How to Trim a Hedge

Whilst the plants are still young, the shaping process must begin.
- Leave the main stem of each plant to grow to the height that you want the hedge, but trim the lower branches to about half their length so that the plant becomes more bushy.
- It is important to trim the hedge so that it slopes from wider at the bottom to narrower at the top in order for the lower part to receive enough light and therefore to continue to grow.
- In order to trim the hedge straight, once it is fully grown, it is useful to tie a string along the line that you want the hedge to follow.
- Deciduous hedges need to be cut in Winter and evergreen hedges should be trimmed just before new shoots appear in the spring.
- Trim new shoots later in the season to encourage further bushiness.

Buxus hedging

A new hedge will need light trimming to keep in shape. Shape as you would a mature hedge and this will prevent new growth from taking off in the wrong direction and will encourage bushiness in the right areas. Once the hedge is established it should only need trimming twice a year and this should be after the autumn and spring flush. Don’t trim too early in the spring, wait until the new growth is fairly advanced and then trim to shape.

Whilst the hedge is young, trimming with hedge clippers is easiest but as the hedge becomes mature, a motorized hedge trimmer is sometimes easier and certainly worth investing in. Keep the base of the hedge slightly wider than the top. It’s important to prevent weeds from growing within the hedge so that the hedge can develop without straggly weeds growing through and it can grow to its best potential.

The hedge will benefit from a couple of feeds a year - one just as the spring flush is emerging and the other at the beginning of autumn. Feed with slow release fertilizer. Plants also respond very favourably to a regular organic feed, so fairly thick annual mulch with a good quality, weed free compost at the beginning of spring will do the job and also help to keep the weeds under control.

Camellia hedging

As new growth occurs, trim it into the shape of a hedge. Trimming will encourage the plant to become bushy and fill the spaces in between the leaf growth. Trim twice a year: after the spring flush and then again the after the autumn flush.
Feed with organic compost as with the Buxus hedging.

English Lavender hedging

English Lavender, which has attractive spires of perfumed, lavender blue flowers in the spring will require fairly hard cutting back once they have finished flowering in order to ensure vigorous flowering for the following season. It is important to keep the area weed free and again, a thick dressing of organic compost in the late winter or early autumn will both feed the soil, and therefore the plants, and help to reduce weed growth. Take care not to cut the lavender too far below the woody stems as they may not recover. It is better to trim to the level of new growth from the last season.


Wairere Nursery
826 Gordonton Road, R D 1, Hamilton 3281 Ph: (07) 824 3430 Email: