Guide To Planting Densities: How Many Plants Do I Need?

How to know the number of plants you need is one of the most popular questions asked when it comes to planting, so we're here to make it a little easier...

Ensuring you are planting with the correct planting density applies to all root types, including bare root/pot grown/root ball.

You will have to consider the following factors:

1. The length of time that you are prepared to wait to get a decent density: If you want a very quick and dense hedge, you will likely need more than one per metre. However, if you are prepared to sit out and wait for it to grow, it should not take any longer than 2 years to get to a good density (this does of course depend on growth rate, however).

2. The price you are willing to pay: If you are willing to pay a higher price for your plants, then it is likely that you will get a higher density hedge in a much shorter space of time. However, do not worry if you cannot afford too much, as lower density hedges will still form into a wonderful hedge eventually.

3. How tall you are wanting your hedge to be: As a tall hedge needs a lot of minerals, water, and soil to grow effectively, you will need to have a much lower planting density. Otherwise, it will not have enough room to grow as high as you want it to.

4. Whether they must all be the same height when planted: If you have a smaller budget, but still want to gain a tall, unvarying hedge, it is often recommended to plant each alternate plant at the height you wish, then fill in the gaps with smaller plants that can catch up quickly.

Recommended planting densities for each root type:

Pot Grown Plants:

2L Pot 3-4 (or 6 if you stagger them), per metre
5L Pot 3-4 per metre
10L Pot 2-3 per metre

Any different pot size densities can be estimated using the information above.

Bare Root Plants:

Small plants (0.5m+) 5-7 plants per metre
Medium plants (1.2m-1.5m) 3-5 plants per metre
Tall plants (1.5m+) 3 plants per metre

As stated in the information above, please consider that the taller the hedge will be, the less densely you should plant.

Root Ball Plants:

Do not plant too densely with big root ball evergreens, as they have a large root and leaf structure. They need a lot of soil around each root. In general, the recommended density is 3 per metre; this is because they have a much bushier up growth than a 5L pot would (which also has a planting recommendation of 3). 

For taller root ball plants, up to and above 120cm, we'd recommend 1.5-2 root ball plants per metre.