Privacy shrubs are typically grown to provide home owners with a bit of seclusion in their outdoor spaces. Gardeners in Southern locations should consider hardiness zone, potential problems and foliage color when selecting screening shrubbery. Several privacy shrubs offering reddish foliage year-round or seasonally are able to thrive in the heat and humidity of Southern climates.
The burning bush (Euonymus alatus) is a dwarf shrub in the Celastraceae family that reaches 9 to 11 feet in height with a similar spread. This bush earned its name because the dark green leaves turn a vibrant red in the autumn. Tiny, yellow-green flowers bloom in May and June followed by small, red fruit in the fall. The burning bush tolerates a variety of soil conditions, but prefers well-drained planting sites in full sun to part shade. This shrub isn't associated with any potential disease or pest problems. Hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8, this shrub is commonly planted in groups to create privacy screens.
Red Twig Dogwood
Red twig dogwoods (Cornus sericea) are quick-growing, deciduous shrubs that reach between 6 and 10 feet in height with similar widths. This ornamental plant blooms clusters of small, white flowers in May and June. The blossoms are followed with blue fruits that attract birds. The oval, dark green leaves turn a purplish-red during the fall months, and the bright red stems add a vibrant dash of color to the winter landscape. Hardy in USDA zones 3 to 8, the red twig dogwood prefers rich, wet soils in fully sunny to partly shady locations. This shrub is susceptible to twig and leaf blights. Red twig dogwoods are commonly used to screen property lines.
Red Tip Photinia
The red tip photinia is a large evergreen shrub that reaches heights up to 20 feet and spreads up to 10 feet. Winter-hardy in USDA zones 7 to 9, the red tip photinia grows well in clay, sandy or loamy soils that receive full sun to partial shade. New foliage is a showy red, but turns a glossy green after two to four weeks. This plant features odoriferous, white flower clusters late in the spring and red fruit in the autumn. This plant is highly susceptible to mildew, fireblight and Entomosporium leaf spot. The red tip photinia is commonly used as a privacy screen in Southern locations because it thrives in very poor soils.
Purple-Leaf Sand Cherry
The purple-leaf sand cherry (Prunus x cistena ) is a deciduous shrub belonging to the rose family (Rosaceae). Hardy in USDA zones 2 to 8, this shrub variety flowers best in fully sunny locations with rich, moist soils. Purple-leaf sand cherries reach between 6 and 10 feet in height and spread about 8 feet. This shrub is primarily valued for the purple-red foliage that remains throughout the summer months. The fragrant, spring-blooming flowers are white with pink tints. These blooms are followed by small, purple-black fruits that are quite attractive to birds. This privacy shrub is susceptible to trunk cankers, leaf curl, root rot and honey fungus.
The smoketree (Cotinus coggygria) is a deciduous shrub in the Anacardiaceae family that reaches up to 15 feet in height with a similar spread. The smoketree earned its name because the stalks bear smoky pink to purple hairs that look like little puffs of smoke. The purple leaves turn a striking orangish-red in autumn months. Smoketrees prefer infertile loamy or rocky soils in well-drained locations. This shrub is somewhat susceptible to verticillium wilt, leaf spots and rust. The smoketree is commonly used for informal privacy screens.