15 Best Plants to Grow for Privacy in the Backyard

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Isn’t it annoying when your neighbors constantly try to make conversations across the yard? Especially when you’re kicking back after a long day at work.

We understand your frustration, and since moving to a deserted island sounds a bit extreme, we offer you a practical and modern solution – privacy plants. While it’s not the newest idea on the block, it sure is a great way to keep those peepers off your property.

So, if you’d rather go down the green route, check out our collection of the 15 best plants to grow for privacy in the backyard.

Take a look now!

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Best Plants to Grow for Privacy 

  1. Arborvitae

There are several reasons why homeowners choose arborvitae over traditional privacy plants. Chief among them being height and dense growth. If there’s little distance between yours and your neighbors’ property, a thick expanse of arborvitae should fix things.

Its evergreen foliage creates a bushy hedge when the trees are spaced out properly. Plus, it can thrive in most soil conditions and sustain in extremely low temperatures. You can choose from multiple varieties depending on your requirements and space.

  1. Bamboo

Bamboo is another great option as it grows quickly and adds an oriental touch to your surroundings. So, if you want a lush privacy screen that does not require much tending, we advise choosing a variety of bamboo.

Some homeowners are worried that they are invasive and get out of control soon. However, you can also get a slow-spreading, clumping type, or use large raised planters to keep them in check.

  1. Privet

The fast-growing privet tree can lend seclusion and increase curb appeal. With proper care, it grows up to 2-3 ft each year. Therefore, you can have a gorgeous green wall within some years, that will keep prying eyes off your property.

Alternatively, you can also grow it as a hedge, but it’ll need regular pruning. However, that extra effort pays off when the plants produce abundant sweet-smelling flowers every spring.

  1. Skip Laurel

If you’re into gardening and enjoy tending to plants, skip laurel is the best choice. Even though it demands some elbow grease, the results are nothing short of fascinating. With annual pruning and shaping, the thick evergreen foliage of skip laurel can transform into a beautiful 10 ft tall privacy screen.

But it is not suitable for all climate and soil types. Make sure to plant it in well-drained soil that receives a lot of sunlight. The best part – they will delight you with white blooms in spring.

  1. Boxwood

Boxwood is most commonly used as a decorative hedge in formal gardens, but it also shines in less maintained setups. When allowed to grow freely, some species can reach up to 20 ft tall, creating a close-knit screen for absolute privacy.

People generally have a perception that boxwood is a deep green plant, but you’ll be surprised to find the gorgeous white and gold varieties. Whether you grow it as a screen or in containers, it will provide a lot of visual appeal and a lush living wall to protect your backyard from peepers.

  1. Holly

There are several varieties of holly that you can consider for keeping your premises more secluded. If you’re looking for something in the yard, then you can get the taller varieties. Available in both tall tree and dense shrub forms, and in hues that run the gamut from deep green to variegated, holly offers everything to satisfy your landscaping goals.

Homeowners with small children should pick a soft-leafed variety or else the plant’s sharp, spiny leaves could pose a danger.

  1. Red Twig Dogwood

Of course, evergreen trees are usually the most sought after when it comes to creating a privacy fence. But if you would love to, in the meantime, enhance the aesthetics, Red twig dogwood makes a great choice.

It is deciduous, but when it sheds all leaves in fall, it displays a bright seasonal thicket of red branches. Besides, it can tolerate extremes in temperature and even soggy soils. This fast-growing shrub can reach roughly 8 ft in height and 10 ft in width, providing an impressive display in your yard.

  1. Hicks Yew

Hicks yew may not be flashy like other options on our list, but they sure add a glossy, green touch to your backyard. It’s a viable choice for a living fence or privacy screen since it’s quite low-maintenance and ensures dense growth.

This option sets an eye-catching evergreen backdrop for your home, so you can spend hours lounging in the yard without having to entertain neighbors. Also, you’ll love the soft needles and red winter berries, adding more contrast.

