Murraya Hedge Spacing Guide

Written By:
Scott Carroll
Published On:
September 5, 2023

Murraya hedge, also known as orange jasmine, is popular for hedging due to its lush green foliage and fragrant white flowers. These evergreen plants have glossy, dark green leaves, making them favourable hedges for any Australian garden. 

However, several features make Murraya hedge fast-growing and can quickly grow out of hand. Accordingly, spacing is everything!

What is Murraya Paniculata hedge?

When we talk about a hedge that embodies both beauty and functionality, the Murraya Paniculata, commonly known as the orange jasmine, stands out as a prime choice in many Australian gardens. Originating from Southeast Asia, this evergreen shrub has found a beloved place in the hearts of garden enthusiasts down under.

Let’s delve deeper into the botanical characteristics that make it a popular choice:

  • Botanical characteristics: The Murraya Paniculata is characterised by its lush green, glossy leaves that provide a dense foliage, ideal for privacy hedges. Its growth pattern is relatively fast, which means regular maintenance is essential to keep it in shape.
  • Fragrance and flowering patterns: One of the standout features of this hedge is its fragrant white flowers. Blooming mainly in spring and summer, the sweet, jasmine-like fragrance fills the air, adding a sensory delight to your garden. These blossoms occasionally give way to small, red-orange berries, attracting a variety of birds to your garden.
  • Popularity in various regions: This hedge is not just a favourite for its aesthetic appeal but also for its adaptability to various climates. Whether you are in a tropical region or temperate zone in Australia, with the right care, the Murraya Paniculata thrives, providing a green, fragrant boundary to your property.

To give you a better visual understanding, here are some high-quality images showcasing the vibrant foliage and blossoms of the Murraya Paniculata hedge.

Flowering murraya paniculata

How wide does murraya grow?

Murraya can grow to be between 1.5 to 3 metres wide, depending on the specific variety and growing conditions. This makes it important to remember when planning the spacing for your Murraya hedge, as you’ll want to ensure that each plant has enough room to grow and fill out without becoming too crowded.

How fast does murraya grow?

Murraya hedges are known for their rapid growth, with rates influenced by soil type, climate, and regular care. In optimal conditions, they can grow up to 0.5 to 1 metre annually. 

To foster quick growth, ensure proper watering, timely fertilisation, and regular pruning. Keep an eye on the growth, especially during the warm months, to maintain a lush and healthy hedge.

What is the best spacing for Murraya hedge?

Several factors influence the spacing recommendations for a Murraya hedge. The most important is how tall you want to grow the hedge, as spacing is critical for optimal results.

In our experience, these spacing guidelines offer the best outcomes:

Height of Hedge Recommended Spacing
0.5 to 1 metre 0.3-0.6 metres apart
1 to 2 metres 0.9-1.2 metres apart
2 to 3 metres 1.5-1.8 metres apart
3+ metres 2.1-2.4 metres apart

How far apart to plant Murraya

When it comes to planting Murraya, the spacing can significantly influence the health and appearance of your hedge. Drawing from our extensive experience, here’s our expert advice:

For a hedge that stands 0.5 to 1 metre tall, a spacing of 0.3-0.6 metres between each plant works best, allowing for a dense, lush hedge.

If you’re aiming for a height of 1 to 2 metres, we recommend a spacing of 0.9-1.2 metres. This ensures that the plants have enough room to grow without crowding each other, promoting healthy growth.

For taller hedges, ranging from 2 to 3 metres, a distance of 1.5-1.8 metres between plants is ideal. This allows for a full, yet manageable hedge.

Additionally if you’re planning a grand hedge exceeding 3 metres, maintaining a spacing of 2.1-2.4 metres between plants will give you the best results, ensuring each plant has ample space to thrive.

Remember, these are guidelines, and slight adjustments can be made based on your specific garden conditions. Always monitor the growth and adjust the spacing as needed to achieve the hedge of your dreams.

Factors to consider when spacing your Murraya hedge

Aside from spacing, there are some additional factors you should take into consideration to ensure the best results. 

