14 Evergreen Shrubs to Create Green Privacy Screens in Your Yard

Evergreen shrubs can be shaped into any preferred shapes to not only create an aesthetic appeal but also give you the much-desired privacy around your home

By: THURSD. | 02-08-2023 | 9 min read
Garden Plants Outdoor Plants
Evergreen Shrubs

Creating privacy and ambiance in your outdoor space is possible with the Evergreen Shrubs, which can stay green all year round. Whilst there are plenty of options to create some privacy, evergreen shrubs stand out due to their versatility and ability to provide annual privacy. Since most of the evergreen shrubs fall under the topiary family, they can easily be shaped to generate an aesthetic appeal and an evergreen habitat for wildlife.

The following 14 common evergreen shrubs are ideal to create green privacy screens in your yard; they are easy to grow and maintain and above all can be shaped into different unique shapes to add texture and appeal to your landscaping efforts.

  1. Emerald Green Arborvitae
  2. Green Tower Boxwood (Buxus Sempervirens)
  3. Common Box (Buxus Sempervirens)
  4. Leyland Cypress (Cupressus × Leylandii)
  5. Emerald Colonnade Holly
  6. Japanese Pieris (Pieris Japonica)
  7. Sweet Azalea (Rhododendron Arborescens)
  8. Mountain Laurel (Kalmia Latifolia)
  9. Schipka Cherry Laurel (Prunus Laurocerasus)
  10. Bay Tree (Laurel Nobilis)
  11. Privet (Ligustrum)
  12. Wax Myrtle (Myrica Cerifera)
  13. Red Holly (Oak Leaf)
  14. Popcorn Viburnum (Viburnum Plicatum f. Plicatum)

Tips for Growing Evergreen Shrubs for Privacy

Evergreen shrubs grown as privacy screens ought to be fast-growing to help you achieve the desired privacy quickly. The ideal height to aim for should be between 1.5 and 1.8 m tall. However, it is prudent to identify evergreen shrubs for privacy which can grow at a rate of 60-90 cm annually.


Shrubs for Privacy
Photo by Roberto Nickson from Unsplash


Whether you are planting for extreme privacy or aesthetic appeal, it is good to implement topiary techniques early on before your plants get out of hand. Based on your preference, choose the style of the hedge that fits your landscaping needs and feel. Overcrowding the evergreen shrubs can lead to a bushy look, making it hard to achieve an attractive topiary, remember the goal is not only privacy but also adding texture and more appeal to your landscaping designs.

Whether in the coldest or warmest climatic zone, you can choose the following evergreen shrubs that can grow well between zones 2-9 on the higher side. Evergreen Shrub like the Emerald Green Arborvitae, for example, suits both the coldest and warmest climatic zones. However, for the 14 evergreen shrubs listed below, the average climatic zones to look out for ranges from 2-9, if you reside in a region between 2-9 climatic zones then the below evergreen shrubs will be ideal.

Emerald Green Arborvitae

There are several options to choose from for evergreen arborvitae, but Emerald Green Arborvitae is a better option for a bushy yet compact look. Growing up to 4 m, with a spread of about 1.2 m, Emerald Green Arborvitae is the perfect evergreen shrub for privacy. It easily is shaped to complement other landscaping designs.


Evergreen Shrubs
Emerald Green Arborvitae.
Picture by @Select Horticulture.


Emerald Green Arborvitae does well in loamy and well-drained soil, under zones 2-7, loves to bask in the sun a lot, and has minimal preference for shade.

Green Tower Boxwood (Buxus Sempervirens)

Green Tower Boxwood comes with dense evergreen foliage and can be easily grown under full sun in zones 5-9. Due to its compact leaves which stay green throughout the year, it makes a great privacy screen for your yard.


Evergreen Shrubs for privacy
Green Tower Boxwood.
Picture by @Sherwood's Forest Nursery.


