Using tall plants to create shielding is one of the best methods to give your garden distinction and privacy. Fast-growing screening species provide height to your garden, can be grown alongside an established fence to deter intruders, and, of course, provide much-needed seclusion, which is perhaps the most likely motive for growing screening plants.
You won’t need a fence to keep your solitude when you can use plants to keep your curious next-door neighbour from peeping into your yard. There’s a wide range of trees, bushes, and vines that can help transform your land into a private retreat—and they’re often much less expensive than putting up a fence or other privacy construction.
We’ve compiled a selection of the top screening plants to use as living privacy screens, along with thorough information about each one that will help you make an informed decision. These can easily be acquired through reputable online resources and are a great source of aesthetics and safety in one package!
What are Privacy Plants used for?
Privacy plants, also known as screening plants, act as a live privacy barrier, separating you from your neighbours and the street. They operate as a sound barrier and a windbreak, reducing noise and protecting against strong winds.
A solitary plant can be used to obscure distant items such as a gas meter or trash cans belonging to a neighbour. Plants that provide privacy reduce fence lines and give colour to your environment. Decide how tall you want your screen to be, as there are plants to fit any size. Calculate the amount of space you have accessible as well. Consider building a dual or triple row if your space is large enough. The use of many rows of rising heights will improve sight and sound privacy.
Screening plants can also be used to provide privacy in an overlooked area. Another advantage is that they may construct interconnected areas, which adds interest to a compact property. You could use a line of grasses to separate a basic square or rectangular area.
It becomes a low-cost feature when a vine fence is placed halfway across the yard and covered with roses or clematis. This half-screening offers a tempting peek into the region beyond, giving the impression that the yard is bigger than it is.
Because evergreen plants do not shed their leaves in the cold, they are the most popular choice for privacy screens. Deciduous plants drop their leaves in the wintertime, but they usually produce blooms, which provide colour to the landscape. The greatest privacy screen combines evergreen and blooming deciduous plants to give year-round privacy and beauty in the environment.
Best tall plants for screening
Because of its shape and style, this bamboo variety is called umbrella bamboo. It typically grows up to 4 meters and produces densely developed groupings of bamboo stems due to its clumping manner of spreading.
When planted for screening, it should be placed around 1.5 meters apart, but be confident that it will swiftly expand in and fill the gaps. In fact, because of its growth tendency, even the tiniest area will produce thousands of canes. It usually avoids the V form that other bamboo kinds create, so it has a more vertical grove for screening than other bamboo variations.
This bamboo has thick foliage, prefers part shade, and can withstand the harshest circumstances to which bamboo can be subjected. Each June, you can prune 20 percent of the drooping canes and see the plant regrow healthy and fresh the next year. It also works nicely as screening when grown in larger pots.
- Can withstand the harshest circumstances
- It typically grows up to 4 meters and produces densely developed groupings
- Even the tiniest area will produce thousands of canes
- Prefers part shade
These can provide screening throughout bigger estates, especially along the border, and they look fantastic in bloom. It thrives in full sun or light shade and requires moderate maintenance. The tree is renowned for its aromatic and spectacular flowers, which blossom in white from May to June.
This tree has beautiful dark green foliage and huge white flowers that blossom in the Spring and persist throughout the summer. The blossoms will likely create fruiting bunches in early Fall. This Magnolia is perennial, unlike most other Magnolias, making this even superior for screening because it provides support all year.
- These can provide screening throughout bigger estates
- Requires moderate maintenance
- The tree is renowned for its flowers
- Thrives in full sun only
Cherry Laurel is a large, sprawling shrub with long, green leaves that can reach up to 15cm in length. The blooms produced have a magnificent array of colours and a rich plum aroma. The flowers appear in panicles in the middle of the summer and finally, give way to crimson fruits that turn purple black in Autumn. While these are not berries you can eat, they will undoubtedly attract wildlife to your garden.
This shrub grows quickly and is an excellent choice for privacy screens or another filtering in your garden. It is widely used as hedges and marketed as laurel hedge. It will grow between 4 and 12 meters broad, spread outwardly than upwards, between 3 and 10 meters tall when fully mature.
Even in the severe shade, this shrub is disturbingly fragrant and free flowering. Glands distinguish cherry laurels on the bottom leaf blade, and glands near the midrib differentiate this species from P. Carolina. Alkaline soils, arid and poor soils, pollutants, and heavy trimming are all tolerated by this plant. Salt tolerance is moderate; however, it is intolerant of high fertilization.
