Best Drought-Tolerant Plants for Privacy Screening

If you’re looking for more privacy for your home, planting a privacy screen is an excellent way to create a secluded haven in your backyard or garden.

In this blog post, I will be sharing with you some of the best drought-tolerant plants for creating a privacy screen, including bamboos, grasses, shrubs, succulents, and trees.

Not only will these plant types provide you with the seclusion you seek, but they are also low-maintenance and water-efficient.

So if you’re looking for practical ways to create privacy that’s both effective and visually stunning, this post is for you!

Let’s dive right in.

Factors to Consider

When selecting plants for privacy screening, there are several factors that you should take into account. The type of soil on your property is one important aspect to consider, as some plants may thrive better in certain soils than others. Be sure to have your soil tested to determine its pH levels and nutrient composition. This information will help you choose plants that are more likely to succeed in your outdoor space.

Sunlight is another important consideration. Think about the orientation of your property, and how it affects the amount of sun and shade your outdoor space receives. This information will be helpful when selecting plants that will do well in your garden or yard. For example, some plants are best suited for sunny or partially sunny areas, while others do better in shaded spots.

Climate is yet another important factor to keep in mind when selecting privacy screening plants. Consider the prevailing weather conditions in your area, such as the amount of rainfall, temperature, and humidity. Going with plants that are native to your region might be a smart decision, as these varieties are often well-suited to the particular climate.

Finally, think about the maintenance level required for the plants you are considering. Some plants may require constant watering and upkeep, while others are more self-sufficient once established and require little maintenance. By understanding the level of care required for the plants you choose, you can better plan the ongoing maintenance of your outdoor space.


Bamboos are amazing plants that come in many species with different sizes, growth habits, and foliage. They are perfect for creating a privacy screen that is both attractive and functional. If you want to use bamboos as a privacy screen, you should choose the clumping type which does not spread out and form dense thickets. Golden bamboo, fargesia, and black bamboo are some of the most popular types of bamboo used for this purpose.

When planting bamboo, it is essential to prepare the soil properly. It should be rich in organic matter and well-drained to prevent root rot. You should also consider the amount of light needed by the specific variety of bamboo you want to plant, as some varieties require full sunlight while others grow well in partial to full shade.

Bamboos should be watered frequently, especially during the first year of growth. You should aim to keep the soil evenly moist, and avoid letting it dry out completely. Bamboos should be fertilized in early spring and early fall, using a balanced fertilizer.

Moreover, pruning bamboos is crucial to control their height and width. You should do this in late summer or early fall to avoid damaging new shoots, but avoid pruning more than one-third of the growth at a time, or it may harm the plant. Another technique for controlling bamboo growth is root pruning, which involves cutting the roots of a bamboo plant to restrict its spread.

In conclusion, bamboos are an excellent choice for a privacy screen. By selecting the right species, preparing the soil properly, watering, fertilizing, and pruning the plants regularly, you can create an attractive and functional screen that requires minimal maintenance.


Grasses can form a dense barrier for privacy screening with low maintenance requirements, making them an excellent choice for those who do not have much time for gardening. They consist of a family of plants with seasonal and regional preferences. Examples of grass varieties that make for great privacy screens are sedge, fescue, and maiden grass.

When selecting the right grass species for a privacy screen, you should consider the level of sunlight exposure and the type of soil present in your garden. While some grass types may flourish in full direct sunlight, others are best suited for shaded areas. You should also check the ph level of your soil to determine which plants will grow most effectively.

Maiden grass, for instance, is an ornamental grass that thrives in full sunlight, making it perfect for those seeking maximum privacy. Fescue, on the other hand, prefers shaded spaces and is ideal for planting in partially shaded areas.

In terms of maintenance, grasses are straightforward to take care of. They don’t require regular watering or fertilization, and pruning is minimal, usually occurring once a year. Once established, grasses can serve as a permanent solution for privacy screening, requiring little to no maintenance to maintain their dense structure.

Ultimately, the type of grass you choose will depend on your local climate, your soil composition, and your level of sunlight exposure. Hence, it’s essential to understand the unique requirements of each type before making a final decision.

Succulent Plants for Privacy Screening

If you’re looking for drought-tolerant plants that can create a natural privacy screen, succulents are a great option. These low-maintenance plants come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and colors and are well-suited to hot, dry climates. Agave and aloe are two popular succulents that are frequently used for privacy screening due to their large size and hardiness. These plants can thrive in full sun or partial shade and require minimal watering, making them an excellent option for those in drought-prone areas. However, it’s important to keep in mind that succulents do not grow as quickly as other plant types and may take several years to reach their full size. Additionally, succulents may not be as effective at providing year-round privacy as some other plant types, as many species lose their leaves during the winter months. That being said, with proper care, succulent privacy screens can be a stunning and unique addition to any garden or outdoor space.


