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Maximize Landscape Privacy with Smart Plant Selections

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A private terrace featuring a dining area with wooden chairs and a table, surrounded by lush greenery. The terrace is elevated, with stone steps leading down to a well-manicured lawn. The garden includes neatly trimmed shrubs and tall conifer trees, providing a natural privacy screen. The sky is partly cloudy, adding to the serene and well-maintained outdoor space.

Privacy is a precious commodity in today’s world. One way to block out an unwanted view or create a secluded oasis is by installing a privacy plant screening. We’ll discuss some popular plants and less common options to help you achieve your privacy goals.

Benefits of Using Plants for Screening

Plants can create a wall-like effect that can help create a secluded and private space for you and your family. In a world where noise surrounds us, dense plantings can also act as a noise control. The sound buffer gives you a quiet space to relax while still enjoying much-needed time outdoors. Plants are also a great way to block fierce winds that may inundate your home or outdoor living space.

Choosing the Right Plants for Your Privacy

It’s necessary to consider the following factors when choosing plants for privacy:

Height: The height you need for privacy will depend on the purpose of your screening. Tall plants are necessary to block higher windows, while shorter plants work to stop views at eye level.

Width: This will depend on the space you have available to you. Plants with a greater width will work to cover larger areas, while columnar forms work better for narrow areas.

Sunlight: Choosing the right plants for your lighting conditions will create a more effective and successful privacy screen. Watch your area carefully to see what sunlight you have in the area you are planting in. Matching the plants to the light needed will allow your plants to thrive.

Water: All plants will require regular watering until they become established. However, some plants require more consistent water. Without irrigation, maintenance of these plants might be challenging if planted too far away from your home. Choosing plants that will perform well with the amount of water available will make your life, and the life of the plant, much easier.

Evergreen or Deciduous: Both evergreen and deciduous plants have benefits. Evergreen plants offer the ability to screen year-round while also offering protection from the wind. Deciduous plants, with their dense foliage, offer screening while also providing flower or foliage interest.

Single or Multiple Plant Types: The space available to you may hold only one type of plant. If the area is large enough, choosing a mixture of evergreen and deciduous can add some much needed diversity to your screening. It will give you a more natural appearance but also has the added benefit of making it easier to replace plants should the need arise.

Evergreen Privacy Plants

There are many evergreens available that will work well for screening. These are some of our favorites.

Green Giant Arborvitae (Thuja standish x plicata) – This evergreen averages 50 feet high with an average spread of 15 feet. Green Giant is a fast-growing hybrid with a dense, pyramidal habit.

American Holly (Ilex opaca) – This Missouri native enjoys part shade to full sun. It reaches 15 to 30 feet tall and 10 to 20 feet wide.

Dragon Lady Holly (Ilex x aquipernyi) – This holly has dark, glossy foliage and lives in full sun to part shade. It reaches 10 to 20 feet tall with a spread of 4 to 6 feet making it the perfect choice for limited space areas.

Hicks Yew (Taxus x media) – Hicks Yew is excellent for shearing into tight hedges. They live in full sun to partial shade. They commonly reach 12 to 20 feet tall and 8 to 12 feet wide. These yews are tolerant of being pruned to the desired size.

Deciduous Privacy Plants

Evergreen plants don’t have to be the only option for privacy screening. Deciduous trees and shrubs provide excellent seasonal coverage while also giving you added interest.

Arnold Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipfera) – This unique columnar tree bears yellow-green tulip-like flowers with streaks of orange in the late spring to early summer. It reaches 50 feet tall and 15 feet wide.

Regal Prince Oak (Quercus robur x bicolor) – Regal Prince offers a spectacular option for screening or windbreak because of its columnar form and typical low-branching habit. This elegant tree reaches 45 feet tall and 18 feet wide.

Witch hazel (Hamamelis vernalis) – Commonly called Ozark witch hazel, this early bloomer is a Missouri native. This plant does well in partial shade to full sun areas. If allowed, it will spread via suckers. However, individual plant size ranges from 6 to 10 feet tall and 8 to 15 feet wide.

Purple Pillar Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) – This summer flowering shrub has lovely lilac flowers with red eyes. The unique columnar form reaches 10 to 16 feet tall but stays 4 to 5 feet wide.

Plants are a great way to add seclusion to your outdoor living space. By choosing the right plant for the right location, you can create a low-maintenance screen that will offer privacy for years.