The plant prefers full sun or dappled shade, as well as well-drained soils. After the flowers have bloomed, you can clip it, but other than that, it requires very little attention. This makes a great screen, and if left uncatered, it shines.
- This shrub is disturbingly fragrant and free flowering
- It will grow between 4 and 12 meters broad
- Growth requires very little attention
- The plant prefers full sun or dappled shade, as well as well-drained soils
The leaves of dogwoods are basic and untoothed, with veins that curve sharply as they reach the leaf margins. Most dogwood species have opposed leaves, although a handful has alternate leaves. There are four parts to a dogwood bloom.
Many species have flowers that are borne individually in open clusters. In contrast, others have densely grouped flowers, lack conspicuous petals, and are encircled by four to six enormous, generally white petal-like sepals.
Dogwoods grow at a rapid rate, reaching a height of 30cm or more per year. As a result, a single tree can attain fully mature in less than a decade. The petal-like sepals of flowers come in various colours, including pale pink, hot pink, white, and pale red, depending on the kind.
The dogwood provides gorgeous colour throughout the year, with the leaves changing colour to a red-purple tint in the Autumn before falling. These shrubs should be cut back and let to grow in the springtime to maintain the stems looking stunning in the winter when the old leaves turn brown and lose their vibrant colours.
- Dogwoods grow at a rapid rate; can growth 30cm or more per year
- Petal-like sepals of flowers come in various colours,
- Enjoys partial shade
- Growth is usually in the springtime
Cypress trees come in a wide range of kinds, over 130 to be precise, so there’s bound to be something suitable for your garden. The leaves are silvery-green to dark green. They develop in spirals or slightly curved patterns and can handle almost any soil type. Most people associate cypress trees with tall, thin trees, but several types, such as Thuja Plicata, are much wider and create great screens when spread and trimmed twice a year.
A pair of magnificent Italian cypress trees provide the ideal backdrop for gates, gateways, and porches. They are pencil-thin conifers that are extensively utilized in Mediterranean gardens but are very easy to propagate. They are tough and robust in the UK, growing up to 15-25cm each year in large pots or directly in the garden.
- Trees provide the ideal backdrop for gates, gateways, and porches
- Aan handle almost any soil type
- They have pencil-thin conifers
The silverberry originally comes from the rounded form of the leaves, which have a velvety, elliptical look. Their scales are green and silver in colour. The leaves are complemented by the milky white flowers in the Autumn.
These fragrant blossoms herald the arrival of small, reddish-brown fruits that are delicious in the Spring. It works effectively as half of an erosion management plan and can be planted anyplace you need a screen.
It will reach a height and spread of 3-4 meters in a circular shape. Very simple to grow, the only significant difficulties to be careful of are spider bites and fungal leaf spots, which aren’t a problem for some people, and you can also buy variegated types.
- Can be grown in full sun or light shade
- Very simple to grow
- Can be planted anyplace you need a screen
- The leaves are complemented by the milky white flowers in the Autumn
- Can only reach 3-4 meters
- Spider bites and fungal leaf spots can result in its demise
This hybrid is one of very few that can withstand alkali. This plant, also known as the California Lilac, is a superb screening plant that will offer something special to your landscape. If you want a vibrant screen, these blooms’ rich violet blues and purples will do the job.
They look to have an overpowering floriferous show of little, cotton-like clusters from a range, and they are gorgeous. They are more striking when viewed up close. In the springtime, they are so overflowing with flowers that the grass beneath them goes unnoticed.
The shrub attracts butterflies, birds, and much-needed bees to your yard while being largely disregarded by deer, so it can be a smart choice if you live in a neighbourhood where these lovely creatures are a problem. It will have a height of 120-240cm and a spread of 180-360cm. Your shrub will grow larger in a milder environment, and it loves full sun and well-drained soils.
- Drought resistant as well as garden-friendly
- Shrub attracts butterflies, birds, and much-needed bees
- Can withstand alkali
- Can get fungal leaf spots
It produces white flowers that are both showy and aromatic in the early Spring, so if you want screening that is both spectacular and fragrant, this is a fantastic choice. It thrives on medium-moisture, well-drained soils and can be found in part shade to full sun.
You can plant it in full shade; however, you will compromise the floriferous properties. When the red growth begins to fade in the springtime, you can clip it to thin it down and improve air circulation, particularly in the winter.
