Plants for Screening!

Plants for Screening

Privacy Plants, or Screening Plants, serve as a living privacy fence to provide privacy from street traffic and neighbors. They create a sound barrier to reduce noise and act as a windbreak to protect against harsh winds. A single plant can be used to mask your view of distant objects, such as a gas meter or a neighbor’s trash cans. Privacy plants will soften your fence lines and add color to your landscape.

Determine how high you want your screen, as there are plants available for any size of screen. Also determine how much space you have available. If your area is wide enough you may consider making a double or triple row. Multiple rows of escalating heights will provide better sight and noise privacy.

Evergreen plants are the most common choice for privacy screens as they do not lose their leaves in the winter. Deciduous plants will lose their leaves in the winter, but usually produce flowers which will add color to the landscape. The best privacy screen uses a combination of both evergreen and flowering deciduous plants to provide year- long privacy and interest in the landscape.

Plants 6-12 feet tall

  • Evergreen – 8-12 ft tall x 6-8 ft wide
    • Photinia, Elaeagnus, Variegated Privet, Golden Vicary Privet, Manhattan Euonymus, Rufa Clumping Bamboo
  • Deciduous – 4-6 ft tall x 4-6 ft wide
    • Forsythia, Bridal Wreath Spiraea, Maiden Grass, Pampas Grass
  • Deciduous – 6-8 ft tall x 6-8 ft wide
    • Semi-Dwarf Crapemyrtle, Rose of Sharon Althea, Purple Persian Lilac, Japanese Kerria

Plants 10 to 15 feet tall

  • Evergreen – 10-15 ft tall x 6-10 ft wide
    • Cherry Laurel, Yaupon Holly, Southern Waxmyrtle
  • Deciduous – 8-15 ft tall x 8-15 ft wide
    • Crapemyrtle Tree, Vitex. Snowball Viburnum

Plants 15 to 20 feet tall

  • Evergreen – 15-20 ft tall x 3-6 ft wide
    • Spartan, Taylor, and Wichita Blue Juniper, Emerald Green Arborvitae
  • Evergreen – 15-20 ft tall x 8-12 ft wide
    • Nellie Stevens Holly, Arizona Cypress, Canerti Juniper, Hollywood Juniper
  • Deciduous – 15-20 feet tall x 10-15 ft wide
    • Desert Willow, Amur Maple, Bloodgood Japanese Maple

Plants 30 feet tall

  • Evergreen – 30-50 ft tall x 15-30 ft wide
    • Loblolly Pine


To start your own screen, you will need to know the sun exposure of your area. Is it in full sun, partial shade or shade, as these plants have different requirements? Select plant varieties based on foliage and/or bloom colors, growth habit, sun exposure, and size suit your garden.

Set smaller plants 4 feet apart, larger ones 5 to 6 feet apart. When planting next to a long fence, combine several types of plants to break up and disguise the fence’s linearity. For instance, group seven Photinia with three Crapemyrtle

If necessary, buy fewer plants but go with larger sizes. Larger plants make an immediate impact and will provide a solid screen much quicker than small plants. One gallon size plants should be avoided as it will take a long, long time to provide any privacy.

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