Reasons to Plant a Living Privacy Screen

My Garden Life
May 21, 2021
Table of Contents
When you want more privacy on your property, consider planting a permanent living fence. Here’s how to grow a natural hedge for privacy from your neighbors.

Living Fences Offer More Than Privacy

cozy small, stone-paved patio area with outdoor dining set and surrounded by shrubs for privacy

Attractive green hedges and privacy screens surround your property in lush foliage that creates intimacy and escape from neighborhood activity. Living hedges also provide benefits that improve your quality of life and protect your property.

Benefits of Privacy Hedges

Some of the benefits of privacy hedges include the following:
  • Act as windbreaks during storms and high winds.
  • Serve as effective snow barriers to prevent high drifts.
  • Reduce neighborhood noise for more outdoor enjoyment.
  • Provide habitat for birds and wildlife.
  • Stand as barriers to wandering dogs and cats.
an informal, natural-looking hedge row created using different colors of  lilac shrubs
Some varieties of privacy hedges, including rhododendron and rose of Sharon, produce attractive blooms for increased color and curb appeal. Other species of privacy hedges bloom with sweet-smelling blossoms to fill your yard with lovely fragrance. Lilac and Mexican orange blossom are both popular hedge selections with scented blooms.

Evergreen Fences Stay Green All Year

snowy winter scene with a living privacy screen outside a window, created using a row of evergreen shrubs

When you plant a row of evergreen shrubs, you get privacy all year round. Evergreen shrubs like arborvitae and holly don’t lose their leaves or needles when the weather gets cold.
Evergreen bushes and shrubs help your property maintain a landscaped, tidy look when other trees and plants are bare and unattractive. You can decorate your living hedge with holiday lights and ornaments for festive seasonal appeal.
row of Cornus sericea shrubs in winter revealing their bright red branches

Deciduous shrubs do lose their leaves in their dormant phases, which usually occur during the autumn and winter months. If you only want privacy for an outdoor patio or pool area during the spring and summer seasons, deciduous shrubs are a great option.

Hedge Plants Need Minimal Maintenance

woman trimming a boxwood hedge with large pair of garden shears

Some shrubs and hedges like boxwood and privet require pruning once or twice a year to maintain their shapes and reduce the raggedy look of new growth. But, you can also buy varieties of shrubs that maintain a conical or compact shape with zero pruning such as the ‘Mountbatten’ juniper or Alberta spruce.
wooden fence with many boards replaced with new boards resulting in a combination of wood colors

Wooden privacy fences require diligent upkeep. Loose or broken boards and screws must be repaired or replaced. You may need to paint or seal wooden privacy fences often if weather extremes cause paint to peel or wood to discolor. Even vinyl privacy screens need routine washing to remove mold, mildew, and dried mud splashes.

Privacy Shrubs Work in All Growing Zones

blue and white two-story house with a hedge running along the front yard

No matter where you live, there are suitable species of shrubs or bushes to plant to create your own living fence. Consult with your local extension agent, landscape company, or plant nursery to learn about the best privacy hedge varieties for your particular growing conditions.
The experts do recommend testing the soil where you plan to install your privacy hedges, no matter which growing zone your plants will inhabit. Some shrubs and bushes do best in acid soil, while other varieties prefer more alkaline soil to thrive and grow well.
row of conical arborvitae creating a natural fence for a home

Now that you know some of the benefits of living fences, research privacy shrubs and bushes to find the plants that appeal the most to you and your family. Whether you install your own hedge or hire professionals to plant your privacy screen for you, you’ll have a gorgeous green boundary that adds enjoyment and a classy look to your landscape for many years to come.
In need of fast results? Here are five shrubs that grow quickly to give you the privacy you’re seeking in just a few growing seasons.


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