Why Is My Garden Hedge Dying?

A garden hedge can be a thing of beauty, as well as a practical division between your garden and your neighbours’. However, hedges are plants, and as such they are susceptible to all sorts of growing issues as well as diseases and pests. Why is my garden hedge dying, I hear you cry?

Well, there are many reasons that this may be happening. Let’s take a look through some of the most common reasons.

How Do You Fix A Dying Hedge?

How Do You Fix A Dying Hedge

If your hedge is looking poorly, the first thing you need to do is establish the reason why. Is it not getting enough water? Too much water? Does it need some extra fertiliser?

It may also be dealing with a pest or disease problem; look extra closely at the leaves and branches to figure out if this is the case.

Sunlight requirements, for all plants, is a big thing, so try to work out if your specific hedge is getting too much or too little sunshine.

Try offering your hedge a feed with some all purpose fertiliser as a first step, then give it a gentle prune to make sure all areas are getting sunlight.

If it looks dried out then give it a water, and if the roots look waterlogged then try digging in some sand to help with drainage.

In areas where whole plants have dies, you may wish to plant a new hedge sapling, to improve the overall look of your hedge.

How Do You Bring A Hedge Back To Life?

First off, you need to check the health of the hedge. Check for signs of disease or infestation, and deal with these accordingly.

Next, ensure that it is receiving the correct amount of water. Under or over watering can cause big problems for a hedge, so check its requirements.

Does it need some more nutrients? Hedges do not need feeding as much as some other plants, but they will still benefit from a dose of compost or fertiliser.

Be prepared to prune your hedge back. If there are any damaged or diseased areas these will need to be cut back hard to prevent it spreading.

Check that the hedge has adequate sunlight. It may be that it is receiving too much, or too little, and an overgrown hedge can be shading the interior and preventing growth.

Bringing a hedge back to life may not be a quick fix; in fact it can take a couple of years to revive a particularly neglected one.

However, with a bit of time and patience your efforts will be rewarded with a thick, bushy hedge that is home to many creatures and is a fine addition to your garden.

This video shows you how to restore a Privet hedge – this is a common hedging plant, but the general tips will be the same for most types of hedge:


Why Is My Hedge Dying Off?

There are many reasons why a hedge may not be thriving, and luckily there should be a lot that you can do about this.

Not enough water

Any plant will die off eventually if it is not receiving the right amount of water, so check your hedge plants’ requirements.

Too much water

Roots can rot if they are left standing in water, so make sure you are not over watering your hedge.

Not enough nutrients

If the soil is poor, there might not be enough of the good stuff in it to keep your hedge alive and thriving.

Sunlight requirements

All plants have different likes and dislikes of the sun, so it may be that your hedge is not receiving enough sunlight, or even too much.


Sometimes tiny insects can take over your hedge before you’ve even noticed, so keep an eye out for leaves being nibbled, or colonies of insects taking up residence on the branches.


All plants are susceptible to some sort of disease, and these can vary from plant to plant. Your hedge may be suffering from a specific disease, so it is important that you know what type of plant it is to identify what type of disease it may be suffering from.

Why Are My Hedges Not Growing?

If you have planted a new hedge, you need to make sure that you have picked the right growing conditions for them.

You will find a wealth of information online about each different plant’s different requirements, so pick the right spot and feed for them.

If they are being shaded or overcrowded by other, larger plants this may explain a period of poor growth.

Many plants are susceptible to damage from pests and insects, or even plant diseases, so if your hedge is not growing it may be worth checking this.

If nothing else seems to be wrong but your hedges still aren’t growing, it may mean that they need a bit of a boost – try adding some fertiliser in spring.

What Is The Best Feed For Hedges?

There are specific types of feed for specific types of plants, to check out what your hedge actually is before you go out and spend loads on fertilisers!

As a general rule, all plants will benefit from an all purpose fertiliser applied once a year in the spring.

You should make sure this is organic, so that it is as beneficial as it can be and so that it won’t cause any damage to any other plants.

You can also use your own home made compost to feed your hedge; simply spread a thick layer around the roots in the early spring.

Some hedges like more food than others, and a fast growing hedge may require up to four feeds a year.

Most hedges that do not grow too fast and are not pruned hard will be fine with an application of fertiliser just once or twice a year.

Final Words

Now that you have more of an idea about the different problems that can affect a garden hedge, hopefully you can deal with any problems with yours as they arise.

Keep your hedge well maintained and healthy, and it will reward you with many years of good growth and a good level of privacy in your own garden.

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