Best Plants for Screening

One of the most frequent requests I hear from clients is how to best provide screening to areas of their property.  From blocking the view of neighboring houses, to screening a client’s utility boxes – screen plantings come in all shapes and sizes.  Read on to learn about some of my favorite plantings for screening large, medium, and small areas.

Cryptomeria ‘Yoshino’ and Magnolia grandiflora – Large Screening Plants  
treeflower
(A row of Cryptomeria ‘Yoshino’ and the foliage and flower of a Magnolia grandiflora)

My two favorite large screening plants are Cyptomeria ‘Yoshino’ (Japanese Cedar) and Magnolia grandiflora (Southern Magnolia).  Both are evergreens reaching up to 50 feet in height at maturity.  Cryptomeria prefers full sun, and is fully deer resistant, while Magnolias grow well in partial shade and are somewhat deer resistant.

Osmanthus fragrans and Camellia sp. – Medium Screening Plants
Os cam  

(Flowers of both Osmanthus fragrans and Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’)

For areas needing 8 -15 feet of screening I often use Osmanthus fragrans (Fragrant Osmanthus) or Camellia sp. (Spring or Fall Blooming Camellias).  In addition to being great evergreens, both also provide seasonal interest through their flowers.  Osmanthus blooms in the fall, and while the flowers are not showy, the fragrance is amazing.  Camellias are available in hundreds of spring or fall blooming varieties, with red, white, yellow, or pink flowers.

Gardenia jasminoides and Azaleas – Small Screening Plants
white meadow
(Gardenia jasminoides ‘Frostproof’ and a mass of George Taber Azaleas in bloom)

For screening of smaller areas I rely on two of my favorite flowering evergreens.  Gardenia jasminoides (Gardenia) and Rhododendron sp. (Azaleas) are available in a range of sizes, with gardenias offering fragrant blooms and azaleas offering beautiful spring color.  These smaller evergreens can be used individually to block specific objects or as a mass planting to create larger buffers.

Winter is a great time to identify areas that need to be screened on your property.  Have a screen planting project you’d like some help with?  Contact Bright Leaf Landscaping at 919-475-1015 or fill out our online contact form.  Design and installation are our expertise, and we are always happy to meet with new clients to discuss potential projects!