As an alternative to other plant types when it comes to drought-tolerant privacy screening, shrubs bring a unique style and can offer a wide range of colors. Some popular drought-resistant shrubs include boxwood, lavender, and oleander. These shrubs require low to moderate water use and need trimming that depends on their variety.

When choosing shrubs, consider the level of maintenance required to keep them looking their best. For example, boxwood needs frequent pruning and shaping to stay healthy and attractive. On the other hand, lavender requires minimal pruning, but still needs to be trimmed back each fall.

One good choice for a drought-tolerant shrub is the oleander, which is an evergreen that blooms from the middle of summer to fall. It can grow up to eight feet tall and four feet wide, so it is an excellent option for people who are looking for tall privacy screening plants. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that this plant is toxic, so it should not be planted in areas where children or pets could ingest it.

Overall, shrubs are an excellent option for those who prefer to have a more traditional-looking privacy screen. They require less water than grasses or other plants and offer a wider range of colors and seasonal interest. Keep in mind that some shrubs require regular pruning and shaping, so make sure you select the right species for your needs.


When creating a privacy screen, trees are another popular option to consider. They provide height and fullness to your screen and can be a great addition to other plants in your garden. There are different types of trees you can use, but always remember to choose drought-tolerant trees that are well-suited to your region. Some great options include:

Arizona cypress

This evergreen tree is perfect for dry climates and is well-known for its high drought tolerance. Arizona cypress provides a great privacy screen due to its dense foliage and tall height.


Drought-tolerant eucalyptus trees can reach great heights and are great privacy screen options. They are known for their beautiful leaves, and the smell of eucalyptus leaves is an added bonus. You just have to ensure you keep them far enough from your home since they are known for drawing water from surrounding soil.

Texas persimmon tree

The Texas persimmon tree is also known for its drought tolerance, and its small size makes it a great option for those with limited garden space. The trees produce fruit that attracts birds and the foliage provides full coverage for privacy screening.

Remember to plant trees in a location that provides full sun, and in soil that drains well. Adequate spacing is also required to ensure the trees grow properly.

While trees are a great option for privacy screening, one should be aware that they can take longer to reach the desired height than other plant types. But once they grow, they can create a beautiful and functional outdoor space for your family.

Combination of Plant Types

Now that you have a good idea of the different types of plants that can be used for privacy screening, you may be wondering how to effectively combine them to create an attractive and functional screen. A well-designed combination of plants can make for a more efficient, natural screen that requires less maintenance and uses less water.

When it comes to combining different plant types, you want to consider several factors. First, you should make sure that the plants you choose have compatible soil and water needs. You don’t want to plant a water-loving shrub next to a drought-tolerant succulent, for example.

Another important factor to consider is the height and spread of each plant. Make sure to choose plants that will grow to the desired height and width of the screen. You want to create a cohesive, balanced look that complements the architecture of the house and the surrounding landscape.

For a natural-looking privacy screen, try mixing different types of grasses and sedges with taller shrubs and trees. A mix of grasses and bamboo can also create a dense, low-maintenance screen.

Combining different textures and colors can also give your privacy screen interest and depth. Try planting a mix of succulents, grasses, and shrubs with varying leaf shapes and hues. Consider adding flowering plants for a pop of color and to attract pollinators.

Maintenance is crucial to keep your privacy screen looking its best. Make sure to prune and trim regularly to keep the plants from becoming overgrown and to maintain the desired shape and height.

In conclusion, combining different types of plants can make for an attractive, low-maintenance privacy screen. With careful planning and selection, you can create a screen that is not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing. Remember to consider factors such as soil and water needs, plant height and spread, and texture and color when selecting plants for your privacy screen.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the importance of privacy screening cannot be overstated, especially when it comes to creating a peaceful and visually appealing outdoor space.

By choosing drought-tolerant plants, you can have the best of both worlds — privacy and water efficiency.

As you make your plant selections for your privacy screen, be sure to consider the soil type, sunlight, climate, and maintenance level of the plants.

My hope is that this article has helped to highlight some of the options available for creating an effective, low-maintenance privacy screen.

So which plant variety are you going to try first?

Let me know by sending me a message - I would love to hear about your experiences.

If you found value in this post, please consider sharing it on social media to help others create a beautiful, water-efficient, and eco-friendly outdoor space.

Author: Scott Sanders


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