Privacy is sacred, especially when you live in a neighborhood where houses are a bit closer together or back up to each other.

Even when you enjoy chatting with your neighbors on occasion, every once in a while you need a little solitude. It’s OK to want a little secluded oasis to enjoy your time outdoors without a lot of interruption. 

One way to get that is with some great backyard privacy plants. 

Let’s look at some of the best plants for privacy in Chicagoland home landscapes so you can have some options when you're looking to block unsightly views or muffle noisy neighbors.

6 Best Privacy Plants For Your Backyard

Plants can be a great way to add some greenery to your backyard and enjoy some peace and quiet at the same time. 

patio and pavilion with plantings for privacy

Try one of these best plants for privacy so you can have a living screen that looks amazing, but also offers functional serenity.

1. Arborvitae

The deer-resistant green giant arborvitae is a fairly fast-growing privacy plant for your backyard. 


Arborvitae has a tall, thin shape with dense foliage, which ensures they make great screens or wind blocks. These evergreens can grow 50 to 60 feet tall with a 12- to 20-foot spread. 

Arborvitae like full to partial sun locations and good drainage. They also make great additions to small backyards because they don’t have a large footprint.

2. Norway Spruce

Dark green needles covering strong, graceful branches describe the Norway spruce. With a pyramidal shape, thai tree is low-maintenance and disease-resistant. 

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This low-maintenance evergreen makes a great windbreak at nearly 60-feet tall with a 25-foot spread. Plant this backyard privacy plant in full sun and well-drained soil.

3. Black Hill Spruce

The Black Hills spruce grows to a height of 30 to 60 feet with a 15- to 25-foot spread.

Compared to the white spruce, this best plant for privacy has a denser, more compact habit. It grows best in acidic, moist soil in full sun, but it has the ability to adapt to partial shade and drought conditions. Don’t plant this tree in overly moist or compacted soil.

4. Viburnum

The viburnum family – from shrubs to small trees – are great backyard privacy plants, particularly for smaller spaces. 

The snowball viburnum has large, white, pom pom-like blooms. They start out green, then turn white, and sometimes even fade to a nice blush pink tone. Its dark green foliage with serrated, pointy leaves turns a brilliant brick red in the fall. 


The tree can grow to 25 or 30 feet tall, while the snowball shrub can become a dense 12 feet. This variety has excellent drought tolerance. Relatively low maintenance, this tree doesn’t attract deer and is also tolerant of urban pollution. 

Plant this tree in full sun to partial shade in average to evenly moist soil; it does not like standing water. Use the snowball viburnum as an accent plant, in a mass planting scheme, as hedges or for screening.

5. Lilacs

The lilac can welcome you with fragrant blooms in late May and early June, signaling that summer is on its way. It can also be an ornamental best plant for privacy. 

CC- Lilac bush

If you have a sunny location, this tree, which grows to 20- to 25-feet tall with a 15- to 20-foot spread with a round crown, is a lovely choice.
This accent tree also draws hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden.

6. Columnar Hornbeams

Columnar hemlocks are great backyard privacy plants because they are shade tolerant and can reach 40 to 70 feet high with a 25- to 35-foot spread. 

CC-Columnar Hornbeam

The tree’s soft, feathery, deep green needles provide cover for songbirds. Plant this one where it can get a bit of both sun and shade but not too much of either one.

Ready For Some Backyard Privacy Plants in Greater Chicago?

Maybe you want to sit in your backyard, enjoying some sunshine without your neighbor’s prying eyes watching your every move. Or maybe you just don’t want to be distracted by the kids playing next door and just crave a little peace and quiet. We understand. 

Backyard privacy plants can solve a lot of your problems, while also giving you some great visuals. 

If you’re still having trouble choosing the right plants for your space, give KD Landscape a call. We have years of experience in creating Greater Chicago landscapes that add privacy. We can look at your needs and goals and present some ideas that give you that secluded nook you’re craving. 

Ready to see how KD Landscape can transform your suburban Chicago backyard into a more private space? We’d love to share our design and installation expertise with you. Get started today with a free consultation. Together, we can prepare a plan that brings you the relaxation you’re after. 

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Image Source: Hornbeam, Lilac, Arborvitae, Viburnum