10 Steps To Hedging Choisia For Beauty And Practical Purposes

For serious gardeners, hedging is a critical element that makes a garden “whole”.

If you don’t hedge, it’s not that you a lesser gardener. It’s just that you have probably yet to reach a high level of passion gardening.

Sometimes an imaginary line is all that is required for people to differentiate between 2 land areas. Building a hedge might not be worth the trouble for some homeowners.

Firstly, hedging is different from pruning. Rookies tend to confuse themselves with these 2 words.

Pruning is the act of “trimming” a plant for the benefit of it’s health, and also to enhance it’s natural aesthetic beauty.

Hedging is basically erecting a “wall” or “barrier” to demarcate areas like how a border would. This “wall” is the hedge. Which is why the activity of building it is termed “hedging”. And the hedge is usually made up of closely spaced plants, shrubs and/or tress.

Despite the obvious improvement in visual impact it gives to a garden, a hedge has a lot of practicality that people don’t often talk about.

A hedge can practically:

  • block dust
  • block wind
  • block an ugly view
  • act as a privacy screen
  • be a safety cushion when hazards occur


Choisya is becoming a very popular shrub for hedging. It’s sturdy, evergreen, easy to maintain. And the best part is that it can grow to a very nice height that is perfect for the average hedge.

Choisya ternata a.k.a Mexican orange blossom, can grow to about 75cm/30in spacing and 200cm/80in in height. The growth rate is approximately 50cm/20in a year.

With it’s aromatic orange scent, it even brings in the butterflies too.

Before you start drawing up the schematics of your hedging plan, take note of the following:

  • the best plants for this purpose should be suitable for the location’s climate and seasons
  • the ideal plants should be dense all the way to the ground with leaf characteristics that don’t allow visual “see through”
  • your choice of plants should also be able to hold it’s ground against weeds and drought
  • the faster the growth rate, the more time and effort you spend on maintenance

1) Clearing

Clear the area where you will be building the hedge like you would shave unsightly hair on your body.

You would be crazy if you intend to do this manually. It would be best to speed up the process and save most of your energy by using a herbicide. Or borrow a clearing machine from one of your neighbors.

2) Soil

This is the part where you lay good foundations for your plants. Failing to cultivate this area well can result in a negative end-product.

Use a fork, or a rotary hoe to cultivate a width of about 1m/40in, and a depth of about 40cm/15in.

Because Choisya is not a small perennial, don’t be surprised by the depth required. Anyway, if you plant them on shallow soil, they might be easily uprooted by strong winds.

And while you are at it, do remove any foreign objects you come across.

3) Spacing

Use white tape or any improvised material to mark the center of the area somewhat parallel to the edges.

This is so that you plant your Choisya as precisely at the center (along the line of white tape) as possible. This is to ensure that you get a hedge as “even” as possible instead of a jagged one.

Once you are satisfied with the area and the markings, it’s time to…

4) Dig holes

Undergoing a digging marathon of planting holes can be bad for your back. So it would be best if you can get your children to do this for you.

Otherwise, make sure you are fairly comfortable when doing this task.

5) Add fertilizer

Don’t make the rookie mistake of adding normal fertilizers into the planting holes you had painfully dug up.

Slow-release fertilizers are more appropriate and work better for the circumstances. They don’t cost a lot more and will be well worth the extra money.

Once you’ve chosen your fertilizer, add them to the holes.

6) Plant

Time to remove your plants from it’s packing and put them in the holes. If you are a meticulous person, you might want to position them right at the dead center.

The bottom most point of the plant should be buried about 2 inches (5 centimeters) into the soil.

Once you are satisfied with it’s position, start back-filling the hole.

7) Firm up

This is a step that is often missed due to either forgetfulness or plain laziness.

At this point, the soil is still loose… especially when you had just dug up a hole and filled it up with loose soil.

Therefore, you need to firm up the soil around the plant by stepping on it or with the use of tools. Remember that you are just trying to “firm up”, not destroy. So avoid stepping too hard.

Failing to do this step can have dire consequences.

8) Water

It time to feed your baby Choisya.

Water them as per normal. And observe if anything unusual is going on with the water flow or if ponding occurs.

Ideally, you want the water to go deep.

9) Mulch

Mulch helps to retain moisture, counters weed growth, and improve the health of the soil.

You might choose to skip this step. But if you want to give your Choisya the best, I suggest that you add a thin layer of mulch.

Remember that mulch is supposed to be applied to the soil around the base of the plants. It should not come in contact with the plants.

10) Trim

Go ahead with you first snip. Cutting top shoots will encourage better growth.

The more beauty you want your hedge to have, the more attention and care you have to commit to trimming. This can be a regular activity.

Be warned.

Don’t forget

Because hedges consists of many plants growing in very close proximity, there will be competition for water. Just like how sibling rivalry among kittens can get ugly during feeding time.

The usual amount of water you use on regular plants will not be enough. So be generous when watering the Choisya. At the same time, your should stop as soon as the concern of overfeeding creeps into your mind.