Tall evergreen shrubs serve as an excellent solution for providing privacy and screening in gardens, offering year-round interest. They fulfill multiple purposes, including establishing a sense of seclusion, defining garden rooms, and blocking unsightly views.
Besides, these low-maintenance shrubs can be shaped to enhance aesthetic appeal, providing a continuous habitat for wildlife.
When selecting privacy bushes, it becomes necessary to consider various factors such as growth rate, mature size, ornamental attributes, and multi-seasonal interest. Careful consideration of these aspects ensures that the chosen shrubs meet both functional and aesthetic needs in the garden.
Arborvitae is a coniferous shrub prized for its evergreen foliage, available in green, blue-green, or gold hues. Varieties like Polar Gold and North Pole are particularly well-suited for privacy hedging due to their slender, pyramidal shape and dense growth habit.
Besides providing privacy, these versatile hedges can be used for windbreaks and as decorative landscape features. They are relatively low-maintenance plants, perfect for enhancing thickness or promoting natural growth for maximum privacy.
Botanical Name: Thuja spp. Height: 15 feet tall
Leyland cypress is a fast-growing evergreen tree with dense, dark green foliage that can reach 20 feet wide. This species is popular for creating privacy hedges. However, its rapid growth and density have led to it being considered invasive in certain regions. Therefore, it is important to be aware of local regulations and consider alternative species for hedging to avoid potential issues.
Botanical Name: Cupressus x leylandii Height: 50 feet tall
Eastern White Pine
The Eastern white pine is an evergreen tree that can reach widths of up to 20 feet. This tree is known for its soft, blue-green needles and its tolerance to a wide range of soil conditions. Native to the United States, this pine exhibits a fast growth rate, particularly in its early years.
Emerald green is a particular variety within the Arborvitae species. These slow-growing, evergreen plants are highly sought after for their vibrant, emerald-green foliage. The feathery foliage maintains its color year-round, making it a beautiful addition to any landscape.
These best evergreen shrubs form a dense hedge that requires minimal pruning. Its deer-resistant nature further adds to its appeal, making it a low-maintenance and worry-free choice for homeowners.
Botanical Name: Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' Height: 15 feet tall
The Italian cypress are slow-growing evergreen shrubs for privacy that add a touch of Tuscan elegance to any landscape. Its formal, columnar shape reaches up to 5 feet wide, making it perfect for flanking doorways or accenting corners. Its dark green foliage further creates a striking visual statement, and its tolerance for drought and various soil conditions makes it adaptable.
American holly is a native evergreen that adds a touch of festive cheer to winter landscapes. Growing up to 30 feet tall, it is characterized by its glossy, dark green leaves and bright red berries that adorn the branches throughout the colder months.
This deer-resistant and slow-growing plant is a low-maintenance privacy option, making it a perfect choice for those seeking a low-fuss, attractive addition to their outdoor spaces.
Botanical Name: Ilex opaca Height: 30 feet tall
Boxwood is a versatile and evergreen shrub that adds year-round color to the garden. Its glossy green leaves brighten winter landscapes and provide stunning structure to your outdoor space.
Easily shaped into various forms, boxwood is ideal for creating elegant hedges, borders, and other landscaping features. Its ease of growth and maintenance contributes to its popularity for both formal and casual garden designs.
Cherry laurels are fast-growing types of shrubs, perfect for privacy hedges. With glossy, dark green leaves, this plant forms a dense screen. Tolerant of various soils, it thrives in full sun or partial shade, making it an incredible choice for a year-round beautiful and effective wind-protective hedge.
In addition, its fragrant white flowers in spring add a touch of sweetness, further enhancing its appeal.
Portugal laurel is another rapid-growing evergreen shrub that is an ideal choice for creating privacy in your outdoor space. With glossy, dark green leaves similar to cherry laurel, it features larger, striking white flowers in spring.
Thriving in various soil conditions, this plant prefers full sun for best growth. This makes it a versatile and attractive landscaping option.
Viburnum tinus produces fragrant white flowers amid its glossy green leaves throughout the colder months. With the ability to reach a considerable width, it forms a dense privacy screen, adding seasonal charm.
"It is a winter essential and is recognized as one of the toughest shrubs for gardeners. Tolerant of various soil conditions, this shrub thrives in full sun or partial shade. While most soils are suitable, it is advisable to avoid waterlogged conditions and to mulch with weed-free organic matter in autumn.
Bamboo isn't technically a shrub, but its rapid growth and tall stature make it a worthy privacy contender. Certain varieties, such as Bambusa textilis, can reach up to 50 feet tall, forming an impenetrable living wall with their tall, slender stems. Just remember, bamboo can be invasive, so choose wisely and plant with proper containment measures.
Botanical Name: Bambusa spp. Height: 50 feet
Portuguese Mock Orange
The Portuguese mock orange is a stunning plant with glossy, dark green leaves that have wavy edges. Its fragrant white flowers bloom in spring and summer, adding a delightful touch to any garden.
This versatile plant thrives in full sun or partial shade and can tolerate various soil conditions, making it a great choice for creating privacy in diverse environments.
The Escallonia are Chilean native evergreen shrubs that are known for their striking red or pink flowers, which bloom in the summer months. These flowers provide a beautiful contrast against the glossy green foliage of the plant, creating a vibrant and eye-catching display.
The Escallonia is a versatile shrub that can grow in a variety of conditions, including full sun or partial shade. It is often used as a privacy screen due to its dense growth and attractive appearance.
Photinia fraseri is a small tree native to China. It features glossy, red-tinged new leaves that mature to deep green. These leaves are complemented by clusters of white flowers in spring and red berries in fall and winter. This plant flourishes in various soil conditions, including alkaline soil, and can be grown in partial shade.
Moreover, it is a low-maintenance plant that is often used as a specimen shrub, hedge, or privacy screen. With its striking foliage and year-round interest, photinia fraseri is a popular choice for gardens and landscapes.
The golden hinoki cypress is a dwarf conifer that can add a touch of sunshine to your landscape. Its golden foliage forms a dense, mounding shape, reaching up to 8 feet wide. Native to Japan, this plant is easy to grow in most moist but well-drained soils of average fertility and thrives in full sun.
Golden hinoki is a slow-growing and deer-resistant plant, making it ideal for smaller spaces or rock gardens. Additionally, it is an excellent choice for Asian-themed gardens, conifer gardens, yellow-themed gardens, and Xeriscape gardens.
Mountain laurel is a native evergreen shrub in North America, characterized by its oval, glossy, dark green leaves. In spring, it produces clusters of showy pink or white flowers, making it a popular choice in landscape plantings.
This shrub is particularly well-suited for mass plantings in shady shrub borders, woodland gardens, and foundation plantings. It complements other plants such as rhododendrons and azaleas when grown together Despite this, it's important to note that these plants are highly toxic to humans and pets.
The majestic redwood tree, with its reddish-brown bark and feathery green foliage, offers the ultimate privacy and a touch of awe-inspiring nature. Thriving in moist, well-drained soil and preferring partial shade, these large evergreen shrubs are known for their vertical accent, creating a breathtaking sight that leaves a lasting impression.
Japanese holly is a slow-growing evergreen shrub that can reach up to 10 feet tall and wide, featuring small, glossy green leaves and black berries in winter. Often chosen as a substitute for Box hedging, it is blight-resistant, stronger, and better able to tolerate shade and urban pollution. It is an excellent option for low hedging in your garden, providing year-round interest.