15 Best Plants to Grow for Privacy in the Backyard

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!

Best Plants to Grow for Privacy 

Best plants to grow for privacy 

From fast-growing evergreens to flowering vines, here’s the list of the 15 best plants for privacy.

  1. Arborvitae

Arborvitae as privacy plant

There are several reasons why homeowners choose arborvitae over traditional privacy plants. Chief among them is height and dense growth. If there’s little distance between your and your neighbor’s 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 extremely low temperatures. You can choose from multiple varieties depending on your requirements and space, a very versatile privacy plant.

Height: 20-60 ft | Spread: 3-15 ft | Growth Rate: Medium-Fast | Leaves: Evergreen | Maintenance: Low
  1. Bamboo

Bamboo as privacy plant

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 your privacy screen in check.

Height: 10-100 ft | Spread: 2-20 ft | Growth Rate: Fast | Leaves: Evergreen | Maintenance: High
  1. Privet

Privet as privacy plant

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.

Height: 5-20 ft | Spread: 5-12 ft | Growth Rate: Medium | Leaves: Deciduous/Evergreen | Maintenance: Medium
  1. Skip Laurel

Skip laurel as privacy plant

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 climates and soil types. Make sure to plant it in well-drained soil that receives a lot of sunlight. The best part – your privacy plants will delight you with white blooms in spring.

Height: 10-20 ft | Spread: 6-12 ft | Growth Rate: Medium | Leaves: Evergreen | Maintenance: Low
  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, and privacy plants extraordinaire.

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 appeals and a lush living wall to protect your backyard from peepers.

Height: 3-8 ft | Spread: 3-6 ft | Growth Rate: Slow | Leaves: Evergreen | Maintenance: Medium
  1. Holly

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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 despite their sheer beauty.

Height: 15-50 ft | Spread: 12-20 ft | Growth Rate: Slow | Leaves: Evergreen | Maintenance: Low
  1. Red Twig Dogwood

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.

Height: 6-9 ft | Spread: 6-9 ft | Growth Rate: Fast | Leaves: Deciduous | Maintenance: Low
  1. Hicks Yew

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.

Shape: Dense Hedge | Height: 10-20 ft | Width: 3-6 ft | Growth Rate: Slow | Type: Evergreen | Maintenance: Low
  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, a splendid euonymus privacy fence.

Shape: Good Privacy | Height: 2-20 ft | Width: 2-20 ft | Growth Rate: Slow-Medium | Type: Deciduous/Evergreen | Maintenance: Low
  1. Chocolate Vine

Chocolate vine

If you already have a fence with gaps or openings, the chocolate vine is a great way to fill those spots, they make privacy plants. 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.

Shape: Fast-growing | Height: 20-40 ft | Width: 3-6 ft | Growth Rate: Fast | Type: Deciduous | Maintenance: High
  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 these tall plants, and the 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. These privacy trees have 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.

Shape: Conical | Height: 20-70 ft | Width: 6-20 ft | Growth Rate: Fast | Type: Evergreen | Maintenance: Low
  1. Italian Buckthorn

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. Its 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, these privacy plant types will make a great choice.

Shape: Thorny | Height: 8-10 ft | Width: 4-6 ft | Growth Rate: Slow | Type: Evergreen | Maintenance: Low
  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 is often used in combination with Dodonaea to create a vibrant, green expanse.

You can let your plants fill out or trim and cultivate them 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.

Shape: Dense | Height: 10-20 ft | Width: 10-15 ft | Growth Rate: Fast | Type: Evergreen | Maintenance: Medium
  1. Artificial Boxwood

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.

Shape: Dense | Height: 2-4 ft | Width: 2-4 ft | Growth Rate: N/A | Type: N/A | Maintenance: Very low
  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 heights 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.

Shape: Attractive | Height: 1-15 ft | Width: 1-15 ft | Growth Rate: Slow | Type: Evergreen/Deciduous | Maintenance: Low

Best Plants For Privacy Comparison Table

Plant Shape Height Width Growth Rate Type Maintenance
Arborvitae Dense, Tall, Hedges well 20-60 ft 3-15 ft Medium-Fast Evergreen Low
Bamboo Tall, Spread Quickly 10-100 ft 2-20 ft Fast Evergreen High
Privet Good Hedges, Shrub Form 5-20 ft 5-12 ft Medium Deciduous/Evergreen Medium
Skip Laurel Dense Hedges 10-20 ft 6-12 ft Medium Evergreen Low
Boxwood Dense, Low Hedges, Borders 3-8 ft 3-6 ft Slow Evergreen Medium
Holly Dense Hedges, Attractive 15-50 ft 12-20 ft Slow Evergreen Low
Red Twig Dogwood Good Privacy, Attractive 6-9 ft 6-9 ft Fast Deciduous Low
Hicks Yew Dense Hedge, Conical 10-20 ft 3-6 ft Slow Evergreen Low
Euonymus Good Privacy, Attractive 2-20 ft 2-20 ft Slow-Medium Deciduous/Evergreen Low
Chocolate Vine Fast-growing, Climber 20-40 ft 3-6 ft Fast Deciduous High
Cypress Trees Conical, Good Privacy 20-70 ft 6-20 ft Fast Evergreen Low
Italian Buckthorn Thorny, Good Privacy 8-10 ft 4-6 ft Slow Evergreen Low
Photinia Dense, Attractive Privacy 10-20 ft 10-15 ft Fast Evergreen Medium
Artificial Boxwood Dense, Low Hedges, Borders 2-4 ft 2-4 ft N/A N/A Very low
Cacti Attractive, Spike Form 1-15 ft 1-15 ft Slow Evergreen/Deciduous Low
Closeup view of grass hedge

Noise Reduction and Soundproofing Benefits of Privacy Plants

Privacy plants do more than just block prying eyes – they can also play a significant role in reducing noise pollution in your surroundings. Strategically planting these green warriors in your garden can create a natural sound barrier, offering a serene and tranquil environment right in your backyard.

Let’s take a closer look at how this works:

  1. Natural Sound Absorption: Dense, leafy plants like Arborvitae and Skip Laurel can absorb sound waves, helping to dampen noise from traffic or noisy neighbors.
  2. Sound Deflection: Taller plants, like Bamboo and Cypress Trees, can deflect sound waves upwards and away from your living space, further reducing the level of noise reaching your home.
  3. Sound Refraction: Sound waves change direction when passing through different mediums. Privacy plants, with their varied density and structure, create a natural medium that causes sound refraction, thus dispersing noise.
  4. Creating a Quiet Atmosphere: Certain plants like the Chocolate Vine and the Italian Buckthorn are known for their wind-resistant qualities, leading to a reduction in wind noise. Moreover, the rustling sound of leaves and branches can generate soothing white noise, creating an atmosphere of tranquillity.

While leveraging privacy plants as sound barriers for noise reduction is an excellent initial measure, there might be scenarios that demand more extensive soundproofing strategies. These might include soundproofing dedicated spaces such as music studios or home offices situated in especially noisy locales.

For these situations, it’s beneficial to enhance your natural green barrier with other soundproofing techniques. To better understand how to create effective sound barriers within your home or workspace, explore our detailed guide on the subject.


That’s all, folks. We hope you could find a 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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