Bamboo is a grass that can grow up to 4 feet in one day.

The Best Plant to Block Out Neighbors

by Grace Wathen

Creating privacy in your own yard can be naturally done by using plants and trees to create a border. Trees and plants that grow vertically, such as bamboo (Bambuseae), arborvitae (Thuja) and columnar or fastigiate trees create a nice border. Also, trellising certain plants or creating a hedgerow of a variety of plants can make a creative and beautiful natural fence.


Trees that grow vertically quickly are great to use in creating a natural fence or privacy screen for your yard. One example of this type of tree is known as fastigiate. Fastigiate trees make a great natural fence because they grow several different trunks close together. The upright English oak (Quercus robur fastigiata) and upright blue spruce (Picea pungens glauca fastigiata) are two examples of fastigiate trees that work well as a barrier to neighbors. Upright English Oak grows best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 to 8 and the upright blue spruce prefers USDA zone 3 to 8. Another type of tree that works well as a natural fence is the columnar. Instead of growing several trunks like the fastigiate, it grows only one trunk but has branches that grow in a spreading fashion. The green column black maple (Acer saccharum nigrum) is a columnar tree great for use as a garden barrier and thrives in USDA zone 4 to 8.

Trellis Plants

By trellising plants on your lot border, you can create a natural fence and free up more garden space. Sturdy vertical trellis designs made from durable solid wood or plastic will work best for this. Plants that grow like a vine such as jasmine (Jasminum officinale) or grapes (Vitis vinifera) will create a beautiful privacy border for your yard. Jasmine grows best in USDA zones 6 to 10 and grapes in USDA zones 5 to 9. Growing tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) or beans (Phaseolus lunatus) on a vertical trellis will also create a visually pleasing and practical natural fence. Tomatoes grows best in USDA zones 5 to 12 and beans in USDA zones 7 and up.


Bamboo plants work well as a natural barrier from surrounding properties. Varieties of bamboo that grow in a clumping fashion work best as a natural fence. If you don't use a clumping variety of bamboo, you run the risk of the bamboo plants taking over your garden. Bamboo grows fast and is easy to take care of, just be sure to choose a variety that is suitable for your climate zone. Hawaiian gold timber bamboo (Bambusa vulgaris vittata) is a clumping variety of bamboo best for warmer climates and seabreeze midsize timber bamboo (Bambusa malingensis) is a clumping variety best for cooler climates. Most bamboo varieties thrive in USDA zones 7 to 10.


A hedgerow is a group of plants grown together to create a thick border resembling the edge of a forest. Hedgerows work best for larger pieces of land. Traditional hedgerows are usually 20 feet wide, but you can make a hedgerow as small as 10 feet wide. Arborvitae trees are most commonly used in hedgerows and grow best in USDA zones 4 to 7. Choose a variety of trees, shrubs and perennials suitable for your climate to make your hedgerow. Hedgerows often take up to 5 years to fully mature to provide full privacy, so you can add or remove plants as you go to customize your natural fence.

About the Author

Grace Wathen is a certified yoga, Pilates and raw nutrition instructor. Her dedication to health and wellness motivated her to organize and build several community gardens in Utah, Oregon and Nevada. She has been sharing her expertise on the above topics through online publishers since 2007.

Photo Credits

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