Plants for Privacy

Browse the best plants to create a green screen for your outdoor living space.

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Photo By: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Eric Perry

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©Image courtesy of Proven Winners

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Emerald Green Arborvitae

Emerald Green arborvitae, which will eventually reach 12 to 15 feet tall, are a good choice for a four-season privacy planting.


Vines make great screens. Clematis features large, spring-blooming flowers that come in a variety of colors. The plants are slow to mature, so for fast results purchase plants that are at least two years old.

Climbing Roses

Train climbing roses over fences, walls, pergolas and gazebos. Try pretty-in-pink 'Eden' or the stunning, multicolored 'Joseph's Coat'. 

Cherry Laurel

Cherry laurel is an evergreen shrub or small tree native to the southeastern United States. It grows 15 to 36 feet tall and shows off small clusters of creamy white flowers in early spring. 


A fence covered with ivy provides a low perimeter around this seating area. Take adding ivy to your landscape with a grain of salt — it grows quickly, aggressively and can be difficult to remove once planted.


Boxwood are easy to grow and maintain. They tolerate heavy pruning and can be clipped into various shapes.


Privet has dark green leaves which are semi-evergreen in Southern states or slightly deciduous in Northern states. May to early June brings fragrant white flowers that bees find very attractive. It grows extremely fast — careful pruning and training is critical in the first year to establish a dense, sturdy hedge.

Japanese Holly

Japanese holly is a dense evergreen that reaches 6 to 10 feet. It grows slowly, but can be invasive. Black, berry-like fruits provide winter interest.


Buckthorn is a deciduous shrub or small tree that grows 5 to 7 feet tall. It's fern-like foliage turns yellow in the fall.

Fan Palm

Perfect for zones 8 through 11, European fan palms (Chamaerops humilis) grow to up to 15 feet. The fan-like leaves spread to about 3 feet wide, creating the perfect screen. You can prune the suckers or allow the plant to become shrubby.

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