  1. Euonymus

Euonymus is another feasible option as it comes in multiple sizes and colors, including green, gold, and variegated ones. This tall and thick shrub species can sustain in all weather and soil conditions, so you don’t have to worry about choosing the right spot.

When planted close together, it can serve as a lush hedge with minimum see-through spots. However, it also works exceedingly well when pruned into a tree shape. So, show off your grooming skills and create the most appealing thicket of green.

  1. Chocolate Vine

If you already have a fence with gaps or openings, the chocolate vine is a great way to fill those spots. This perennial climber, also known as five-leaf akebia, grows rapidly on a trellis or fence, providing a thick mesh of green leaves and sweet-smelling purple blooms in early summer.

The vine produces oval-shaped dark green leaves that grow in clusters of five, displaying a glossy sheen. However, some homeowners steer clear of them because of their ill-behaved growth. So, be sure to control the rapid spread and rein it in with regular pruning.

  1. Cypress Trees

Entrance to suburban garden with bed of Cupressus sempervirens - Italian Cypresses and mature Magnolia tree. Christchurch, New Zealand

Nothing will impress you more than the tall, majestic silhouette of Cypress trees. Since they grow tall and narrow, Cypress is ideal for planting in a row to create a screen. They provide steady growth and literally plug the gaps.

That said, Leyland Cypress is a popular choice for privacy fences. But the only negative is its lifespan. This tree has a shorter life, with estimates being around 10-20 years. Hence we suggest weighing in factors like costs and maintenance before investing in this option.

  1. Italian Buckthorn

This is yet another evergreen shrub species that has impressed us with its rich growth. Nosy neighbors are a real menace, but putting up a wall may not always be ideal for more privacy.

That’s why you should consider the Italian Buckthorn for your needs, as they grow quickly and do not demand a lot in maintenance. It’s upright formation looks very neat and manicured, enhancing the overall look of your backyard.

Also, if you have a dreary-looking wall or a structure that does not need complete coverage, this plant type will make a great choice.

  1. Photinia

Photinia is an aesthetically pleasing option that produces glossy leaves and offers ample coverage, adding a luxurious touch to your outdoor space. This evergreen shrub is a favorable choice among homeowners and often used in combination with Dodonaea to create vibrant, green expanse.

You can let your plants fill out or trim and cultivate it for a neater appearance. If you have other greenery, try intermingling as that works really well with Photinia. Alternatively, you could grow it in front of a fence or wall as it adds more visual appeal to the yard.

Whether or not you prefer a manicured look, it’s essential to prune Photinia regularly. That way, it stays healthy and grows steadily.

  1. Artificial Boxwood

If you want thick, lush coverage, and want it right away, consider artificial hedges. In fact, artificial boxwood is the best solution if you don’t have the time or patience to cultivate tall hedges.

Also, maintaining perfectly sculpted hedges takes a lot of effort and money. Whereas, these faux boxwood hedges don’t require the maintenance of their live counterparts. Plus, they are made of high-quality polyurethane and reinforced with UV protection for a lasting appearance.

  1. Cacti

While it’s not the most obvious privacy plant choice, cacti can create modern sculptural fencing, unlike any other option.

Firstly, cactus is the perfect solution for regions with hot and dry climates where they grow naturally. They have a minimalistic appearance, and so you can arrange them in a row of varying height to create a fun, asymmetrical look.

They can grow up to 20 ft tall and look unconventionally charming, especially when used to enhance the architecture of a home.

Closeup view of grass hedge

Conclusion

That’s all, folks. We hope you could find the suitable choice from our guide.

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced gardener, all of these options will work great as they do not require too much maintenance. However, pruning and trimming are a must for some varieties, so make sure you have the necessary tools for the job.

At the same time, before planting a tree, do a little research about the soil and the weather condition most suitable for its growth. This will go a long way in finding the right variety and also help you make the most of your investment.

Till next time!

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