10 floors of privacy to select your patio in style

If you’re looking for ways to create a natural display for your garden, today’s post is for you! Kate here, and I have a bit of experience in this area. I spent most of the five years trying to block out the view of my neighbors’ backyard, which had become a dumping ground for unwanted items. The problem: My living room overlooked the scrap heap, and nothing but a chain-screen fence separated our outdoor spaces. The solution: privacy plants.

Get ready for interesting greenery that can add shade, privacy, and beauty to your garden. Below, you will find 10 options to choose from and don’t worry, we understand that not everyone has a green thumb. Well, make sure to provide you with artificial alternatives in case you are worried about maintenance. And at the end of the post, I’ll reveal what I ended up selecting for my backyard. Ready to get started?

Privacy Plant #1: Bamboo

We started with bamboo. It may not be the first thing you think of for privacy plants, but I’ll change my mind. It adds height and modern style to the outdoor spaces it adorns. Next, we see how a row of bamboo creates a wall of vegetation next to the pool. But what about the fact that bamboo can be invasive and difficult to maintain? [by Anston Architectural ]

 Bamboo adds greenery to a poolside fence

Not all bamboo is invasive! While some can quickly lose control, try Fargesia bamboos, which have clustered roots and grow more slowly than their rogue counterparts.

Fargesia has many advantages, including the fact that it is fast-growing, evergreen and hardy, even in the cold. For more information, see Nursery Management. [photo by Bamboo Visions ]

If you’re still worried about invasive bamboo, don’t forget that it can’t invade if it’s not real! Why not try lining your garden with some of these artificial bamboo plants?

 Non-invasive binder bamboo near a main entrance

Privacy Floor #2: Boxwood

Boxwood is an ideal evergreen choice for privacy plants that you want to keep in pots and planters. Try tall, thin containers to add height, and sculpt boxwood for a privacy screen with a bold, thoughtful statement! [photo by Cyan Horticulture ]

Boxwood sculpted in tall planters

Boxwood is also a lovely choice for flooring. It adds the charm of an English garden style when trimmed into spheres or hedges. If height isn’t an important factor with your privacy screen, you don’t need to wait for the boxwood to grow tall before achieving the results you want. [photo by Gardenality ]

 Boxwood bushes provide a living wall of greenery.

Privacy Plant #3: Artificial Boxwood

If you need thick, high, lush coverage and want an instant privacy fence, consider artificial hedgerows. In fact, artificial boxwood is becoming the perfect solution if you don’t have time to grow high hedges. Next, we see artificial boxwood that looks like a dense evergreen, from Planters Unlimited through Dwell on Design:

 Artificial boxwood hedges are a low-maintenance option

Another reason to become artificial: maintaining perfectly sculpted hedges takes time and money. These artificial boxwood hedges from Hooks & Lattice do not require the maintenance of their live counterparts! In addition, they are made of high quality polyurethane with UV protection and assembled by hand. If you want an easy option, you can pick up these artificial boxwood mosaics and simply place them on a wooden base.

Dark green boxwood can be screwed into pots (also from Hooks & Lattice) for a clean, modern look. If you choose to go fake, do your research! Make sure you understand how much life you’ll get from your investment. Be prepared for it to eventually begin to wear out and fade.

 Imitation boxwood hedges from Hooks and Lattice

Privacy Plant #4: Cactus

While not the obvious choice of the privacy plant, cacti create modern sculptural options for fences with an unexpected twist. A February 2015 Gardenista article by Jeanne Rostaing shows the Mexican Fence Post cactus.

It is shown below adorning the patio of El Montero restaurant in Mexico. Did you know that this cactus was used by Mexican landowners to designate property lines? [Photo by Matthew Williams ]

 Cacti provide privacy in El Montero in Mexico

Cacti can be the perfect solution for hot, dry climates where they grow naturally. There’s nothing quite like the modern feel that a 20-foot-tall row of cacti provides. Especially when used to enhance the architecture of a house. If you want to choose an artificial option, it will not be easy to find a 20-foot option. Still, there are a few available, like this 31-inch fake cactus that would make a perfect privacy plant for a balcony or window. [photo by Bill Timmerman, of The Construction Zone ]

 Cacti make a sculptural privacy screen away from prying eyes

Privacy Plant #5: Italian Sea Buckthorn

We continued our evergreen bush kick, this time going back to the real variety! Consider Italian buckthorn for your privacy plant needs. This shrub will grow fairly quickly in early spring, and its vertical formations make it ideal for screen purposes. [by Arterra Paisajistas ]

 Italian buckthorn adds greenery to a modern courtyard

Because it is taller than it is wide, Italian buckthorn is perfect for placing in front of walls. It is even excellent for placing it in front of other structures that do not need full coverage. After all, why would you want to hide a colorful wall like the one below? [photo of the Marina del Rey Garden Center ]

If you love the idea of continuing to show a wall, then you can use any artificial plant you want! We love the idea of placing a few artificial dracaenas in front of a splash of color.

