Hedging plants for clay soil

Clay soils sometimes have a reputation for being impossible to work. In reality, if you condition the soil in the right way and choose hedging plants suitable for clay, it is one of the best type of soils for establishing a hedge in.  Just remember to incorporate plenty of well-rotted organic matter such as garden compost, leaf mould or bark chippings and add one-fifth coarse grit if your ground lies wet for some of the year. Here at Jackson’s Nurseries, we’ve been growing hedging plants on clay for three generations (in a part of the UK that was historically known for its pottery industry), leaving us well placed to advise on the best hedge varieties to thrive on clay in your own garden. We show our best picks for planting a hedge on heavier clay soils below.

Berberis is excellent for intruder-proof hedging with spiny margined leaves and thorny stems, boasting a range of ornamental features including beautiful flowers, glossy berries and seasonal foliage colour. Holly plants will also succeed on clay with their distinctive, spiny, deep green leaves and bright red berries. Common holly is synonymous with the British countryside but there are also many garden varieties which differ from the basic type in both leaf and berry colour, ranging from orange to purple. Privet hedging is low cost, reasonably fast growing (without being too vigorous you constantly need to keep them in check) and succeed on heavier soils with oval, glossy green leaves and white summer flowers. There are plenty more to choose from – use the filters on the right to refine your search by eventual height/spread, soil acidity preference and other features.

Buy Berberis darwinii (Barberry) online from Jacksons Nurseries
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2-3 litre pot
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Buy Berberis x frikatii 'Amstelveen' (Barberry Amstelveen) online from Jacksons Nurseries
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