Grow Green Tower Boxwood near your perimeter wall and based on the height you aiming at, this plant can easily grow to 3m tall. Exceptionally good for the topiary due to its density, so start the topiary process earlier to guide your plant to grow based on your needs.

Common Box (Buxus Sempervirens)

Common Box is in between an evergreen shrub and a small tree but its blooms make it the focal point of this evergreen shrub which can be grown for privacy. Notably, Common Box is naturally short and it can grow to a maximum height of 10 meters, it can resist shade but does well under a bright sun.


Evergreen Shrubs for privacy
Common Box.
Picture by @floragardenbeauty.


Since Common Box can easily be pruned as a topiary, it can lend its elegant shape to any landscape or garden, and its blooms which emerge between January and May, add a colorful touch to your yard. The plant makes a great habitat for insects, and small birds due to its compact foliage.

Leyland Cypress (Cupressus × Leylandii)

Leyland Cypress can rapidly grow to a staggering height of 40 m, thus this evergreen shrub can easily get out of hand if not timely pruned and managed to maintain the preferred shape and height. However, its feathery yet dense foliage when properly managed makes it a great addition to your garden and yard as a privacy screen.


Evergreen Shrubs for privacy
Leyland Cypress.
Picture by @CH gardening.


Being a fast-growing evergreen shrub, someone ought to tend to it often to avoid getting out of control and distorting its aesthetic look in return. If you require a fast-growing evergreen shrub to create privacy within your home, Leyland Cypress should be at the top of your list.

Emerald Colonnade Holly

Emerald Colonnade Holly is a male evergreen holly, with its pyramid-like share it makes a great choice for use as a privacy screen, windbreaker, or hedge. Emerald Colonnade Holly comes with glossy and bright-green foliage, which can be easily shaped to achieve yard privacy.


Evergreen Shrubs for privavy
Emerald Colonnade Holly.
Picture by @Neville Naidoo.


Emerald Colonnade Holly has some blooms but does not produce any berries. It can grow optimally under a bright sun, zones 7-9, and to a height of over 5 m when taken care of properly.

Japanese Pieris (Pieris Japonica)

Japanese Pieris is an evergreen shrub with broad foliage, upright and spreading branches. Japanese Pieris grows to an impressive height of 3 m feet, with its leaves pruned as a topiary, this evergreen shrub can be a great addition to your evergreen shrubs for privacy.


Evergreen Shrubs
Japanese Pieris.
Picture by @Akisumi.


Japanese Pieries bloom around April and May, it's flowers attract bees but add a beautiful touch to your landscape and garden in general. Grow your Japanese Pieries under full sun, in loamy and well-drained soil, and also in zones 5-8 for them to thrive and eventually bloom.

Sweet Azalea (Rhododendron Arborescens)

Sweet Azalea also commonly known as Smooth Azalea is a deciduous shrub from the Ericaceae family. The provision of sandy or well-drained soil and exposure to sunlight are some of the conditions to allow your Sweet Azalea to thrive. It is a fast-growing evergreen and can achieve a height of 3 m easily and can even grow further to 6 m based on the maximum height you prefer.


Evergreen Shrub for privacy
Sweet Azalea.
Picture by @Joseph Colbourne.


Mountain Laurel (Kalmia Latifolia)

Mountain Laurel is a blooming evergreen shrub, which grows at least 30 cm annually. It is a slow-growing evergreen shrub, with flowers coming in shades of pink, and white during the spring. If you need privacy hastily then Mountain Laurel should not be your first choice evergreen shrub for privacy because of its slow growth.


Evergreen Shrubs
Mountain Laurel.
Picture by @Virginia Native Plant Society (VNPS).


However, when it has achieved a significant height, its dense, dark-green foliage can be easily shaped to achieve the desired topiary shape and create a reliable privacy screen in your yard.

