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The Best Screening Plants for Privacy (Australian Guide)

Plants grown in strategic spots around your garden are the perfect way to add some privacy while also adding beauty.

Whether you want to block your neighbour’s view, create a little privacy from people walking past, or just want to create a screen around your outdoor entertainment area, there are many screening plants that will do the trick.

Fastest growing screening trees

There are numerous fast-growing trees that are suitable for screening.

Pittosporum

Pittosporum tenuifolium Silver Sheen hedge | Plant varieties
Pittosporum ‘Silver Sheen’ by Nadiatalent I Wikimedia I CC BY-SA 4.0

Pittosporum varieties such as Silver Sheen, James Stirling, and Green Pillar are grown in many parts of the country as successful screening trees.

Most people will prune these into tall hedges that can reach a height of 5 metres.

Flame Amur Maple

Acer ginnala | Plant varieties
Amur Maple I F. D. Richards I Flickr I CC BY-SA 2.0

Apart from being extremely fast-growing, the Flame Amur maple has the most attractive foliage in colours of deep green, orange, red and yellow.

This tree is hardy and will grow in most conditions. It’s also drought-tolerant.

Best screening hedges for privacy

Well-maintained hedges are one of the best ways to create some privacy in your garden.

They are ideal for planting next to fences or for screening off one part of your garden to create a separate garden room.

Photinia robusta

Photinia fraseri B | Plant varieties
Wouter Hagens I Wikimedia

Photinias are hardy shrubs that can reach a height of up to 6 metres. They are quite striking with their new growth in shades of red.

This is one plant that your local birds will love because it produces masses of small white flowers that are followed by small red fruits.

Mock Orange (Murraya paniculata)

Murraya paniculata hedge 2 1 | Plant varieties
Mock Orange (Murraya paniculata)

Murraya hedges are popular thanks to their lush foliage and lovely citrusy scent. They are ideal for pruning into a nice dense hedge.

They produce the most delightful white flowers in summer and spring that have the same scent as orange blossoms.

These flowering hedge plants can reach a height of 4 metres and are fast-growing.

The tallest plants for screening

If you’re looking to grow some tall plants to make your yard completely private, then here is a selection that will be perfect for your needs.

Leightons Green (Cupressus leylandii)

Cupressus leylandii | Plant varieties
Cupressus leylandii I Gmihail I Wikimedia I CC BY-SA 3.0 RS

These conifers are fast-growing and can reach a height of more than 15 metres. They are commonly grown on farms and large properties as windbreaks.

These narrow screening plants are also suitable for hedging if you want to keep their height to a more manageable level.

Ficus microcarpa ‘Flash’

Ficus microcarpa | Plant varieties
Ficus microcarpa

This Australian native tree can grow to a height of around 10 metres but can be kept trimmed to a height of around 3 to 5 metres.

Like many ficus varieties, the roots can become invasive if left to grow unhindered. However, when the trees are kept neat and trimmed, it also helps to contain their root systems.

This particular variety is extremely hardy and quite fast-growing.

Tall screening plants to grow in pots

If you want to create some privacy around your outdoor entertainment area, growing tall screening plants in pots is an ideal solution.

Sasanqua Camellias (Camellia sasanqua)

Camellia sasanqua | Plant varieties
Camellia sasanqua

Sasanqua camellias are ideal for growing in pots.

Not only do these plants lend themselves well to general shaping and pruning but they also produce the most gorgeous flowers in winter.

Indian Hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis indica)

Rhaphiolepis indica | Plant varieties
Rhaphiolepis indica

This plant is ideal for growing in pots and can reach a height of around 1 to 2 metres.

Rhaphiolepis indica has lovely dark green leaves and will produce clusters of small white flowers in spring and early summer that are lightly scented. The blue to black berries that follow are popular with birds.

Narrow screening plants to grow on a fence line

To grow some screening plants along a fence line, you want to be able to plant them close together so that they form a natural barrier between your property and the neighbouring one.

Ornamental Gold Bamboo (Alphonse Karr)

Gold Bamboo | Plant varieties
Gold Bamboo

Bamboo makes a fabulous screen when planted close together along a fence line.

But, you have to ensure that you choose a clumping variety such as the ornamental gold bamboo. This variety is amazingly fast-growing and will reach a height of around 4 metres in under 2 years.

This clumping bamboo has a narrow base with the bushy green growth fanning out at the top. One of the best things about this screening plant is that it’s low-maintenance and drought-tolerant.

Cupressus ‘Glauca Pencil Pine’

Glauca Pine | Plant varieties
Glauca Pine

These trees are ideal for planting close together along a fence line as they’re both narrow and can grow quite tall.

They’re also fast-growing and will put on at least a metre of growth every year. Once they’ve grown to the height that you want, they’re easy to keep trimmed.

Native screening plants

There are many native screening plants that are fast-growing and ideal for Australian gardens.

Not only can these plants provide you with some privacy but they’ll also keep the local bird population happy.

Lilly Pilly (Acmena, Syzygium)

Syzygium Australe Lilly Pilly hedge 2 | Plant varieties
Syzygium Australe Lilly Pilly

Lilly Pilly is one of the best screening plants for Australian gardens.

They are fast growers and can reach a height of 3 to 5 metres. They’re also ideal for hedging.

Apart from their glossy green leaves, these plants also have gorgeous white flowers and small edible fruits.

Plus, you’ll be delighted with the new growth that is flushed with pink.

Coastal Rosemary (Westringia fruticosa)

This native plant is very popular in coastal areas. It’s fairly low-growing and makes an ideal hedge up to half a metre in height.

Coastal Rosemary has lovely grey leaves and produces a mass of small white flowers. It’s also extremely hardy, being both drought and frost-tolerant.

Other evergreen screening plants

Other evergreen screening plants include:

  • Viburnum tinus
  • Ornamental grasses such as Fountain grass
  • Japanese Box (Buxus microphylla japonica)
Photo of author

Annette Hird

Annette Hird is a gardening expert with many years of experience in a range of gardening related positions. She has an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Horticulture and has worked in a variety of production nurseries, primarily as a propagator. She has also been responsible for a large homestead garden that included lawn care, fruit trees, roses and many other ornamental plants. More recently, Annette has concentrated on improving the garden landscape of the homes that she has lived in and focused a lot of energy on growing edible plants as well. She now enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with others by writing articles about all facets of gardening and growing plants.

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