These include:

  • The purpose of your hedge: If you’re planting a hedge for privacy, you’ll need to space your plants closer together. If you’re planting a hedge for aesthetics, you’ll want to space your plants further apart to allow for growth and a fuller appearance.
  • The variety of your hedge: Different varieties of Murraya have varied growth habits. For instance, the dwarf variety might require closer spacing compared to the standard variety to achieve a lush look. Understanding the growth pattern of your chosen variety will guide you in determining the ideal spacing.
  • The type of soil: The type of soil you have will impact how your plants grow. If you have poor soil, you may need to space your plants further apart to allow them to grow stronger root systems.
  • The amount of sunlight: Murraya hedges require full sunlight to partial shade. If your planting area is shady, you’ll need to space your plants further apart to ensure they receive enough sunlight.

Are murraya roots invasive?

Murraya roots are not typically considered invasive, but they can spread out over time and cause damage to nearby structures or plants if not properly maintained. 

Therefore we recommend planting your Murraya hedge away from any buildings, sidewalks, or other structures to avoid any potential root issues. 

If you’ve already planted your Murraya hedge close to any structures, don’t stress! Regular pruning and maintenance can help keep the roots in check and prevent them from spreading unpleasantly. 

How to plant Murraya hedges for the best results

Planting a Murraya hedge successfully involves more than just digging a hole. Here’s a detailed guide to ensure the best results:

  1. Selecting the right planting site: Choose a site that receives ample sunlight, ideally a spot that enjoys full sun to partial shade. Consider the hedge’s purpose: for privacy, choose a site along boundaries; for aesthetics, perhaps near a patio or walkway.
  2. Preparing the soil: Before planting, prepare the soil by incorporating organic matter like compost or well-rotted manure. This not only enriches the soil but also improves its structure, promoting better root growth.
  3. Planting process: When planting, dig holes that are twice as wide and as deep as the root ball of your plants. Ensure that the plants are spaced according to the guidelines discussed in the previous sections. Backfill the hole with enriched soil, making sure there are no air pockets.
  4. Initial care: After planting, water the plants thoroughly to settle the soil around the roots. Apply a layer of mulch to help retain moisture and prevent weed growth.

The optimal time to plant Murraya hedges is during the cooler months, allowing them to establish roots before the hot weather arrives. This sets the stage for robust growth in the spring.

Caring for your Murraya hedge

To maintain a vibrant and healthy Murraya hedge, regular care is essential. Here’s a detailed guide to help you nurture your hedge:

Watering: Murraya hedges prefer soil that is consistently moist but not waterlogged. During the growing season, water the plants deeply once or twice a week, allowing the soil to dry slightly between waterings. In the cooler months, you can reduce the frequency of watering.

Pruning: Regular pruning is vital to maintain a neat and dense hedge. We recommend pruning at least twice a year, ideally in late spring and late summer. This not only helps in shaping the hedge but also encourages new growth, resulting in a lush and full appearance.

Seasonal care tips:

  • Spring: This is the time to fertilise your hedge to encourage new growth.
  • Summer: Ensure adequate watering to prevent the soil from drying out.
  • Autumn: A good time to prune and shape your hedge before the winter.
  • Winter: Reduce watering and protect your hedge from potential frost damage.

Propagation methods for Murraya hedges

Propagating Murraya hedges can be a rewarding experience. Here’s a detailed guide on the different methods

From Seeds:

  1. Harvest ripe berries from the hedge and extract the seeds.
  2. Prepare a seed tray with a quality seed-raising mix.
  3. Sow the seeds evenly and cover lightly with the mix.
  4. Place the tray in a well-lit area and keep the soil moist.
  5. Transplant the seedlings once they have developed two sets of true leaves.

From cuttings:

  1. Select healthy, disease-free stems from the current season’s growth.
  2. Cut sections of about 10-15 cm in length, making a clean cut just below a node.
  3. Remove the lower leaves and dip the cut end in rooting hormone.
  4. Plant the cuttings in a pot filled with a well-draining medium.
  5. Place the pot in a sheltered area and keep the soil moist until roots develop.

Nutritional requirements and fertilisation guidelines

Ensuring your Murraya hedge receives the right nutrition is key to its healthy growth. Here’s a guide to help you:

  • Types of fertilisers: Murraya hedges benefit from balanced fertilisers that contain equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. You might also consider adding a slow-release fertiliser in the spring to encourage lush growth.
  • Frequency of fertilisation: We recommend fertilising your hedge at the beginning of the growing season and then again in mid-summer to support continuous growth.
  • Organic fertilisation options: Consider using organic fertilisers like compost or well-rotted manure to enrich the soil. These options not only provide necessary nutrients but also improve soil structure.
  • Identifying nutrient deficiencies: Keep an eye out for signs of nutrient deficiencies, such as yellowing leaves or stunted growth, and adjust your fertilisation routine accordingly.

