12 Plants to Use for a Privacy Hedge

A hedge of arborvitae trees with a patch of blue sky of above.

There are a large number of plants, including deciduous and evergreen shrubs, that make practical and attractive privacy hedges. Depending on where you live, the best choices are plants that are native to your growing region. Here are 12 of the most common and popular plants for privacy hedges.

Tip: Before you plant your own hedge, take a soil sample and amend your choices as necessary.

1. Ornamental Grasses

There are many varieties of ornamental grasses to choose from. Several of these grasses grow to be up to 12 feet in height, making them perfect for privacy. Grasses are excellent noise barriers as well and have attractive blooms that persist well into the winter months for aesthetic appeal.

2. Boxwood

Boxwood are evergreen bushes that have a lovely shape. Some varieties reach up to 12 feet in height at maturity.

3. Holly

Holly is an attractive evergreen bush or tree that is prized for its leaf color, texture, and berries. You need male and female plants in order to produce berries. Hollies can be grown in USDA growing zones five through nine and vary in height. As an added bonus, you can use your very own holly to decorate during the winter months.

4. Willow Hybrid

This fast-growing screen matures almost six feet a season and is a beautiful, disease-resistant deciduous shrub that reaches a mature height of 45 feet when planted in rows. Grow this lovely privacy plant in USDA zones four through nine.

5. Black Bamboo

Less invasive than other forms of bamboo, black bamboo makes an incredible privacy hedge when planted close together. It can grow from 10 to 12 feet a year and is disease and drought-resistant.

6. Wax Leaf Privet

This evergreen shrub has an upright, narrow habit and grows to 10 feet. This hedge is easy to shape and responds well to pruning.

7. Barberry

Barberries are easy to care for and highly attractive. With a maximum height of seven feet, barberries are an excellent choice for a low-growing privacy hedge. They have colorful foliage and winter berries as well. Barberries are winter hardy through USDA zone five.

8. Butterfly Bush

Butterfly bushes are available in a wide array of colors and even come multi-colored. Butterflies love the sweet nectar of this attractive deciduous shrub, so it will attract many of them to your hedge and perhaps to a nearby garden if you have one. Butterfly bushes can reach up to seven feet in height and are best planted in full sun.

9. Canadian Hemlock

Canadian hemlock is a vigorous growing evergreen tree that reaches 40 feet rapidly. Soft needles make this hedge easy to trim. Plant in full sun in USDA planting zones three through seven.

10. Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon is a beautiful screen plant that grows up to 10 feet. This deciduous plant bears lovely pink, purple, blue, or white flowers.

11. Mock Orange

Mock orange is as fragrant as it is beautiful. This deciduous shrub makes a lovely informal privacy hedge for USDA planting zones four through eight. It is a favorite of many birds and will reach up to eight feet at maturity.

12. Emerald Green Arborvitae

Plant this arborvitae variety in USDA zones two through seven. Reaching a maximum height of 14 feet, this evergreen tree makes a dense privacy hedge and has an attractive pyramid shape.