The Best Plants To Use As A Privacy Screen

Some days, you just want to grill burgers in your robe.

Or lounge on the deck with your hair a mess.

And even if you love your neighbors, you don't necessarily want to watch them skim their pool or wash their dog.

Maybe you love living in the city, but the street noise interferes with your backyard chill.

You need some privacy.

best plants to use for privacy

Brick wall? Too fortress-like. Tall wooden fence? Too much work.

Plants might offer just the privacy you need.

Here's a look at some of the best plants to use for privacy, from trees to shrubs, grasses to vines.

Best Trees For Privacy

Swedish Aspen

The Swedish Aspen tree is hardy, great for screening and offers pretty fall color. Its rounded leaves rustle in the breeze, adding a soothing sound to your private oasis. Plus, it’s narrow, so it’s great for small spaces. And, it’s happy in cold climates. It pretty much has it all going on.

Swedish Aspen Tree

Evergreen Trees

Evergreens are great for reducing noise and offering privacy all year long. Bonus: they also act as a snow screen. Douglas-fir is a popular option for a privacy screening tree.

Evergreen trees for privacy

Green Giant Arborvitae

In a hurry? Green Giant Arborvitae is a vigorous, fast-growing evergreen that grows as much as 3 feet per year. Its rich green foliage is resistant to wind once it’s established, and it can withstand heavy ice or snow. It's a great tree for privacy.

CC- Green Giant Arborvitae

Canadian Hemlock

Canadian Hemlock is a great privacy tree for picky conditions. It thrives in the cold, doesn’t mind poor soil, is happy in sun or shade. Plant a few of them together and they’ll grow into a dense privacy hedge that also offers protective winter cover for birds and small furry critters.

Candian Hemlock

Best Bushes For Privacy

The best shrubs for privacy are tall, but not too tall, dense, and are pretty as well as private.

Here’s a look at three of the best privacy screening shrubs.

Juniper ‘Wichita Blue’

Juniper ‘Wichita Blue’ has a beautiful blue-gray color all year long, creates a nice thick screen and will eventually grow to 15 to 25 feet tall and six to eight feet wide. No worries about deer with this shrub, but the birds will thank you — they love the silvery blue berries. If you’re anxious for privacy fast, this is a good choice. It’s a speedy grower, adding 6 to 12 inches a year.

Juniper Wichita Blue

North Privet

North Privet creates a fast-growing hedge, growing up to 3 feet per year. Its dense, dark, glossy green foliage makes a nice backdrop for colorful annuals or perennials if you want a layered look.

North Privet

Red Twig Dogwood

Red Twig Dogwood is deciduous, so it’s a good choice if you’re mostly concerned about privacy for your deck or patio in the summer months, but you’ll be rewarded with its striking red twigs in the winter.  This popular shrub grows up to eight feet tall, spreads several feet wide and has pretty white flowers in the summer.

Red Twig Dogwood

Best Grasses For Privacy

Don’t forget about ornamental grasses when pondering plants for privacy. Grasses are graceful, beautiful, fit in a narrow space and are perfect for screening a deck or patio.

Here are three of the best privacy screening grasses:

Zebra Grass

Zebra Grass is a striking variegated grass with interesting yellow horizontal stripes. It grows about 5 to 8 feet tall and 4 to 6 feet wide. Watch for a pale pink plume to emerge in late summer.

Zebra Grass

Maiden Grass

Maiden Grass offers great privacy with its full, fluffy growth of 5 or 6 feet tall and 4 to 5 feet wide. This clumping grass gets a bit bigger each year, so your privacy will increase with the passing seasons. It has pretty plumes, too, that start out maroon and change to a creamy silver, then brown.

Maiden Grass

Giant Silver Grass

Giant silver grass is technically known as Miscanthus Giganteus, and that “giant” part is no joke. Dare anyone to see you behind this monster grass, which forms huge clumps up to 9 feet tall and 4 feet wide. It’s big enough to hide your whole family. Soft pink plumes form in the fall.

giant silver grass

Vines For Privacy

Vines are easy to grow on a wall, fence or trellis, offer great privacy and many sport beautiful blooms or striking fall color.

If you have a chain link fence that you want to make more private, Persian, English or Boston ivy will cover it nicely.

Here’s a look at three vigorous vines that provide quick and pretty privacy screening.

Virginia Creeper

Virginia Creeper is a fast-growing vine that not only clings nicely to fences and walls but also adds a pop of vibrant color to your outdoor space. As the seasons change, you'll be delighted to see the leaves transition from a lush green to a brilliant orange in the fall. This stunning display of autumn foliage will not only provide privacy but also create a warm and inviting atmosphere in your backyard oasis.

Virginia Creeper Vine

Sweet Autumn Clematis

Sweet Autumn Clematis is a vigorous climber that grows both tall and wide, making it a perfect choice for adding a touch of elegance and privacy to your outdoor space. Its delicate white flowers create a stunning contrast against the lush green foliage, providing a beautiful focal point in your backyard sanctuary.
CC - Sweet Autumn Clematis


Hops — yes, as in beer. Large leaves, interesting bright green cones on female plants, and it can climb an astonishing few inches a day until it tops out at about 25 feet.

Hops Vine for privacy

Let Outback Help Create Your Private Oasis

At Outback Landscape, we understand your need for privacy. We're happy to stop over, take a look at your property, then suggest the best plants to use as a privacy screen to give you the secluded space you crave.

Our skills don’t stop there. We offer landscape design, construction, maintenance, irrigation and lighting services to enhance your property.

We serve residential and commercial properties in Idaho Falls, Rexburg and Pocatello, Idaho, as well as Bonneville, Madison and Bannock counties.

Call us at 208-656-3220. Or fill out the contact form to schedule a no-obligation meeting with one of our team members.

We’d love to hear from you

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Image sources: swedish aspen tree, douglas-fir, green giant arborvitae, canadian hemlock, juniper wichita blue, north privet, red twig dogwood, zebra grass, maiden grass, giant silver grass, virginia creeper, sweet autumn clematis, hops vine