Pest and disease management

Protecting your Murraya hedge from pests and diseases is vital for maintaining its health and vibrancy. Here’s a guide to help you manage common issues:

  • Identifying pests and diseases: Regularly inspect your hedge for signs of pests and diseases. Common issues include aphids, scale insects, and fungal diseases.
  • Management solutions: Implement effective management strategies, such as using neem oil for pest control and applying fungicides for disease management.
  • Preventative measures: Adopt preventative measures like proper watering and pruning to reduce the likelihood of pest and disease infestations.

Ideas to incorporate Murraya hedges effectively

When it comes to incorporating these hedges into different landscapes, there are several approaches you might consider.

For instance, in formal gardens, Murraya hedges can be structured into geometric designs, showcasing their neat and dense growth. This structured approach complements the formal style quite well. On the other hand, if you’re more inclined towards a cottage garden style, these hedges can be used as loose, flowing borders, blending seamlessly with the informal, relaxed vibe of such gardens.

Now, let’s talk about coastal gardens. In these settings, Murraya hedges serve a functional role as windbreaks, protecting delicate plants while adding a touch of greenery to the surroundings.

But what about the plants that complement Murraya hedges? Here are a few ideas:

  • Flowering plants: Consider pairing them with vibrant flowering plants like roses or lavender to create a fragrant garden space.
  • Grasses: Ornamental grasses can be a great addition, adding texture and contrast to the glossy leaves of the Murraya hedge.
  • Ground covers: Incorporating ground covers like ivy or creeping thyme can create a layered effect, adding depth to your garden design.

So, as you plan your garden, keep these tips in mind to create a space that is both beautiful and functional, where Murraya hedges play a central role. Here’s a moodboard for some inspiration:

What to use instead of murraya hedge

If Murraya hedge doesn’t seem like the right fit for your garden, you can consider several other options. 

Some popular choices we find include:

  • Boxwood hedge: this classic hedge option is known for its dense foliage and can be easily pruned into various shapes and sizes.
  • Privet hedge: a popular choice for its dense foliage and ease of maintenance.
  • Escallonia hedge: this hedge option features glossy green leaves and showy pink or red flowers, making it a great choice for adding colour to your landscape.
  • Holly hedge: this evergreen option is known for its dark green leaves and bright red berries, making it a popular choice for holiday decorating.
  • Laurel hedge: a fast-growing hedge that features large, glossy leaves and can be pruned into various shapes and sizes.

Ultimately, the best alternative to a Murraya hedge depends on your needs and growing conditions. Ensure to do your research and choose a hedge option that will thrive in your climate and meet your aesthetic preferences.

Final thoughts 

In conclusion, integrating Murraya hedges into your garden isn’t just about adding a green element. It’s about enhancing the overall aesthetic and functionality of your outdoor space. Whether you’re aiming for the structured elegance of a formal garden, the charming disorder of a cottage garden, or the resilient beauty of a coastal garden, these hedges can play a pivotal role. 

Also, remember! Pairing them with complementary plants like vibrant flowering species or textured grasses can elevate your garden to a whole new level. So, as you embark on your gardening journey, consider the versatile Murraya hedge as a reliable and beautiful cornerstone in your landscape design.


How long does it take for a murraya hedge to grow?

Murraya hedges can grow fairly quickly, with growth rates of up to 60 centimetres per year in ideal conditions. However, the exact time it takes for a Murraya hedge to reach maturity will depend on factors such as the specific variety of Murraya, the growing conditions, and how often it is pruned.

How do you thicken a murraya hedge?

To thicken a Murraya hedge, you can prune it regularly to encourage new growth and shape it into a dense, compact shape. Additionally, fertilising your Murraya hedge and ensuring it receives adequate water and sunlight can help promote healthy growth and fill any thin or sparse areas.

How often do you prune a Murraya hedge?

Murraya hedges should be pruned regularly to maintain their shape and promote healthy growth. Generally, it would help to prune your Murraya hedge at least once yearly, ideally in the spring or early summer. However, you may need to prune more frequently if your hedge grows quickly or if you want to shape it into a specific form.