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Tall Shrubs for Privacy

Lilac image by Martha E from

Tall shrubs make an ideal screening plant to grow alongside a patio or in your backyard for maximum privacy. Planted in a row, tall shrubs also provide a windbreak for your home. Tall shrubs are available in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes. Some privacy shrubs are evergreen, meaning they retain their foliage, for year-round privacy. Some shrubs have vibrant blooms, creating a showy display in your landscape.

Common Boxwood

Common boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) is an evergreen shrub that is suitable in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 5 to 8. It grows 15 to 20 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide for maximum privacy in the landscape. Common boxwood shrubs have a dense, rounded form with foliage that reaches to the ground. The lustrous dark green leaves on common boxwood shrubs grow up to 1 inch long and cast an orange shade in winter. As an evergreen, common boxwood shrubs retain their foliage year-round for constant color in the landscape. Common boxwood are drought-tolerant shrubs that are ideal in climates where moisture is limited. They require full sun to part shade and well-drained, moist soil with a pH of 6 or higher.

Black-Haw Viburnum

Black-haw viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium) is a large shrub with a clumping growth habit that grows in USDA zones 3 to 9. They grow 10 to 15 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet wide, creating an ideal privacy shrub. Beginning in late spring, Black-haw viburnum shrubs bare clusters of white flowers that light up the garden with color. Following the floral display are pink to rose berries that are enjoyed by birds. The foliage on black-haw viburnums is bronze to green and attached to red-to-purple stems that turn blue to black in fall. Black-haw shrubs grow best in full sun to part shade and moist, well-drained soil.

Common Lilac

Common lilac (Syringa vulgaris "Sensation") reaches a maximum height of 15 feet and a spread of 6 to 10 feet. Lilacs grow in USDA zones 3 to 7 and have a spreading growth habit that creates an ideal barrier within the landscape. The fragrant, single-purple blossoms on the common lilac are edged with white. Spring-blooming lilacs often attract butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden. Lilacs are also fire retardant and so are often seen growing around homes, according to the Fine Gardening website. They grow best in full sun to part shade and well-drained soil that is neutral to alkaline. To ensure a long blooming season, remove the spent lilac blooms as soon as they are visible.

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