Schipka Cherry Laurel (Prunus Laurocerasus)

Schipka Laurel (also Skip Laurel or Schip Laurel) is an upright evergreen shrub, with scented white blooms, which emerge during the spring season. Its shiny and dense foliage make this shrub a good choice for growing as a hedge, giving your yard complete privacy.


Evergreen Shrubs for privacy
Schipka Laurel.
Picture by @Marion Murdock.


Schipka Laurel grows well under minimal shade but thrives better under bright sunlight exposure and in well-drained loamy soil, within zones 6-9.

Bay Tree (Laurel Nobilis)

The Bay Tree (Laurel Nobilis) is an evergreen shrub with medicinal and culinary benefits. Due to its versatility, it can be grown indoors and even outside as a hedge, with its dark-green foliage shaped to achieve aesthetic appeal.


Evergreen Shrubs
Bay Tree.
Picture by @Crews Hills Wholesale Plants.


Laurel Nobilis holds a lot of historical essence hence its use to signify victory for high-performing athletes, Its aromatic benefits are the cherry on top.

Read more about Bay Tree(Laurel Nobilis) here

Privet (Ligustrum)

Privet is the typical evergreen shrub for privacy, growing 60 cm annually, and can be easily pruned to achieve cutting-edge shapes. Privet blooms and its flowers become fruits during the winter, but these fruits and also the leaves are toxic to humans and pets.


Evergreen Shrubs
Picture by @sbsgardening.


Privet's popularity as a privacy hedge plant is pegged on its being a fast-grower and easy to maintain. Zones 7-9, full sun, and well-drained loamy soil are some of the conditions Privet thrives fully and even blooms.

Wax Myrtle (Myrica Cerifera)

Wax Myrtle is a small evergreen shrub with fragrant flowers during spring. Wax Myrtle doubles as both an evergreen shrub for privacy based on how you can manage the plant as a topiary and also with an aromatic benefit to it.


Evergreen Shrub for privacy
Wax Myrtle.
Picture by @Alex Jones.


Myrica Cerifera can grow to a height of 5-8 m and an impressive spread of 6-8 m, covering a significant area and achieving the desired yard privacy.

Red Holly (Oak Leaf)

Red Holly is a hybrid from the Holly family with an attractive pyramid-like shape that can be easily achieved through topiary. Its leaves are burgundy when it emerges but turns to emerald green when it's fully mature during spring.


Evergreen Shrubs for Privacy
Red Holly.
Picture by @adcocks nursery.


Red Holly is a fast-growing evergreen shrub that can reach a height of 4 m and spread to 2.5 m. It is crucial to grow in full to partial sun, in a well-drained loamy soil in zones 6-9.

Popcorn Viburnum (Viburnum Plicatum f. Plicatum)

Popcorn Viburnum is a great option as a hedge plant, with its popcorn-like ball-shaped blooms, which emerge between April and May.


Evergreen Shrubs
Popcorn Viburnum.
Picture by @Stack's Nursey.


It is good to note that Popcorn Viburnum is a semi-evergreen shrub, with its foliage turning purple to red during fall. However, it grows to a height of 1.5-2.5 m feet tall and 2 m wide, in zones 5-8. Prefers moderate sunlight when young but under the shade, it can grow well regardless. When fully mature Popcorn Viburnum is heat and drought-tolerant.

Privacy for Your Outdoor Space

When it comes to the creation of privacy screens in your yard, regardless of the zone you reside in; evergreen shrubs always come in handy. From their dense leaf formation, evergreen traits, and unique growing needs to low maintenance requirements, Evergreen shrubs will give you a reliable privacy screen for your outdoor space.

From the classic evergreens like boxwoods, and hollies to fast-growing varieties like Emerald Green Arborvitae and Leyland Cypress, there is a befitting evergreen shrub for privacy for every zone and landscape need. Assess the specific needs for your space, theme, and landscape design and pick an ideal choice from the 14 evergreen shrubs to create a privacy screen for your yard above.


Evergreen Shrubs for Privacy
Picture by @Miller’s Garden Services



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