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Tall Plants for Screening

By April Sanders ; Updated September 21, 2017
Bamboo is a popular, fast-growing and tall screening plant.

Screening with plants is an attractive way to hide unattractive landscape features, create a living fence or add some privacy to your yard. Use tall plants to hide an ugly garage, or show your neighbor where the property line is with a row of tall hedges. Choose from a number of tall plants to make a wonderful screen for your yard.

Bamboo (Buxus sp.)

There are many species of bamboo, but the Buxus species make excellent screens. B. sempervirens grows 6 inches per year, reaching a height and width of 15 feet. Bamboo is evergreen, which means it will keep most of its leaves through the winter, ensuring that your privacy remains year-round. Bamboo grows best in cool, moist soil. When purchasing a species, make sure to choose a clumping rather than running variety. With time, the clumps will grow together. Running bamboo will spread rapidly, but it is hard to contain.

Pines (Pinus sp.)

Pines are a favorite coniferous evergreen of many home gardeners. Their bushy shape makes for a great screen. Pines can be pruned to a certain height or left to grow tall. Pinus strobus "Fastigiata" is an attractive species with distinctive, blue-gray needles. This tree grows quite tall if not pruned--up to 40 feet, with a 15 foot wide profile.

Myricas (Myrica sp.)

There are between 35 and 50 named myrica species. These round, fragrant shrubs make excellent screens, especially in troublesome soil. Myrica cerifera will tolerate even infertile soil and has a showy display of fall berries. This round shrub will grow to 20 feet tall and can thrive in both full sun and partial shade.

Juniper (Juinperus sp.)

Juniper is a needled evergreen. There are many species and varieties of juniper. Some are low, mounded shrubs while others are used as ground cover. Still others can grow quite tall and make excellent screening plants. Juniperus chinensis "Spartan" enjoys full sun and well-draining soil. This slender, tall tree will grow to a height of 20 feet and makes an excellent visual impact when planted in rows. "Spartan" has a wonderful true green color that lasts year-round.

Holly (Ilex sp.)

Holly is an attractive choice for a screening plant. These plants stay green year-round and provide winter interest with their bright red berries. I. aquifoliam grows very quickly (up to a foot per year) and can reach heights of 15 feet. This variety of holly is also very hardy, able to grow in shady conditions, and is very easy to prune.