Are there any quick growing plants for privacy?

renogal_09September 4, 2009

Hi Folks-

This is my first post, and I want to thank in advance any and everyone who can give me advice...

I live in a community in Northern Colorado that only allows 4 foot high fencing, but has no stipulations on plantings. I would like a bit more pivacy around the back of my yard by the bedrooms. I was thinking of a decorative grass (bamboo maybe?)

Any suggestions?

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Dan Staley

Only one or two bamboos grow here and I'm not sure you'll like them after a few years. The general rule is (esp around here) is: fast growing, fast dying. You might try the grass giant Sacaton, but it looks disheveled in winter and you'll chainsaw it down in 4 years. Not the best climate for what you are looking for. You might try some sort of pine for the next owner. I'm not feeling it today...


    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 9:44PM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

Welcome Renogal! I know you will get great tips here. It would help to know what the area is like. What direction does your bedroom face? What is your soil like? Is it clay or sandy? How much room would the plants have to grow up and out? How much sun does the area get? Is it an area protected from our lovely winds? What kind of plants do you like? Neat and tidy or bid and bushy?It really helps to post a picture. Can you take a photo from your bedroom window to the area you want to plant? Then we can see the planting area and make better recommendations. I'm laughing as I write this because I have to hit up the bh. "Honey, could you take a picture of this, download it and insert it right here for me?" I'm clueless about posting pictures. I figure if I watch him do it enough times I'll catch on.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 10:22AM
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We grow hops as an effective screen. Its deciduous however, so it doesn't provide a screening throughout the year, and it needs good support (something to twine onto as it grows). I wonder if you could somehow tie a high, taught rope across the area you want to screen, and hang twine down from that high, horizontal support. The vines will grow up string, but the system of support will need to be stout, as the vines weigh a ton (vigorous plants are loaded with water).

Hops are a perennial vine. They will die back to the ground each fall. I cut the old vines down each fall or spring before any new growth starts coming onto the trellis I grow them up. They seem to grow about 6 inches a day during their most vigorous period of spring growth. Lovely leaves. Our plants often get aphids which can be remedied with some timely applications of sprayed on insecticidal soap.

Hops is such a strong grower that it can be invasive - spreading to take over garden beds and chocking out other plants. Keep an eye on it and make sure you keep it in bounds (maybe even destroying it if you are moving out/away from your current domicile).

We use it to screen our back patio. We don't use the patio until summer (for evening meals and such). Before then it is pretty much too cold to sit outside in the early evenings. By the time the weather has heated up and we are sitting there the hops have grown up and created our summer screen. Works great.

We enjoy the look of the hops (fruit of the plant) that grows and ripens in the fall. We don't use them to brew beer, but just enjoy how they look, and when they are dry they can be crushed between your fingers to give off a lovely fragrance. I bet they would be a nice addition to a potpourri.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 11:48AM
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Would a tall shrub be suitable, Renogal?

Serviceberry (Amelanchier) seems to be an up-and-coming landscape plant altho' the wild variety grows throughout our area. With multiple stems, it can provide quite a thicket for a screen.

A Hicksii yew would be an evergreen screen.

If you are simply trying to screen a single window or two, there are lots of small trees that would provide that without you planting a hedge close to the house. Maybe you should give some thought to just how many feet of the house you are interested in screening.


    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 9:01PM
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Virginia Creeper

    Bookmark   September 6, 2009 at 10:37PM
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austinnhanasmom(5 CO)

I have to second the virginia creeper...

I have a split rail fence - 4'. I planted the VC 7 years ago, to add privacy on the fence, and it has quickly covered the fence - twice. I cut it back to re-stain the fence and it is back with a vengeance. Once established, I think there's no way to kill it, as I sort of tried:))

I put up the wire mesh from Home Depot, to retain the dogs, and the VC loves it as support.

I have since planted clematis amongst VC and will drop some Morning Glory and 4 O'Clock seeds next spring.

Each year, someone asks what the vine is. These people are also looking for HOA approved privacy. They all think it'll be "perfect" for their needs.

I get irritated by the "creepers" that consistently grow 3' in either direction of the fence. If they would just grab the fence and behave in an orderly manner, I might enjoy the vine more. Every month or sooner, I clip the unruly growth so kids can ride bikes down my sidewalk without being impeded.

It did take the VC a few years to really take off. Better soil prep and regular watering may help it get going quicker then it did in my yard. Since planting the clematis, I've installed drip line and VC seems happier.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 9:28AM
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