Griselinia Hedge Guide (Your Questions Answered)

A Griselinia Hedge

Griselinia is up there with the best of them in terms of hardy hedging that is happy in most habitats. Let’s find out more about this nifty New Zealand native.


  • Genus: Griselinia
  • Most common variety: New Zealand Broad Leaf (griselinia littoralis)
  • Other popular varieties: Variegata (griselinia littoralis ‘variegata’)

What Is A Griselinia Hedge Like?

Native to New Zealand, Griselinia hedge plants are densely packed with apple green foliage. It is an ideal plant for your borders as it likes sun and shade and will grow in most soil types. It is a fast-growing large evergreen shrub and it enjoys being near water. Griselinia can withstand salty climates makes it ideal for hedges in coastal towns. It can grow up to 6m in height (although it takes about 20 years to do so!) making it a good choice for medium to tall borders.

What Colour Is A Griselinia Hedge?

The Broad Leaf variety has apple green coloured, broadly oval leaves, and there is a variegata variety that has green leaves with a white border.

Griselinia variegata by Ellie Enking on Flickr
Griselinia variegata

What Are Griselinia Flowers Like?

Griselinia usually flowers in mid-summer (July in the UK) with small green/yellow flowers that do not have much of an impact. The flowers are followed by purple fruits.

What Are Griselinia Hedge Fruits Like?

A Griselinia Hedge produces bitter tasting purple berries in the Autumn. These enable the plant to self-seed.

Griselinia Flowers by Patricio Novoa Quezada on Flickr
Griselinia Flowers – source

How Do I Prune A Griselinia Hedge?

A Griselinia Hedge can be pruned in the summer months – July to September in the UK – and depending on your topiary tastes, you can use hand or machine shears to achieve your goals. It is a relatively strong plant and can withstand a hard pruning if the needs arise.

How Do I Propagate A Griselinia Hedge?

Take semi-hardwood cuttings around 7cm in length, remove the leaves nearest to the cut and plant into pots in August, overwintering in a sheltered position. Once the frosts have passed in the Spring, plant into well prepared soil.

How Do I Plant A Griselinia Hedge?

If you want to give the plant a good amount of time to settle in, planting in early Autumn is ideal.

  • While you prepare your trench, soak the roots of your new plant in water, to let the plant realise that good times are coming!
  • Take note of the depth they were already planted in the soil, as you’ll replant them to the same level.
  • Dig your trench and add plenty of well rotted manure to provide nutrition for them to get stuck into.

How Far Apart Should Griselinia Be Planted?

If you want a hedge in a hurry (relatively speaking!) space them about 60cm apart to give them room to grow happily and then firm them in. If you have more time, then 75cm spacing gives them time to get to a good size before they cluster with their neighbours.

Water them well and give them some encouraging words while you’re at it.

What Are The Main Threats For A Griselinia Hedge?

Griselinia is hardy and rarely troubled by insects or diseases.

Fun Facts About Griselinia

  • Its Maori name is Kapuka.
  • It is named after Francesco Griselini, an 18th century historian.
  • The term littoralis means “growing by the sea”; a reflection of it’s favoured habitat.
  • It only has seven species, five of which are native to South America.
  • Its bark was used in traditional Maori medicine.
  • Griselinia wood has been used in ship building.

Looking for Evergreen Hedge Plants?

Mr X

I'm Jamie and I started TrimHedge to learn about hedge trimming and topiary and share my findings with you. I enjoy the sight of well formed foliage and enjoy helping you keep your hedges in good shape and your borders in order. To find out more about me, visit my About Page.

Recent Posts