There are plant fences (aka hedge fences), and then there are plants you grow on your fence. In this article, we’ll discuss the latter and give you some ideas on the best plants for the job.
But first, let’s address why you shouldn’t get a hedge fence.
WHY NOT A HEDGE FENCE?
Sometimes homeowners think that having a hedge fence will be a pretty, easy, and cheap way to create a border barrier along their property.
The truth is, hedges aren’t always pretty — in winter, many hedges turn into leafless, lifeless masses of twigs — and they certainly aren’t easy, requiring many hours of care and expertise to get them shaped and growing like they should be.
That means if you don’t want to invest constantly in watering, fertilizing, and landscaping, a hedge fence isn’t for you.
INSTALL A FENCE, ADD PLANTS
Installing a fence and then growing plants along the fence line (or on the fence itself) is a more beneficial option, because…
- The fence provides the security and protection, while the plant offers the visual appeal.
- If you want a pretty barrier at low cost, install a basic, low-cost fence (e.g. plank, chain link) and add plants for beauty.
- Plants can be cheaply changed out if you don’t like the look. If you don’t like how your fence looks, you may just have to live with it!
That said, here is a list of
THE BEST PLANTS TO GROW ALONG OR ON YOUR FENCE
1. GREEN VINES
Vines are the usual go-to for fences because they create a pretty facade and are fairly easy to maintain. Just remember they need something to grab onto, so vines are great for fences like chain link, plank, lattice, or stone/brick that has places for the vines’ tendrils or feet to grab hold of.
Also consider clumping flowers, like the climbing hydrangea, that offer great splayed-looking cuttings for flower arrangements!
Don’t limit yourself to leaves and flowers! There are a few plants that make great fence companions that will also pay you back in delicious fruits and vegetables.
Peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, and certain types of melon and squash are all edibles that can all be grown on a fence.
4. BARRIER PLANTS
If you want to double your fence’s protective qualities, you can opt for barrier plants that further deter visitors. Such plants include evergreen hedges, like the classic boxwood.
If you want pops of color, consider the American Holly with its small red berries and spiny leaves, or the always-popular rose, which deter with their thorns and knotty twigs but also provide pretty flowers to look at.
You may not want to cover up your fence, but simply add some additional appeal to your property line. In that case, consider low-growing shrubs that add color without adding height.
The dwarf burning bush is a great option, as it’s bright red foliage and shorter stature offer color without heft. They’re also easily trimmed and shaped, making them good choices if you like that manicured, topiary look.
If you want flowers, consider weigelas. Their blooms range from white to purple and are popular hummingbird and butterfly attractants.