Best Shrubs For Privacy

Though enjoyable in its own way, living in a bustling neighborhood or an urban area has the most facing privacy concerns. Whether it is peering eyes or traffic noise, there is always something interfering with comfort, peace, and solitude. 

Growing tall hedges or tall narrow plants for privacy in such cases is an excellent and sustainable alternative to fencing. These not only block noise and prying individuals, but the greenery they provide also keeps your mental and emotional health in check while enhancing the look of the entire space. 

These are also a great option if you have a garden or want something to combat the air pollution in the area you live around and go eco-friendly in the choice you make. 

Things To Consider In A Privacy Hedge

With so many shrub options in the market, it isn’t easy to choose the one that perfectly meets all your needs and can be easily grown in the area you live. Below are some points you need to check off while looking for a hedge.

Finding The Right Plant

First and foremost is understanding the type of plants that will work best in the area you live in, the soil type, moisture, sunlight availability, and the all-year-round weather conditions. Pick plants that can quickly adapt to the environment and hardiness zone.

The Level Of Privacy You Require

Height – Most reading this are here to look for shrubs that highly reinforce the privacy of nosy neighbors or strangers on the block, which comes from the height of the hedge. Understand how tall will be just enough and will also look good while being easy to maintain.

Density – A dense shrub with plenty of green leaves is ideal for areas with noise and areas where wild animals like deer are roaming around. They also protect against strong winds and home invaders.

Evergreen or deciduous – Various shrubs will be dense year-round, i.e., provide enough privacy each season known as an evergreen shrub. While deciduous plants get bare as soon as winter arrives, but with their own set of striking appeal and look.

MaintenanceWhile formal hedges that you can occasionally prune provide maximum privacy, they are relatively harder to maintain than the informal ones, which are much casual looking and open though easy to maintain.  Choose a hedge as per the efforts you can put in caring for them in terms of watering, fertilizing, and pruning.

ToxicityIf you happen to have a pet or have wild animals roaming around, make sure to choose a hedge type that has no toxic elements such as fruits, berries, or leaves. It also goes true for households with small children attracted to the bright colors and textures of the fruit. 

Privacy Hedges To Consider 

Below are some of the most classic, popular, and beautiful hedge types to provide your home or office with ample private space you must consider. 

English Yew (Taxus baccata)

If you don’t require the hedge to be too tall, the English yew is for you to consider. Unlike many other privacy shrubs, these only reach a height of about 2 to 4 feet but can cover a more extensive ground with the ability to spread up to 15 feet. 

They can grow everywhere from full sun to shade with beautiful dark green conifer foliages, which are evergreen. English yew is easy to maintain and prune, with a fast initial growth rate, slowing down once the plants mature. The perfect soil type for the plant ranges from loamy to medium-moist and one that drains well.

European Beech (Fagus Sylvatica)

One of the most popular choices in Europe and European-style gardens and yards is the European beech. It is a must for anyone looking to add a wonderful touch of color to their homes. 

The plants have lush, green, and bright fluttery foliages during spring and summer, turning to stunning and enchanting copper orange and brown shades as winters arrive. Though typically deciduous, there is enough peace and privacy even off-season once lightly pruned during autumn. 

They grow 1-2 feet per year, with an average height reaching up to 15-20 feet. These are low-maintenance, requiring pruning only once a year and growing in most soil types in partial shade or sun.  

American Holly (Ilex Opaca)

With an impressive average height of 40-50 feet and lengths of 20-40 feet, the American holly is the perfect evergreen shrub for all those high-end privacy seekers.   

The leathery dark green foliage with pointy edges gives off a perfect event-like and joyous look to the entire extending space. What’s more, you could even spot bright red berry-like fruit in the female American holly, which though inedible, are pleasing to the eye. American holly thrives in full sun to part shade, while the soil type needs to be moist and acidic, which also drains well. 

Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus)

With an average height of 30-35 feet tall, with the length being twice as wide as the height, Cherry laurels have become one of the most popular hedge types around. 

The barks of the tree are dark, reaching to the shade of almost black, and have a dainty white-flowered coat during the early spring. The flowers are the main attraction for the bees and butterflies, enhancing the liveliness of your yard. The leaves, however beautiful, contain poisonous hydrocyanic acid in high concentrations. The soil type for the plant’s ideal growth is well-drained and slightly acidic. 

Wax Myrtle (Myrica cerifera)

Drought tolerant once established, wax myrtle is perfect for anyone new to green living or cannot commit to the hedge’s regular care and watering needs. Though the plant’s average height and length are 8 feet tall, if adequately cared for and pruned in regular intervals, it can even reach up to 20-25 feet.

The olive-green and light-colored leaves contrast beautifully with the smooth gray-white bark. You can also shape it to your desire with proper pruning. The plant’s growth rate is impressively good as it grows quickly with an average speed of 5 feet/year. The hedge is deer resistant and can tolerate full sun to partial shade, with soil anywhere between wet, average, to medium. 

Emerald Green Arborvitae (Thuja Occidentalis ‘Smaragd’)

Providing a zero chance of seeing through emerald green arborvitae is another good choice for those with high privacy needs. 

Though the growth rate of the plant is comparatively low, it can grow quite tall with time. The plant also does not need pruning for a long interval of time, and since it has a narrow footprint, it can easily be grown in places with space issues and smaller areas. The beautiful green leaves thrive best under full sun and moist soil types, providing a dense barrier between you and the nosy neighbors. 

Portuguese Laurel (Prunus Lusitanica)

There is no better hedge type than Portuguese laurel for anyone who has no time to care for their hedge or backyard. These plants naturally grow densely with an excellent growth rate and wonderful large green and dense appearance. What’s more, the plant is tolerant of drought, pollution, soil type, salt, and even heat, making it ideal for year-round warm places and those without adequate resources for other hedge types to thrive. 

With brilliant green leaves, contrasting red petioles, and white flowers in the spring, the Portuguese laurel gives off a stunning look to any space. Moreover, the plant also bears black fruits during summers, which though inedible for humans, make for a good food source for the birds around. 

Loropetalum (Loropetalum chinense)

The other name for the plant is Chinese fringe flowers because of the clustered and spidery flowers that bloom in the late spring. They are a sight to see when in full bloom against the contrasting dark purple leaves, which even off-season are plenty beautiful. The average height of the plant is 1-15 feet tall, reaching 3-10 feet wide length-wise. They thrive well in full sun to light shade and are easy to maintain and care for, with the ideal soil type being slightly acidic to acidic. 


While these are just a few famous hedge types, the market has numerous privacy shrubs for one to choose from as per their needs and maintenance ability. Privacy is a concerning subject for many, and there is nothing better than a living fence that is sustainable and equally good at providing a private space with added benefits. Evaluate your needs and choose a hedge that best suits you and your requirements for a healthy space.