Hedges don’t have to be just green. There are many dense, evergreen shrubs you can rely on on to add year-round colour to gardens from their foliage. Here are our favourite colourful hedging plants that thrive in temperate gardens such as the Sydney area.

Most do best in sunny situations with extra water in dry times. To maintain colourful hedges, lightly trim, water and feed for a new flush of growth. For variegated hedging plants, remove any all-green shoots that appear.


Flower Power's favourite colourful hedging plants

Ready to add some colour to your garden with a vibrant hedge? The below colourful hedging plants are sure to make an impact!

Clockwise from top left: Photinia 'Red Robin', Acmena 'Cherry Surprise', Hebe 'Annie's Winter Wonder', Duranta 'Sheena's Gold' and Alternanthera 'Little Ruby'.


Photinia ‘Red Robin’

Photinia is a reliable hedging shrub, but the variety ‘Red Robin’ produces flushes of vibrant red new growth. Grows 3-7m high and up to 3m wide but can be pruned to any height. Click to shop Photinia 'Red Robin'

Lilly Pilly ‘Cherry Surprise’

Lilypillies make fast growing hedge and can be pruned to any height. For a dash of red, select Acmena ‘Cherry Surprise’ with year-round cherry-red new growth. Plants grow to around 3m high and 1.5m wide but can be pruned to under 2m high. Click to shop Lilly Pilly 'Cherry Surprise'

Hebe ‘Annie’s Winter Wonder’

This shrub is a showstopper. It has tricoloured foliage (green, cream and purple) with dark pink flowers in spring and summer. Purple tones in the leaves are strongest in winter. Prune after flowering. Grows to around 70-80cm high and wide. Needs well-drained soil. Click to shop Hebe 'Annie's Winter Wonder'

Duranta ‘Sheena’s Gold’

For a bright lime green, almost yellow hedge, look out for ‘Sheena’s Gold’. Best in a frost-free situation. Plants also produce blue flowers and if left unpruned, orange fruit. Prune after flowering to keep compact. Grows 1-3m high and wide but can be pruned to any height. Click to shop Duranta 'Sheena's Gold'

Alternanthera ‘Little Ruby’

Not all hedges are large. For a small, neat but colourful hedge plant a row of this gem of a plant. Growing to only around 30-40cm high, it creates a low strip of burgundy foliage that’s great for a garden border. Click to shop Alternanthera 'Little Ruby'


Clockwise from top left: Abelia 'Kaleidoscope', Loropetalum 'Plum Gorgrous', Westringia fruticosa, Nandina 'Gulf Stream', Pittosporum 'Ivory Sheen' and Callistemon 'Great Balls of Fire'.


Abelia ‘Kaleidoscope’

For a colourful low hedge this small abelia has it all with colour-changing foliage that reflects the seasons. The bright yellow and light-green new growth in spring deepens to gold and green in summer before developing red tones in autumn. The plant produces white flowers in spring and summer. Grows to 70cm high and 90cm wide but can be kept trimmed as a compact shrub around 50cm high. Click to shop Abelia 'Kaleidoscope'

Loropetalum ‘Plum Gorgeous’

Deep plum foliage and pink flowers are the features of this charming and colourful hedging plant, which can be clipped or left as an informal hedge. Grows 1.5m high and 1.8m wide. Click to shop Loropetalum 'Plum Gorgeous'

Westringia fruticosa

For a grey-green hedge, the native shrub westringia, also called coast rosemary, is an easy-growing choice. Plants have white flowers. Grows 2m high and wide but can be kept trimmed to around 1m. Click to shop Westringia fruticosa


Also known as sacred bamboo, nandina forms a tall narrow hedge that tolerates some shade. For a bright red option, look for ‘Nana’, which is compact with red foliage in autumn and winter. ‘Gulf Stream’ develops golden tones, which are strongest in winter. Grows to around 1m high and wide. Click to shop Nandina


For lots of colourful options for hedges look for Pittosporum tenuifolium with colourful varieties such as ‘Silver Sheen’, ‘Golden Sheen’ or ‘Ivory Sheen’, which describes the variegated colour in the leaves. Pittosporums are fast growing and do best in well-drained soils. They tolerate light shade. While they can reach trees size, keep pruned for a hedge around 2-3m high and wide. Click to shop Pittosporum

Callistemon ‘Great Balls of Fire’

This is a boldly coloured dwarf bottlebrush that forms a low, dense hedge. While it flowers with red bottlebrush flowers in spring and summer, it is mainly grown for its bold red foliage colour. Grows around 1.75m high and wide. Click to shop Callistemon 'Great Balls of Fire'