Does Your Yard Have a Landscaping Theme?

3 Great Plants For Privacy Screens

by Dan Mckinney

If you're looking for a natural way to have a privacy screen in your landscape, plants are one of the best ways to do it. By knowing which plants work best for privacy screens, you'll be able to pick out the best ones for your yard.


Boxwoods are the traditional shrub used in gardening borders. You may be familiar with seeing them carved into intricate topiaries. Boxwood shrubs are hardy and have varieties perfect for any level of privacy screening. There are dwarf varieties that stop growing at two feet tall, and many varieties that dwarf fences.

Boxwoods are a slow growing shrub. It can take up to two years before they settle in a location. Until they settle, they enjoy frequent watering. While these shrubs may be slow growing, they'll reward you with a thick privacy screen that can live for decades.


Arborvitae is another standard you've probably seen in your neighborhood. These narrow, evergreen trees are very narrow and provide a tall privacy screen at maturity. In contrast to the boxwood, the Arborvitae requires very little attention once it's been planted. It even tolerates most soil types, but it is a little picky about light – it requires full sun.

You can expect arborvitae to grow about two feet per year until it reaches its mature height of at least five feet tall. You can plant them at the north edge of your property as a strong windbreak for energy savings too!


Yew are trees that are very tolerant of pruning, making them excellent for both topiaries and privacy borders. These are the longest living privacy screen trees on this list; they can live up to 600 years. These trees feature rich, deep green foliage and grow bright red casings around their seeds. Left untamed, Yew trees can form massive privacy screens for large properties. However, it's important to note Yew trees can be toxic to livestock, so they may not be suited to farms.

Yew tolerate a wide variety of lighting conditions and can even be at home in the shade. However, these trees dislike very wet soil and can develop root rot if the ground is too moist.

These plants are just a sampling of what you can use to make great natural borders. If you have any questions about what plants would work great for your property, consider talking to your landscaper. Your lawn maintenance expert will be able to select the right plants for your privacy screen based on your individual needs and your landscape's soil type.