 The green leaves of this Italian buckthorn are the perfect choice for this purple wall.

Privacy Floor #6: Ligustro

It’s important to remember that tall, lush hedgerows (even fast-growing ones) can take years to grow. They don’t grow 15 feet overnight! If you have time to be patient, it’s worth waiting to achieve a private space like the one in the featured image below.

Ligustro is the plant of choice in this stunning outdoor area. [photo by Doug Young, of Lear + Mahoney Landscape Associates ]

 Ligustro creates tall green hedge formations

Keep in mind that when you’re planting greenery like Privet, it’s important to consider the needs of your space. You want to maximize the growth potential of the privacy plants you choose.

Plan your privacy screen carefully, making sure to research the proper space of each floor. Consult an expert, such as a landscaper or a knowledgeable employee at your local nursery. For more information, visit the Arbor Day Foundation. [photo by Popscreen ]

 Privet creates a lush wall of greenery

Privacy Plant #7: Tree of Life

There is something unique about the clustered and textured feel of Arborvitae vegetation. This tree often overlaps with other selections, such as Boxwood.

Below we see a lush garden filled with well-kept evergreen trees and shrubs. Note that the tree of life grows tall behind the boxwood. [from Houzz ]

 Tree of life and boxwood in a well-kept garden

If you are considering planting Arborvitae as a privacy plant, there are some important tips to remember. Most important is the value of properly researching the best variety of plant for your garden. Learn more at DoItYourself.com. [photo of the Arbor Day Foundation ]

 Privacy fence created with Arborvitae

Privacy Floor #8: Photinia

Photinia offers extensive coverage as well as glossy leaves that add richness to your outdoor space. This evergreen shrub is often used as privacy plants, as shown below in a hedge created by alternating Photinia with Dodonaea. [photo by Uurutia Design ]

 Privacy coverage created by Photinia trees

You can let your Photinia complete, or you can trim and cultivate it, as shown in the following featured image. If you have other plants, try mixing them up. You can also use a fence or wall behind, as pruning this plant is an eye-catching way to add interest to the garden.

Whether or not you are looking for a neat appearance, it is important to regularly prune Photinia. That way it stays healthy and thriving. [photo by Kate Eyre Garden Design ]

 Sculpted Photinia trees add height and interest to the backyard

Privacy Floor #9: Cypresses

There’s nothing quite like the tall, majestic silhouette of a cypress tree. Because this plant grows tall and narrow, it is perfect for planting in a row to create a screen, as shown in the patio space below. [of outer worlds ]

 A wall of cypresses borders a Houston courtyard

Leyland Cypress is a popular choice for privacy fences. The only drawback is its lifespan: this tree has a short lifespan, with many estimates between 10 and 20 years.

As with all vegetation you add to your garden, do your research. That way, you can weigh factors like cost and maintenance against the longevity of your investment. [photo by USA Pools ]

 Cypress trees provide privacy to the pool area

Privacy Plant #10: Vines

Let’s end today’s post by considering the option of vines! If you have a fence with gaps or openings (in other words, a not-so-private fence), a good vine is a great solution. It adds privacy and beauty to your garden.

One option is Clematis, which grows quickly and produces beautiful flowers. However, keep in mind that this vine requires dedicated pruning to prevent it from growing out of control. In other words, if you want a quick crop, Clematis might be the trick, but be prepared to keep it under control. [Photo by OnlinePlantGuide.com ]

 Clematis is a popular selection of vines

In contrast to Clematis, plants like Confederate Jasmine are slower growing. It can take years to cover a fence, but provide solid, resilient evergreen growth with a big payoff. It’s beautiful all year round and surprisingly fragrant in spring and/or summer (depending on where you live). This floor is perfect for balconies, patios, trellises and wire mesh fences.

In case you’re wondering, this is the plant I chose to cover my backyard fence. It didn’t block the view of my neighbors’ boxes right away, but it became more beautiful every year. Worth the wait. [photo by Alice Maslin via Houzz ]

 Jasmine grows on a balcony trellises

Which of today’s featured privacy plants would you consider for your outdoor space? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below

What is the best plant for screening?

Bamboo, honeysuckle and Golden Hop are good choices for fast-growing screening plants.

What is the fastest growing plant for privacy?

Ligustro (Ligustrum spp.)

Privet is a fast-growing shrub that includes approximately 50 species [7]. They grow upright, grow fast and, like boxwood, tolerate pruning.

What is the best plant to use as a fence?

Arborvitae is the most popular choice for a living privacy fence, as its thick evergreens create a dense hedge. It is available in many varieties of different stature, from dwarf to large. This fast-growing plant can tolerate any type of soil and is also cold-resistant.

How do you use plants as a privacy screen?

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