23 Plants You Can Grow Instead of a Fence for Privacy & Lush Green Look

Raul Cornelius is a Senior Editor at BalconyGardenWeb and an expert in flower and herb cultivation based in Phoenix, Arizona. A frequent speaker at horticultural events, he is also an active contributor to Facebook flower groups. Holding an MBA and a BCom, Raul blends his gardening skills with strong leadership and analytical abilities. Passionate about writing and photography, he enjoys early mornings with coffee and books, and nature bike rides during weekends.
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Grow a living barrier for your home with these Plants You Can Grow Instead of a Fence for Privacy and Lush Green Look!

Here are some great Plants You Can Grow Instead of a Fence or wall for Privacy and a Lush Green Look to create a natural screen for your yard and garden!

Have a look at the best privacy fence ideas for a backyard here

Plants You Can Grow Instead of a Fence

1. Arborvitae

Plants You Can Grow Instead of a Fence for Privacy and Lush Green Look

Botanical Name: Thuja occidentalis

Arborvitae is the most popular choice for a living privacy fence, as its thick evergreen leaves create a dense hedge. It is available in many varieties of different stature, from dwarf to large.

This fast-growing plant can tolerate any type of soil, and it is cold-resistant as well.

Here’s all you need to know about growing Arborvitae

2. English laurel

Botanical Name: Prunus laurocerasus

Also known as cherry laurel, these plants have strong, dense evergreen foliage and can make an 8-10 feet tall privacy screen with annual pruning. Grow them in well-drained soil in a sunny location, and they will reward you with white flowers in spring!

3. Red Tip Photinia

Plants You Can Grow Instead of a Fence for Privacy and Lush Green Look 2

Botanical Name: Photinia x fraseri

Photinia is an evergreen beautiful plant used as a fence with glossy leaves that provide dense coverage. You have to prune it regularly to keep the plant healthy and flourishing.

4. Bamboo

Botanical Name: Bambusoideae

Bamboos offer an elegant and beautiful look to the landscape. They are fast-growing and low-maintenance plants and can be used to create a strong aesthetic living privacy screen or hedge.

Here are the best bamboo varieties you can grow for hedging and fence

5. Cypress Trees

Botanical Name: Cupressus

Cypress trees grow narrow, tall, and fast, with a 3-5 feet growth rate per year. They showcase feathery, soft, and evergreen foliage that acts as a great fence. Leyland cypress is one of the most popular varieties, but it has a short lifespan.

6. Evergreen Spindle

Botanical Name: Euonymus japonicus

This tall variety forms a dense shrub that grows up to 10-15 feet tall. It produces leathery leaves with small white flowers. American euonymus is another great choice for the fence–it offers dense foliage and grows up to 5-7 feet tall.

7. Holly

Plants You Can Grow Instead of a Fence for Privacy and Lush Green Look 4

Botanical Name: Ilex

Holly can adapt to a range of growing conditions, and you can grow it in both tropics and temperate zones. It is the best choice for preventing wandering wild animals.

The red berries in the fall and winter, with white flowers during spring, enhances the beauty of this living fence!

8. Juniper

Botanical Name: Juniperus

This hardy evergreen comes in a range of shapes and sizes and can achieve an impressive stature of 25-40 feet! It features needle-like leaves and green bracts that turn into purple, berry-like cones.

9. Privet

Plants You Can Grow Instead of a Fence for Privacy and Lush Green Look 5

Botanical Name: Ligustrum

Privet is a semi-evergreen, fast-growing shrub that grows 2-3 feet each year. If you are growing it as a hedge, then it needs regular pruning. The tree also produces a thick cover of sweet-scented flowers every spring!

10. Boxwood

Botanical Name: Buxus

Evergreen boxwood can grow up to 18-20 feet in height. You can give it some interesting shape with pruning, but it also looks adorable even without strict maintenance. Apart from the deep green shade, it is also available in variegated white and gold varieties.

11. Red Twig Dogwood

Plants You Can Grow Instead of a Fence for Privacy and Lush Green Look 6

Botanical Name: Cornus sericea

This impressive and fast-growing shrub can grow up to 8-12 feet tall with 7-10 feet width. It loses leaves in the fall and shows off a joyful thicket of bright red branches in cold weather. It can withstand extreme temperatures and soggy soils.

12. Chocolate Vine

Botanical Name: Akebia quinata

Also known as five-leaf akebia, it grows rapidly on a fence or trellis and offers a thick screen of green foliage with scented purple flowers during early summers. It spreads quickly, so make sure to control it with regular pruning.

13. Hicks Yew

Botanical Name: Taxus x media ‘Hicksii’

Hicks yew is a low-maintenance and reasonable choice for a privacy screen or living fence. It establishes a fantastic evergreen scenery for the rest of your yard with soft green needle-like foliage and red winter berries!

14. Jacob’s Coat

Botanical Name: Acalypha wilkesiana

The small to medium leaves of this plant have a mix of red, yellow, green, and pink hues, which gives it quite a fabulous look. It thrives in direct sunlight and a frost-free environment.

15. Weeping Fig

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Botanical Name: Ficus benjamina

Excellent for gardens and big backyards, it offers dense coverage when grown in groups. The leaves can be dark green (black), green, yellow, and variegated–depending on the variety. It does great in full sun to partial shade.

16. Roses


Botanical Name: Rosa

Roses are an ideal choice for fences and hedges, but they need a lot of maintenance. They are a great combination of beauty, color, and fragrance. Blooming most of the year in a multitude of colors.

17. Italian Buckthorn

Botanical Name: Rhamnus alternus

This shrub grows fast in spring in an upright form and grows taller than wide. You can grow it in front of walls as the plant can achieve an impressive height of 12-15 feet tall with 6-8 feet spread.

18. Duranta

Botanical Name: Duranta erecta

This tropical shrub produces clusters of pale violet, blue, and white blooms during the entire growing season. It can mature up to 18 feet under the full sun, but you can control its height and keep it small.

19. Lynwood Gold Forsythia

Botanical Name: Forsythia x intermedia ‘Lynwood Gold’

Lynwood gold forsythia produces yellow flowers during spring. It’s a great choice for a living privacy screen and can grow a bit tall.

20. Hicksii Yew


Botanical Name: Taxus x media ‘Hicksii’

This evergreen shrub makes for a beautiful and sturdy privacy screen or hedge. It has a tall, narrow growth habit, growing well in both full sun and full shade.

21. Azaela

Botanical Name: Rhododendron

The genus is full of beautiful flowers that will look quite charming on hedges and borders. If you want the best display of colors, go for Encore.

22. Bougainvillea


Botanical Name: Bougainvillea

With its ability to train easily, low maintenance, and beautiful flowers–bougainvillea makes for a pretty addition to the walls and ugly fences, offering a good privacy screen as it grows fast. However, you can’t grow it in a cold climate.

23. Hydrangea


Botanical Name: Hydrangea

There are many beautiful hydrangea cultivars that you can grow on the fence for flowerful privacy. If you want the flowers to blend in, go for the green variety.

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  1. In both these cases, having some beautiful plants growing instead of the traditional fencing designs seems to be a pretty great idea for sure.


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