If you want to create some privacy in your backyard, block out noise or hide unsightly views, there are many plants that will do the trick! Here’s our list of top 10 plants for screening, plus a few tips to get them off to a great start.
Evergreens and Trees
1. Arborvitae – This is the most popular plant for privacy because of its tall, narrow growing habit. The more popular variety Emerald Green grows 10 to 15 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide. If deer are present, we recommend using the Green Giant variety, which grows much taller than Emerald Green, but is also deer resistant. Other varieties vary taller and wider.
2. Boxwood – They’re great for sculpting and work best as a medium sized hedge. Varieties of boxwood can grow to be 1 to 6 feet tall and up to 6 feet wide.
3. Japanese Maple – A very popular tree for its unique foliage color! They come in a variety of forms of color and for a shade-loving or a full sun setting! Japanese maples can grow 6 to 20 feet tall.
4. Ninebark – Few shrubs are easier to grow than ninebark as it tolerates an array of weather conditions. The foliage is available in a variety of color variegations, such as purple and gold. The flowers are white cup-shaped blooms. Ninebark grows 8 to 10 feet and up to 10 feet wide. Don’t plant where deer are present.
5. Dogwood – With many varieties, dogwood shrubs have attractive foliage and white flowers that bloom and attract hummingbirds and butterflies. They are great for privacy and also offer a winter interest. They grow 8 to 10 feet tall and up to 10 feet wide, depending on type.
6. Burning Bush –The most popular variety of Burning Bush for hedging has dark green foliage color. Burning Bush can survive in full sun and shady areas, but when planted in full sun, the foliage will turn a fiery red in the Fall. When planted in the shade, burning bush will drop its green leaves in the Fall. They grow 6 to 10 feet tall and wide. Please know that this shrub is not deer resistant, so don’t plant where deer are present.
7. Viburnum – This shrub has many varieties of flower colors and leaf textures. Viburnum flowers in spring and some varieties are very fragrant. Plant in partial to full sun. In the Fall, the foliage will turn a burgundy red color. They will grow 6 to 12 feet tall and wide.
8. Trumpet Vine – Using a fence or trellis, trumpet vine will grow as a curtain of green foliage and colorful trumpet-like flowers. Trumpet vines can climb up to 30 feet.
9. Clematis – Just like Trumpet Vine, Clematis can grow along a fence or trellis to be used as a screen from your neighbors. The flowers are uniquely shaped and very colorful! Clematis vines climb up to 10 feet, depending on the variety.
10. Climbing Hydrangea – Just like the shrub version of hydrangeas, climbing hydrangea have breath-taking flowers. With lacy white clumping flowers along a dark green vine, climbing hydrangea will grow up to 30 feet tall along a fence line, tree trunk or trellis to make a beautiful outdoor curtain.
- Always plant darker foliage plants in the distance and lighter ones in the foreground. This will make the plants look fuller and more attractive.
- Choose non-flowering plants as the tall plants and flowering plants for the lower growing plants, so that the focal point stays in the middle of plant screen.
- Consider staggering plants to make them look fuller.
- It is best to dig a wide trench for rows or hedges. This ensures all plants share the water supply and grow more uniformly. For more planting instructions, click here.
All of the plant suggestions came from English Gardens’ free seminar: Plants for Screening. For more information come by any English Gardens location and talk with an expert.