Screening plants are an excellent choice for those who want natural, attractive, and low maintenance barriers. Screening plants grow swiftly, provide privacy, and elevate the look of a home. Not only do they block out line-of-sight, but they also serve as a windbreak. Many hedges can be used for screening, but there are also screening plants that are particularly fast-growing and dense. Here are 15 of the best hedges recommended by us – Harwood’s Lawn Care
1. The Lilly Pilly
An attractive flowering hedge, the Lilly Pilly can grow up to five meters in height. They will produce brilliant red berries after their flowers have died down, and are hence a great option for those who want something decorative. Check out our guide on Selecting and Caring for a Lilly Pilly Hedge.
A small, evergreen shrub, Viburnums are able to grow up to three meters and produce both gorgeous leaves and brilliant, small flowers. This is a popular screening plant around Australia, and it’s easy to see why: when properly cared for, they can practically overflow with delicate flowers. Not only does it produce small, red berries (which are attractive and lovely to look at), but the flowers it produces are fragrant. Check out our guide How to Select, Grow, and Care for Your Viburnums.
3. Leighton Green
A popular conifer, the Leighton Green is fast-growing and dense. With lovely, small, brilliant green leaves, the Leighton Green can be shaped into virtually any design. It can be used as a traditional hedge or a screening plant. As a conifer, it naturally grows quite tall and can range from ten to fifteen meters at its full height. It’s not the best option for those who want to decorate a small garden. Check out our guide How to Select, Grow and Care for Your Conifers.
With a number of fantastic varieties, the Pittosporum is a common addition to many gardens. There are Silver Sheen, Green Pillar, James Stirling, and Tasman Ruffles Pittosporum varieties, ranging in their leaf size, colour, and many other attributes. Thus, you can probably find a Pittosporum to suit any look that you want. This hedge can grow up to five meters tall, making it the perfect option for a screening hedge. Check out our Guide to Choosing, Planting and Caring for Pittosporums.
Privets can grow up to three feet a year. Even a small privet is going to start giving you privacy within just a few. Privet hedges need fairly frequent maintenance and pruning to retain their shape, but they’re otherwise hardy and easy to grow. They also have large, lovely bunches of flowers in the spring, which can be perfect for a showy garden.
If you’re looking for a screen with needle leaves rather than broad leaves, the Cypress is a good choice. Cypress is better in hot, humid areas, but it can grow in some areas if well-cared for. It will have bright green leaves for much of the year, though the foliage will drop during the winter months reducing its utility as a privacy block. Cypress grows very quickly and does need to be trimmed regularly to keep it as a screen, but that also means it will become a screen quite fast. Check out our guide How to Select, Grow and Care for Your Conifers.
Holly is a favorite for people who really want their neighbors to stay out of their yard. Able to be grown as a bush or a tree, holly can grow tall enough to create an excellent privacy screen. Not only does Holly grow quickly, but it has brilliant, beautiful red berries, and glossy sharp leaves. Most people aren’t going to want to get close to the Holly, which can certainly help in terms of privacy. Check out our guide to Selecting, Planting and Caring for Holly Hedges.
8. Star Magnolia
Magnolia is a unique choice for a privacy screen, as they can block out all views with their brilliant white flowers. Magnolia is ideal for those who want some flash in their screening, as well as a lovely fragrance. There are dozens of varieties of popular Magnolia, ranging from very large trees to shrub-like screening trees. It’s deer resistant and it can be grown in full sun. The Magnolia is known to be able to grow easily in temperatures that would wilt most other plants. Check out our guide on Selecting, Planting and Caring for Magnolias.
9. Bottle Brush
A hardy plant that is often seen in the wild, what the Bottle Brush somewhat lacks for in appearance, it makes up through sheer hardiness. Bottle Brush can look a little unkempt if not trimmed and pruned regularly, but it’s desirable because it can live in almost any conditions, and because it produces an excellent, dense screen. Bottle Brush can grow up to ten meters high; an impressive height that is suitable to virtually any home. Check out our guide How to Select, Grow and Care for Your Bottlebrush.
10. Orange Blossom
A shrub with a lovely citrus scent, the Orange Blossom is a sophisticated choice for a fragrant garden. Orange Blossom has lovely, glossy, deep green foliage, and will set with bright white flowers. At three meters high, it’s one of the smaller types of screening plants and is good for small to mid-sized gardens, or breaks within the same garden (to delineate spaces). Check out our guide How to Grow and Care for Your Mexican Orange Blossom.
The Hornbeam can change from green to yellow to brown during a season and will remain leaved through most of the winter months, providing continual privacy throughout the year. This is another exceptionally popular, fast-growing screening plant. It’s consistent, reliable, and attractive, and will hold a shape very well with minimal maintenance. Check out our guide How to Select, Grow and Care for Your Hornbeam.
Boxwood hedges are known to be one of the most popular types of hedge out there. They’re the hedge that you want if you want an expertly manicured, suburban garden. Box hedges can reach up to 20 feet tall and will retain perfectly cut squares and corners. If you want something lovely, precise, and dense, this is one of the easiest and most attractive options. Check out our guide on How to Select, Grow and Care for Your Buxus Hedge.
13. European Beech
A popular hedge in Europe, the European Beech has looser, larger leaves than the boxwood, but they’re nevertheless quite dense. These hedges won’t drop their leaves until late winter, if ever, and often have copper-coloured leaves through most of the season. These plants can grow to a large size, are easy to maintain, and even have some varieties that have brightly coloured foliage all year.
Did you know that not all bamboo is invasive? There are some types of bamboo that are more manageable than others. And there are some types of bamboo that really aren’t manageable at all. Make sure you know what species of bamboo you have before you plant it! Bamboo makes an excellent screen because it’s so fast-growing and because it’s very hardy. In fact, bamboo really doesn’t need any maintenance besides making sure that it doesn’t spread throughout your entire lawn. Bamboo also has a unique “tropical” look. Check out our guide on How to Select, Grow and Care for Clumping Bamboo.
15. Flame Maple
The Flame Amur Maple is a screening tree that can grow in virtually any zone. Its colours range from beautiful deep greens to red, orange, and yellow, making them great for those who want to be able to watch the leaves change colours. This is one of the fastest-growing plants for privacy screens, and additionally, it can grow in most circumstances—it’s even drought tolerant.
Apart from hedges and bushes, like those above, many also consider climbing plants for their screens. When used for screens, climbing plants need to have some form of lattice or fencing already in place. Roses are one of the most popular options: climbing roses can be used throughout a garden for both the attractiveness of their flowers and to produce a privacy screen. Check out our guide on Pruning, Selecting and Caring for Roses.
There are dozens of popular screening plants out there, depending on what you want. Some of them flower, and some don’t. Some are so dense they can be shaped into topiary, and others are quite a bit more delicate. The screening plants on this list are fast-growing, which means you’ll have the landscape feature that you want very quickly. However, the caveat is that they will also require more maintenance once fully grown.