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10 Fast-Growing Hedge Plants That Are Also Edible

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Garden hedges are not just a pretty feature. These hard-working plants serve a variety of functions, including creating a screen for privacy, acting as a windbreak and, if you choose the right plant, producing a crop of tasty treats.

Growing a stately hedge that produces edible fruit or aromatic leaves is a win-win in any garden, so consider these varieties of fast-growing, fruit-bearing hedge trees and other fragrant hedging plants for the ultimate edible hedge.

1. Feijoa

Feijoa

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(Acca sellowiana), or pineapple guava, has egg-shaped fruit with a fruit-salad flavor. Its pretty crimson flowers are also edible.

Silvery leaves make this a very attractive hedge. It grows in most climates, surviving mild frosts and salty coastal winds.

The heaviest crops of fruit develop when flowers are cross-pollinated, so having a whole hedge of feijoas is ideal.

2. Kumquats and Calamondins

Kumquats and calamondins are the bushiest, most compact citrus for hedging.

cumquat

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Both citruses’ white flowers are beautifully fragrant and the small, bright orange fruits remain on the tree for months. Although sour, calamondins are delicious when made into marmalade or steeped in brandy. Oval “Nagami” kumquats have sweet skin and can be eaten whole.

3. Lilly Pilly

Lilly pilly is a native rainforest plant with glossy leaves and colorful new foliage in bronze, pink, red, or gold.

lilly pilly

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The fluffy flowers turn into beautiful berries —ranging from mauve to crimson in color — which can be used to make jams, jellies, and sauces.

4. Chilean Guava

Chilean guava (Ugni molinae) is a small-leafed, frost-tolerant shrub that bears masses of pea-sized crimson berries in autumn.

Chilean Guava

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These berries have a spicy, strawberry-pineapple taste, and the leaves and fruit of this plant are fragrant. Pretty flowers in white to pale pink cover the bush in summer.

5. Pomegranate

Pomegranates (Punica granatum) are tough, deciduous shrubs that grow best in Mediterranean climates.

pomegranate

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They have lovely flowers (usually bright orange-red) followed by large, apple-sized fruit in late summer and autumn. They contain numerous edible seeds in a juicy, crimson pulp that you can eat fresh, blend for juice, or use in sauces and jellies.

6. Blueberries

Blueberries are delicious and good for you, so having your own hedge has lots of appeal. They require rich, acidic soil, and you’ll need to protect the ripening crop from birds.

blueberries

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They may be evergreen or deciduous, depending on the variety and climate. Select the right variety for your conditions; low-chill selections are available for warmer areas. Hedge heights range from three feet to six feet, and the fruit ripens over a long period.

7. Bay Tree

Bay trees (Laurus nobilis) will make a handsome hedge of rich, green, aromatic foliage in full sun to partial shade.

bay tree

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Bay leaves, fresh or dried, are used in casseroles and stews, and can also be used while organizing your pantry to help ward off pantry moths.

8. Rosemary

Rosemary makes a robust, aromatic low hedge. You can choose regular rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) or an upright variety such as “Tuscan Blue.”

rosemary

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After stripping off the leaves for use in cooking or drying them for potpourri, the stalks can serve as barbecue skewers.

Rosemary loves a hot, well-drained spot and slightly alkaline soil. It tolerates coastal conditions, drought, and mild frosts.

9. Lemon Myrtle

Lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) is a native rainforest tree that can be pruned to a tall hedge. It likes a frost-free climate and water in summer.

lemon myrtle

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Use the leaves to flavor cookies, teas, ice cream, or fish dishes.

10. Coffee Hedge

In tropical or subtropical areas, you can grow your own coffee as a hedge. Coffea arabica and C. robusta have lustrous, deep-green foliage and lightly scented white flowers.

coffee hedge

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The berries ripen from green to yellow eventually red, and the seeds within are roasted and ground to make coffee. Plant your coffee hedge in rich, moist soil — preferably in a sheltered, shaded position.

If you’re a tea-drinker, once it’s cooler out, try growing Camellia sinensis as a hedge. It has white flowers with yellow stamens, and the leafy tips are picked and dried for tea.

This article was originally written by Helen Young. For more, check out our sister site, Homes to Love.

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