8 Tall Plants For Privacy In Pots: A Guide To Choosing The Right Plants For Your Balcony, Patio, Or Garden

Creating a sense of privacy in outdoor spaces can be a challenge, especially when living in urban areas or where space is limited.

Tall plants grown in pots can be an excellent solution for providing both privacy and adding greenery to your balcony, patio, or garden.

With so many options available, selecting the right plant can be an enjoyable process that complements your outdoor living area.

Small alocasia plant in the garden

Evaluating Your Space

Before jumping into the world of potted plants, evaluate your space. Consider the following factors:

  • Size of the area: Measure the length and width of your balcony, patio, or garden to get a clear idea of the space you have to work with.
  • The direction of sunlight: Assess the direction of sunlight entering your space and identify any existing shaded areas.
  • Hardiness zone: Determine your region's hardiness zone to select plants that will thrive in your climate.
  • The need for a windbreak: If your outdoor area is exposed to strong winds, consider choosing plants that can withstand those conditions and provide some protection.

Defining Privacy Goals

Everyone's privacy needs can vary, so you should define your goals before selecting tall plants for privacy in pots. Some common privacy goals include:

  • Blocking the view: If your goal is to block the view from neighbors or passersby, choose plants with dense foliage that grow tall enough to create a visual barrier.
  • Noise reduction: You may want to minimize street noise or conversations from neighboring properties. Select plants with dense, broad leaves that can help absorb and diffuse sound.
  • Creating a sense of enclosure: Some people aim to create a secluded space within their garden, patio, or balcony. Choose plants that have a bushy growth habit or can be easily shaped to form a hedge-like barrier.

Top 8 Tall Plants For Privacy

Creating a sense of privacy on your balcony, patio, or garden can be achieved by using tall plants that thrive in pots.

Check out this selection of plants that can provide the necessary height and screening for your outdoor space.

1. Bamboo

Bamboo plants have round stems, often in different shades of green, from light to dark. Sometimes, you might see stems with touches of yellow

a balcony with a chair and potted bamboo plant in the fore on the right hand side of the door

It is a fast-growing, tall plant that can provide a dense screen in containers. Choose a clumping variety like fargesia to prevent invasive spreading.

2. Arborvitae

Arborvitae trees are pyramid-shaped evergreens. They have dense, scale-like leaves arranged in flat sprays, which remain a rich green color all year round.

Flowerpots from wooden boards with evergreen thuja plants on the background of the summer terrace of the restaur

The density of their foliage helps to create a solid privacy screen, blocking sight lines and dampening noise.

It's important to use a sturdy container and provide the tree with regular watering and fertilizer to ensure it thrives.

3. Italian Cypress

Italian cypress trees are slender, columnar trees known for their dramatic, spire-like silhouette.

Italian Cypress planted outside a condominium building

They're particularly effective when planted in groups, where they can create a living wall. They're also quite drought-tolerant once established, making them a low-maintenance option for privacy screening.

4. Holly

Holly plants have glossy, leathery leaves which are often dark green and spiked around the edges.

Holly plant planted on colored pots hanged outside a balcony

These small trees can be grown in containers. Their dense, evergreen foliage and broad, spreading growth habit make them ideal for creating a privacy screen.

5. Boxwood

Boxwood shrubs have small, rounded, glossy green leaves that form a dense, compact growth habit. They can be easily pruned into various shapes, which adds to their versatility in landscaping.

The rooftop terrace with an outdoor garden. Trimmed in the form of cones and hemispheres of boxwood bushes and o

It is a popular hedge plant with dense foliage that can grow pretty tall, up to 15 feet in some varieties. When grown in pots, it can provide a solid, evergreen privacy screen.

6. Climbing Roses

Climbing roses come in many different colors and forms, are the standout feature, appearing in clusters throughout the growing season.

A pink rose bush climbing on window in a park

Climbing roses can provide both beauty and privacy when grown on a trellis or pergola.

7. Ficus

Ficus trees have a wide range of appearances, but many, like the ficus benjamina, feature arching branches with glossy, dark green leaves.

Close-up of home ornamental plant ficus Benjamin Golden Monique cultivar in the interior of balcony

Ficus trees, such as the ficus benjamina (weeping fig) can be grown in pots to provide a tall privacy screen.

Learn more: Best Soil For Weeping Fig & Recommended Pots And Containers

8. Elephant Ear

Elephant ear plants are known for their giant, heart-shaped or arrowhead-shaped leaves, which can be green, black, or variegated depending on the species.

Alocasia Macrorrhiza (or Giant Elephant Ear) plant growth in the garden

When grown in pots, they can add a tropical touch and privacy to your patio or garden.

Related: 11 Tall Flowering Shrubs For Privacy And Hedges

Plant Selection Tips

When choosing tall plants for privacy in pots, there are several factors to consider to make the best selection for your balcony, patio, or garden.

Light Requirements

Some plants prefer full sunlight, while others need partial or full shade.

Before selecting plants for your space, observe the sunlight patterns in the area and choose species that will flourish under those conditions.

Growth Rate

Consider the time frame you want for your privacy screen and choose plants accordingly.

Watering plant

Shrubs and grasses tend to have faster growth rates, while trees and larger plants may take longer to reach their full potential.

Additionally, some plants require larger containers for adequate root growth, which may affect their overall growth rate as well.


Lastly, consider the amount of maintenance each plant requires. Many plants need regular care, such as pruning, watering, and fertilizing to grow well and maintain their appearance.

Wiping ficus tree leaf

Be realistic about the time and effort you're willing to invest in your plants before making your selection.

This will help ensure you create a privacy screen that's not only effective but also manageable within your lifestyle.

Preparing Your Pots And Planters

Before planting your tall plants for privacy, it's essential to prepare your pots and planters effectively.

Choosing Container Sizes

For perennial plants and fruits, consider using large containers that are 1 to 2 inches wider than the current root ball for adequate root growth.

Smaller pots, 8 inches in diameter or less, are suitable for smaller plants, which can later be transplanted to a larger container if necessary.

Clay pot with spilled soil

Choose a container size that matches the eventual size and root system of your tall plant.

You might also like: 13 Low-Maintenance Flowering Plants Perfect for Container Gardens 

Drainage Considerations

Proper drainage is essential for healthy plant growth. Too much water in the container can lead to root rot, while insufficient drainage can cause the plant to wilt.

To ensure proper drainage, select pots and planters with drainage holes in the bottom.

Select a potting mix designed for container plants, as it will hold moisture and provide good aeration for the roots.

Adding Support Structures

Some tall plants may need support structures to help them grow upright and stable.

These support structures can be trellises, stakes, or cages. Placing the support structure in the container when planting will avoid damaging the root system later.

Ensure that the support structure you choose is sturdy and strong enough to handle your specific plant's weight and growth pattern.

In Closing

Choosing the right tall plants for privacy in pots can make a significant difference in the overall look and feel of your balcony, patio, or garden.

With a variety of options available, it's important to select plants that not only provide privacy but also thrive in the specific conditions of your outdoor space.

Experiment with various species and enjoy the process of creating your very own green oasis.

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