The Best Plants & Hedges for Privacy

Surround the landscape and garden with privacy plants to create a relaxing private oasis. Grown in rows along a patio or porch, tall and wide shrubs envelop the space for maximum privacy. Grown in a wide range of sizes, shapes and colors, plants that make ideal privacy plants are often evergreen, meaning they retain their foliage and color all year long, including winter.

Banana Shrub

The banana shrub (Michelia figo) is an evergreen shrub with medium texture and a slow growth rate. Growing 6 to 10 feet tall and wide, the upright, rounded to oval form is dense, ideal for creating a privacy hedgerow in the landscape. Drought-tolerant, banana shrubs have shiny, dark green leaves that grow 1 1/2 to 4 inches long to cast a yellow tinge in winter. The cup-shaped flowers of the banana shrub are yellow to green and tinged with purple. Blooming in late spring, the fragrant flowers grow up to 1 inch wide to light up the shrub with color. Banana shrubs require full sun to part shade and well-drained, acidic soil that is nutrient-rich. Plant the banana shrub in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hardiness zones 7 to 9.

Common Boxwood

Common boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) is an evergreen shrub with a slow growth rate and medium to fine texture. Growing 15 to 20 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide, common boxwood shrubs are ideal planted for a makeshift privacy fence. Common boxwood has a dense and rounded form with multiple stems that reach the ground, creating maximum privacy. Easy to transplant, common boxwood has dark green leaves that grow up to 1 inch long and cast an orange to green tinge in winter. They are drought-tolerant shrubs, ideal for arid climates where moisture is limited. The creamy yellow flowers on common boxwood shrubs emerge in spring to light up the garden with fragrance. Common boxwood requires full sun to part shade and moist, well-drained soil with a pH level of 6.0 and higher. Plant in USDA zones 5 to 8.

French Lilac

French lilac (Syringa vulgaris), also called common lilac, is a deciduous shrub with a moderate growth rate and medium to coarse texture. The upright, ascending branches hold the fragrant spring-blooming flowers. Growing 8 to 15 feet tall and 6 to 12 feet wide, French lilacs make stunning privacy plants to grow in masses along the garden. The double or single flowers on French lilac grow in a wide range of colors including, white, cream, purple and rose. The heart-shaped leaves are dark green to blue green and grow 2 to 5 inches long. French lilac shrubs require full sun to part shade and tolerate a wide range of soil varieties, including heavy soil. Plant in USDA zones 3b to 7.

Keywords: privacy plants, best privacy hedges, banana shrub, common boxwood, French lilac

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer, designer and photographer in North Carolina. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate your indoor and outdoor living environment. Her articles have appeared in and and her photography has been featured in "Automotive News" magazine and