Coastal hedging Plants Ireland

A Guide to Coastal Hedging Plants

Planting Coastal Hedging Plants

Gardening beside the sea takes special consideration. The salty sea air is often intolerable to some species and varities of hedging plants. It is therefore important to choose species carefully when planting along the coast. The majority of suitable species are in fact evergreen, offering colour, shelter and protection to the coastal garden all year round.

The benefits of planting hedging in your coastal garden are extensive including:

  • Privacy and shelter
  • Filter against pollution
  • Assist in the maintenance of healthy soils
  • Provide shade from the Sun, shelter from the elements
  • Produce food for smaller animals, birds and mammals in the ecosystem.
  • Evergreen hedging plants Bring colour into the garden space all year round.

When conditions are harsh, we must then choose wisely to maximize the return from our investment in that space. Here’s a few options for hedging plants that thrive in coastal areas in Ireland.

Elaeagnus x ebbingei

Elaeagnus ebbingei plants are a fast growing, vigorous, hardy evergreen plants with leathery green leaves and silver underside.

Evergreen hedging plant with leathery green leaves and eye-catching silver underside.

They grow in full sunshine or shaded areas and in most soils but won’t do well in a waterlogged damp area.

They will need protection from the wind in the first year after planting and we would recommend green netting to offer this protection.

Griselinia littoralis

Originating from New Zealand Griselinia is a popular evergreen choice for coastal areas.

Small Lime Green leaves have a waxy appearance.


Evergreen hedging plant with small, soft waxy lime green leaves

Fast growing and Hardy to -10C but is susceptible to frost damage in inland areas in very cold Winters.

Planted 3 plants per metre in a single row for a thick hedge. Takes a pruning well.

Griselinia will thrive in full sun and shade and are hugely popular with our coastal customers.


Ilex aquifolium

Holly hedging plants are ideal evergreen coastal hedging plants. They are hardy and tolerant of the salty sea air.

Evergreen with spiny leaves, Holly produces flowers in Spring months and red berries in Autumn. They maintain their leaves and colour all year round.

Holly hedging will thrive in any reasonably well drained soil.

Plant at a spacing of 3 per metre for a thick hedge. Holly are slow for the first few years and respond well to annual pruning.

Crategus monogyna – Whitethorn

Whitethorn are deciduous hedging plants that provide great colour, cover, flower and berries throughout the year. They are hardy and will grow well as coastal hedging plants.

The thorny nature of whitethorn makes them a real deterrent for unwanted visitors.

An abundance of creamy white flowers in May makes them a great flowering hedge. 

Red berries follow in later Autumn months, and these are an important food source for birds and mammals. 

Whitethorn are fast growing and incredibly hardy plants, making them a really popular choice. 

They take a pruning well and pruning once in a 3 year cycle improves flower and berry yields.

Whtethorn can be planted 3 per metre in a single row or 6 per metre in a staggered double row for an extra dense thick hedge. 

Keep clean of weeds to help hedge get established quickly. 

Planting your Coastal Hedging Plants

Planting takes time, effort and after care. Keeping new planted hedges free from weeds and grass in the first few months after planting is important. Weeds and grass are competition for nutrients.

Before you get started, can we advise that you read our Guide to Planting or alternatively you can watch our Step By Step Guide.

Please be mindful, as with all plants and living things, trees need water to survive and thrive, especially in the few months immediately after planting.

Watering should be carried out early morning or late in the evening and consistently in drier Summer months to give your hedging the best possible start.

Regular feeding of these coastal hedging plants with a nitrogen-based feed is also recommended. You could work Chicken Manure pellets into the soil when planting to add vital nutrients that will promote growth and plant health.

Here at Cullen Nurseries, we are an award winning DAFM approved nursery and we love to help customers make the right choice.

We are growing our large range of native trees and hedging plants in our natural nursery in Carlow.

Offering a nationwide delivery service means we can supply you with the perfect plants for your needs, wherever you are based.

Book an appointment to come and view our Native Nursery and plants in person or order online for nationwide delivery.