This plant is known for its rapid development and red tops/tips, contrasting nicely with the evergreen colour. The bright red leaves of Spring and the serrated margins of new growth begin to turn into a lush evergreen after that, creating a colourful leaf show.
As if that wasn’t enough, the white blossoms appear in April and have a Hawthorn-like fragrance. You can always remove the flowers at the start of Spring if you don’t want the fragrance but prefer the red and green foliage.
- Plant is known for its rapid development
- It produces white flowers
- It thrives on medium-moisture, well-drained soil
- You can’t plant it in full shade without compromising growth
Viburnums are tiny, evergreen shrubs that can grow up to 3 meters tall and produce beautiful leaves and spectacular little flowers. It’s simple to see why this is a favourite screening plant in Australia: they may virtually overflow with exquisite flowers when properly maintained. It yields little red berries that are appealing and wonderful to look at and aromatic flowers.
- Can overflow with exquisite flowers
- Yields little red berries
- Can only grow 3 meters tall
Pittosporum is an excellent choice for planting near the shore because of its high salt resistance. When fully grown, the plant can reach a height of 8 to 12 feet and a spread of 12 to 18 feet. The natural shape is mounded and thick. Pittosporum reacts well to trimming and can be kept at reduced sizes for many decades. Pruning too hard and too often may result in the loss of the aromatic blossoms.
When the lowest branches are cut, they produce quite lovely little multi-stemmed trees. Dwarf varieties look great in containers and foundational plantings, as high ground covers or bulk plantings.
Pittosporums tolerate a wide range of ground conditions if they are well ventilated. Once established, they are drought resilient, but they are most appealing and healthy when given frequent and appropriate water, especially when they are just getting started. They are not tolerant of poor drainage or excess wetness, which can cause root rot infections to kill them quickly.
- Drought resilient
- Can reach a height of 8 to 12 feet and a spread of 12 to 18 feet
- Reacts well to trimming
- Need water for proper growth, not tolerant of poor drainage or excess wetness
Buying Guide for the Best Tall Plants for Screening
Some of the recommended screening plants can grow quickly. Still, they can also become aggressive, so verify the final height and spread to ensure it is appropriate for your allotment when choosing which species are suited for you.
It would be best if you also considered how much of the area you want to block. Do you want a new fence that runs the entire length of your yard? Or is only one orientation allowed, the one in which you presently have the least privacy? A full-yard living privacy fence, for example, would be best achieved with dense shrubbery, whereas partial privacy might only require one larger tree.
If your goal is to produce better privacy fence concepts and you’re planting along a neighbour’s property line, stay away from particularly huge plants that could generate invasive root issues. These can clog drains and soak ways, so it’s worth it to try to make sure your plants don’t cause a dispute with your neighbours.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the fastest-growing screening plant?
There are numerous advantages to employing screening plants as a physical barrier for seclusion and noise reduction. They give privacy by providing shade and a softer visual wall. Choose from a variety of fast-growing, tried-and-true screening plants. The clustering Bamboo ‘Gracilis’ is a hardy, fast-growing screening bamboo ideal for small homes and gardens. ‘Goldstripe’ is one of the most slender and erect screening bamboos, making it perfect for screening in tight spaces.
Which plants are best for privacy screening?
Bamboo plants, Photinia Red Robin as trees and shrubs, Laurels such as Prunus Laurocerasus or Prunus Lusitanica for hedge, Ligustrum Trees and Shrubs, Leylandii for diversification, and Evergreen Oak as Trees or Shrubs are among the most preferred screening trees and shrubs for seclusion.
How do you plant a privacy screen?
When it comes to establishing your privacy screen, there have been no rules. For a more formal appearance, you might plant screens in a single direction. They can be put in a double row, with one row in the rear and the other row in front, with each plant from the front line put in between the branches in the back row.
Gardens provide a respite from our hectic lives, and we don’t want our neighbours to be capable of seeing right through the fence when we eventually get into our backyards! Various dense, regularly utilized backyard plants can act as an excellent barrier between you and your neighbours.
Note that you may easily chop and change any of these to create casual hedging. If you have a bit more room, you can put one type along your perimeter wall, right up against whichever fence you have, one around an existing building, or a border around a sitting room in your garden.
Choose plants that you appreciate and that demand just the right amount of care. When it comes to shrubs and trees for screening, most don’t need any pruning, so make sure that they’re regularly watered for the first twelve months.
The screening plants on this list are incredibly quick in growing, so you’ll have your desired landscape element in no time. Nevertheless, once they are completely matured, they will necessitate more attention.