Privacy Screen Plants and Trees to Seal your Home from Nosy, Paparazzi Neighbors

Plants do more than provide beauty to your home because you can also use them as trees for privacy from neighbors. 


sunflower plant

sunflower plant

There are good close neighbors, then there are the nosy close neighbors who want to monitor your little home affairs around the clock. Whom did you bring home last night? What do you do when you wake up? Who and who visits you on weekends, and where do you sit with them?

Privacy screen plants or trees are the subtle yet powerful protection from all these. Again, it is not just the neighbors’ eyes you need privacy screen plants to shield you from, but even from passers-by who want to see more than is permitted for a passing glance.

What is the privacy Screen plant?

A privacy screen is the type of plant that can help block your home affairs from an outsider’s view or keep you away from your neighbor’s home affairs. This way, no prying eye can easily see what is happening in your home.

The trees or plants act as a screen or curtain that conceals your day to day activities. Homeowners also use privacy trees to minimize loud sounds from outer spaces and block out the streets or unwanted, unsightly views.

A neighbor may have a dumping site in his backyard, which is in order, except you see the dumping site when you open your backdoor. You have no right to ask the neighbor to relocate the dumping site. However, you can plant privacy screen trees along your side of the barbed wire fence to block the unbecoming scene.

Qualities of a Good Privacy Screen Tree or Plant

How do you determine that a particular tree variety is suitable as a privacy screen? The following are the qualities of the tree or plant variety that is best used as a privacy screen:

1.    Evergreen

An ideal privacy screen tree or plant should retain its green foliage even in a dry season because it is the foliage that provides the screen or the cover that keeps you in your own world. A deciduous tree is suitable as a privacy screen because it remains green in the dry season when other trees are wilting.

2.    Dense Foliage

The foliage of a screen tree should be dense or thick because the screen depends entirely on this.

3.    Nice or Beautiful

A tree or plant that qualifies as a privacy screen should be nice or beautiful enough to be grown in a home. Not all trees are fit for home beautification, so you should not pick any tree you can grab. Remember, Home improvement is about filling your home with good things.

4.    Grows Above Eye Level

A plant or tree you use as a privacy screen should grow above an onlooker’s eye level otherwise he would simply crane his neck to see what’s going on if the plants are short. An ideal height for a good privacy screen is at least 6-8 feet though taller ones are even better.

5.    Easy To Grow and Maintain

A tree or plant you select for the privacy screen should be easy to grow and maintain. An ideal privacy screen is able to adapt to varying climate, sunlight, and soil conditions. It shouldn’t be vulnerable to many diseases or pests. You don’t need a tree that is going to cost you a lot of time and even then ends up drying up

6.    Grows fast

Some trees take ages to reach their mature height. Since you want this tree to act as your privacy screen in your lifetime, go for a tree that is going to get tits maximum height within ten years. There are slow-growing trees that make good privacy screens but then they need patience.

We mentioned the neighbor’s dumping site. That is one instance where you require trees that are going to grow fast.

1.    Bamboo



I like bamboo, so I have to start with it. Bamboo is one easy to grow plant that you can grow along your backyard as a privacy screen. I don’t think it needs any serious care to make it in life. Once it is grown and it agrees with the soil and the climate, that is it. It will grow fast, conquering the area.

But I must admit that, from what I have seen, a typical bamboo plant is invasive, meaning it destroys other plant species because it wants all the space for itself. Once it takes over a place, it can be hard to put under control.

Fortunately, there is a variety called Fargesia bamboo that grows slowly, spreads slowly, and has clumping roots.

It has a majestic height; I enjoy resting under its shade, watching its brown stems that remind me of sugarcane. The stems are initially green and only turn brown in maturity.

2.    Cactus


Where I come from, cactus used to mark boundaries in farms. Once planted along the farm boundaries and once they took root, they become sure beacons or landmarks. Cactus, if planted in a line, make great privacy screen plants for homes, especially in hot and dry climates where many plants do not do well.

There are small artificial cactus for your window or balcony too if you cannot lay your hands on the real ones.

3.     Leyland CypressCupressocyparis leylandii

Cypress tree

Cypress tree

I like cypress trees because of their fast-growing rate and the feathery leaves that whistle when the wind blows. Cypress trees are evergreen, tall, and narrow. They look stately if you plant them in a row along your fence, leaving enough breathing space between each.

No neighbor will get enough space to peep through to see what toothpaste brand you are using.

Given their growth speed, evergreen foliage, beauty, ease of care, and dense foliage, cypress trees make the perfect privacy screen for many homes. Leyland Cypress is one variety that is mostly preferred for privacy screen purposes, although it has a short lifespan lasting two decades. But not before it reaches 60 feet in height.

The good thing is that once it reaches its “sell-by date,” you can sell it to timber yards because cypress is an ideal building material.

4.    ArborvitaeThuja occidentalis




Arborvitae is one of the best privacy screen plants due to its deep green and thick foliage, sweet scent, fast-growing, and low to zero-maintenance requirement. You can also plant them close together and keep them at the uniform height you want by merely trimming the top.

5.    Hornbeam Tree

Hornbeam tree

Hornbeam tree

Hornbeam is a beautiful deciduous plant that is actually something between a tree and a shrub that makes a great privacy screen. It has the potential to outlive you, unlike the cypress we previously discussed.

You can keep it at a required height by shearing it regularly.

6.    Juniper

Blue Point Juniper Tree

Blue Point Juniper Tree

Juniper is a popular privacy screen plant because it tolerates drought, poor soil and is also evergreen. Deer do not feed on Jupiter, which is why it is popular in areas where deer graze.

7.    Sunflowers

If you are looking for tall narrow plants for privacy, then consider sunflowers. Sunflower is one privacy screen plant that is tall enough and with beautiful color but will not last for long. You will be planting them every year, after which you harvest their oily, highly nutritious seeds.

sunflower plant

sunflower plant

There are many varieties to choose from and they are all easy to grow. You can opt for the common annual sunflowers that can grow up to 15 feet, or you can go for the perennial sunflowers like the Jerusalem artichoke that grows 8 feet. Maximilian sunflower is another alternative that also grows to 8 feet. They make a great patio or deck screening.

8.    Red CedarJuniperus virginana

Red Cedar is another privacy screen you can use to block out the street or nosy neighbors even in the winter. The Red Cedar can withstand drought, and deer don’t feed on them, which is a plus if you come from a deer area.

Red Cedar

Red Cedar

Red Cedar also has pricks that ensure the intruders think twice about what they intend to do. The neighbors with prying eyes will also learn to keep distance when they realize your living wall fights back if provoked.

9.    Boxwood

Boxwood plant

Boxwood plant

Boxwood plant is another worthy consideration for your privacy screen purposes. They make great privacy plants in pots, but you can also grow it as a fence.

Do not give it strict maintenance if you want it to look more beautiful and grow as tall as 20 feet. The typical boxwood plant is deep green in color, but you can also get gold or white varieties.

Wrap Up

There we go. Good fences make good neighbors, or so Robert Frost wrote. You may not be good friends with your neighbors until they know the boundaries. Fortunately, you do not have to show them the limit. Just plant it.


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