing its density due to die back. It makes enemies of your neighbours.

    But if you don’t plan on staying in the house for more than ten years the disadvantages won’t be your problem, they will be your successor’s.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601

    They can make an excellent hedge in a very large garden. The problem is that if they are not trimmed regularly, they grow very fast to enormous proportions and cannot then be cut back because they do not grow from bare branches. That is, if they are very bushy, and you cut back to old wood, they remain woody with no regrowth of green. They can be expensive to remove once they grow very tall, too. So the problem is that if you, or any subsequent owner, neglect it, it will become a public nuisance.

    It is also worth considering that they are very hungry trees, drawing water and nutrients from the soil so you won't be able to grow any garden plants under or near them. There are so many attractive and easy options that it is difficult to find good reason for planting Leylandii these days.

  • JellyfireJellyfire Posts: 1,139
    edited April 2018
    Nearly everyone I know who has Leylandii is usually talking about how they can get rid of their Leylandii. My neighbours’ are the bane of my garden, they are huge and cast a dark dry shadow across a large part of the garden. 
    I think they are fine in the right situation (ie a large garden, and not blocking the light from your neighbours) but make sure they are well managed, they grow very quickly and if not kept in check they soon become an issue 

    Worth bearing in mind it’s not just the height but the width that is an issue. This one is in next door, but Ian probably 25ft wide. About 10ft overhangs my garden and is too high too do anything about. If it trim it there is just brown dead foliage left to look at, the whole of that border is dry and pretty unusable for most plants 
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,314
    I inherited a leylandii hedge that’s testament to what happens when not regularly pruned, grown far too tall, been hacked back with a chainsaw by the look of it so lots of bare/brown patches with bushy topknots where they obviously couldn’t reach to trim. I agree it can be a useful privacy hedge if looked after, though. Another advantage is that it’s really good for reducing road noise and absorbing pollution. If your heart is set on it, go ahead Jack, but be prepared to put in the work!
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,530
    I'm with @glasgowdan.
    Look after it and it's an excellent plant. 
    To say they get out of control is like saying some dogs bite folk therefore  all dogs are bad. They only get out of control if you let them.
    Put in a bit of effort once or twice a year and it can be kept to the 2m height you want.
  • Thank you for all of the replies - what a brilliant forum.

    My conclusion is that if I keep on top of it, it will be okay. I plan to live here for the foreseeable future so at least I know it’ll be kept tidy in my lifetime.

    If trimmed branches don’t grow back green, what happens when the hedge is at the height I need and I keep trimming it that size for several years. Will it remain green and in shape, or will it eventually start going brown?

    Are there any alternative similar looking plants I can consider? I don’t want a ‘leafy’ hedge row, but have struggled finding any alternative conifers.

    Thanks again for the replies folks.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,530
    If you're there for the long haul, Yew is undoubtedly the best hedge IMHO . Plant them small and they'll reward you with a lovely hedge. 
    If you trim Leylandii every year ( twice if you're in the mood ) it won't get out of control.
    When folk say "trimmed branches won't come back green" they mean if it's cut back into old wood, ie a major haircut. don't let it get out of hand and it won't be an issue.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,905
    If you want a "leylandii looking" hedge, you could consider thuja plicata instead.  
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