Best plants for privacy screens

Updated Dec 20, 2021

Old standbys like viburnum and boxwoods remain popular for creating living screens, but there are many other varieties that add interest, beauty and privacy to the landscape.

Consider these other plants and old favorites the next time you need to design a private space.

Trees:

Photo: J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.Photo: J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.

Arnold Sentinel Pine (Pinus nigra ‘Arnold Sentinel’)

This super-hardy Austrian Black Pine has densely needled upright branches that form a tight column. Plant singly or in groupings. Tolerant of heat, drought and heavy soils. Grows to 25 feet tall and 7 feet wide.

  • Hardy to USDA Zone 4

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Photo: Proven WinnersPhoto: Proven Winners

North Pole Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Art Boe’ PPAF)

This variety is resistant to winter burn. Keeps a nice columnar shape that works well in narrow spaces. Grows 15 feet tall and 4 to 5 feet wide.

  • Hardy to USDA Zone 3.

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Photo: MonroviaPhoto: Monrovia

Gold Rider Leyland Cypress (Cupressus leylandii ‘Gold Rider’)

This conifer has dense, horizontal branching sprays with gold tips and lime green interior foliage. Plant as a focal point or in multiples as a hedge. Can be sheared to a more formal appearance. Grows up to 35 feet tall and 15 feet wide.

  • Hardy to USDA Zone 5
  • Full sun

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Shrubs:

Photo: MonroviaPhoto: Monrovia

Mountain Pepper (Drimys lanceolata)

An evergreen shrub with creamy fragrant blossoms and shiny black fruit in autumn. Oval leaves with red young stems. Can also be pruned into a formal hedge. Reaches 10 to 15 feet tall and 10 feet wide.

  • Hardy to USDA Zone 7
  • Sun to part shade

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Photo: MonroviaPhoto: Monrovia

Bright ‘N Tight Carolina Laurel (Prunus caroliniana ‘Monus’)

Compact, dense evergreen with shiny leaves and fragrant blossoms. Works well as background plant or windbreak. Can be sheared as a hedge. Grows 8 to 10 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide, larger if not trimmed.

  • Hardy to USDA Zone 7
  • Part to full sun

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Photo: MonroviaPhoto: Monrovia

Emerald Colonnade Holly (Ilex x ‘RutHol1’ PP #23905)

A holly with dense pyramidal shape that works as a single specimen, as a grouping or in mass as a screen. Does well in containers. No messy berries. Grows 10 to 12 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide.

  • Hardy to USDA Zone 7
  • Full sun

 

 

 

 

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