Griselinia is a genus of only seven evergreen shrubs and trees, native to New Zealand. The characteristic upright habit and bright, glossy evergreen leaves makes griselinia a popular choice for hedging in the UK, with Griselinia littoralis a particularly reliable hedging option. Tolerant of salty air and strong winds, Griselinia is good choice for coastal gardens, but will thrive in most climates throughout the UK apart from the far north – griselinia plants are reliably hardy to -10ºC).


How to grow griselinia

Grow Griselinia littoralis in well-drained soil in full sun. Prune once a year in late-spring. Protection may be needed in harsh winters.

Where to grow griselinia

Grow Griselinia littoralis in well-drained soil in full sun. It can be grown in a variety of situations and is particularly suitable for coastal areas, but avoid growing in very exposed sites.

How to plant griselinia

Griselinia plants are available bare-rooted or container-grown. Bare-rooted plants are cheaper to buy but require a bit more consideration when planting, and should be planted when dormant, in late autumn or early spring. Container-grown griselinia can be planted at any time of year, as long as the soil isn't frozen or baked in the summer sun.

Prepare the soil well before planting, ensuring the soil is free draining and not waterlogged. Plant griselinia at the same depth it was in the pot or field (look for a soil 'tide mark' on bare-rooted plants), firm soil around each plant and water well. If you're planting a griselinia hedge up to 2m in height, space plants 30-60cm apart. If you want a taller hedge, space plants up to 75cm apart.

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How to care for griselinia

Griselinia plants need very little care. Prune once a year, from late spring to early summer. Use canes and string set to your desired height and width, and trim within those parameters. Bear in mind that hedges receive more light at the top than the bottom, so aim to cut the foliage at the top slightly more than at the bottom. Mulch annually in spring or autumn.

How to propagate griselinia

Propagate griselinia by taking semi-ripe cuttings from late-summer to autumn. Choose healthy growth and cut it back using sharp secateurs. Trim them to 10-15cm, cutting just below a leaf node, and remove the lower leaves so there are around four remaining. Push your cuttings into prepared pots of gritty, peat-free compost. Water and allow to drain, then cover with a plastic bag or propagator lid to prevent evaporation. Keep the compost moist and remove the plastic bag or propagator lid when you see signs of new growth.

Pests and diseases

Griselinia is generally a pest-free shrub but can sometimes be affected by leaf spot. Remove affected leaves and thin out congested brances to improve air flow around the plants.

Advice on buying griselinia

  • If planting a hedge, work out how many plants you need before buying
  • Griselinia hedging plants are available bare-rooted or container-grown
  • Always check plants for signs of damage or disease before buying

Where to buy griselinia

Griselinia varieties to grow

Griselinia hedge
    • Griselinia hedge

Griselinia littoralis – fast-growing, large evergreen shrub with light green, broadly oval leaves. The inconspicuous yellow summer flowers are followed by purple fruits, if both sexes are grown together. It makes an excellent hedging plant for sheltered sites and coastal regions but isn’t hardy in exposed or northerly sites.

Griselinia 'Dixon's Cream' – a variegated form with cream edges to the evergreen leaves. It will grow at a rate of around 20-40cm a year, so it is easily maintained as a hedge.


Frequently asked questions

Help! My griselinia leaves are turning black!

Griselinia can susceptible to leaf spot. This fungal infection is caused by mild, wet conditions, often in conjunction with poor air circulation. Symptoms include black-brown leaf spots on griselinia leaves, which don't harm the plant but can look unsightly. Remove and dispose of affected leaves as soon as you see them (don't compost them as the fungus may persist to reinfect your plants later on). Prune the hedge to thin it out and increase airflow around the leaves. 

How and when do I prune a griselinia hedge?

Trim griselinia hedges from spring to early summer. They can be trimmed into a formal hedge and also respond well to hard pruning down to 15-30cm from the ground.