Plants and fences make beautiful friendships. Ever wonder why together they look so pleasing to the eye? That’s because they complement each other like peanut butter and jelly.
A fence acts as a canvas for plants, and plants decorate that canvas with their colors and blooms. A fence provides support for plants to grow, while plants soften a fence and enhance privacy.
You could have just one or the other, like peanut butter or jelly, but together they are better. Without a fence, you’d lose privacy and security. Without plants, you’d lose a beautiful transition between your lawn and fence.
Fences and plants work as a team to bring your landscape together. That’s why you should consider some of these shrubs, trees, and climbers to plant along your fence.
American Holly (USDA Zone: 5 to 9)
Make every day feel like Christmas by planting some holly trees along your fence. And choose a good mix of male and female hollies to encourage pollination and allow those colorful red berries to grow. This dense, evergreen tree will give you all the extra privacy you need.
Areca Palm (USDA Zone: 10 to 11)
Areca palms don’t do well in the cold, but if you live in an area that’s mostly sunny and warm, you can create a privacy screen by planting them in clusters. But areca palms are not without maintenance. They need a good trimming once in a while to keep things orderly.
Azalea (USDA Zone: 5 to 9)
Add some vibrant color to your yard by planting some azaleas. These shrubs are the perfect thing to plant along a fence as they offer some privacy and beautiful, head-turning flowers come spring. Keep in mind that too much color can be overwhelming. You may decide to plant only a couple of shrubs alongside other plants.
Bay Laurel (USDA Zone: 8 to 10)
Bay laurel shrubs smell wonderful. It makes sense to plant them along a fence, which offers protection from the wind. The most exciting part about bay laurel is you can use the leaves for cooking. Try drying your own bay leaves!
Boston Ivy (USDA Zone: 4 to 8)
Boston ivy is known for climbing a number of high-profile buildings, such as the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club where Wimbledon takes place and Harvard University. Ever wonder where “Ivy League” comes from? Some say the Boston ivy. You can use Boston ivy to accentuate the look of a wooden fence or create a screen for a rather unattractive chain link fence too.
Brilliantissima (USDA Zone: 4 to 9)
With a name like “Brilliantissima”, how could we not include it on this list? In all seriousness, there are a lot of good things going for this shrub – also known as chokeberry – besides its name. Like the foliage that turns bright red in fall, or the red berries that make a delicious jam.
Camellia (USDA Zone: 5 to 10)
Camellias are one of the more popular flowering shrubs. Plant a few shrubs along a fence and you’ll have some absolutely gorgeous flowers to look at when they bloom. The great thing about camellia is the variety of cultivars that bloom at different times of the year. You can select a good mix and have blooms for several months of the year.
Clematis (USDA Zone: 4 to 9)
Clematis is known as the “queen of climbers”. You can easily train them to climb a fence, and once they reach their potential, they’ll help make your fence look all pretty with their gorgeous flowers. A single plant can produce hundreds of flowers, which is great for privacy and is quite the sight.
Climbing Hydrangea (USDA Zone: 4 to 8)
With its dark-green, heart-shaped leaves and tiny off-white flowers, climbing hydrangea will turn any fence into art. Climbing hydrangea can take several years to grow and reach the flowering stage, but we promise it’s worth the wait.
Climbing Roses (USDA Zone: 5 to 10)
With so many varieties of climbing roses to choose from, there’s bound to be something for everyone. Check out these to start: Cecile Brunner, Eden, and Zephirine Drouhin. Unlike clematis, climbing roses are not born climbers and do not have vines. So they need to be tied to a fence to learn to “climb”.
Clusia Rosea (USDA Zone: 10 to 11)
Clusia are evergreen shrubs with leaves that have a leathery texture and resemble squash rackets. They are dioecious, meaning a single plant only has male or female parts, and require the help of different animals for pollination. In other words, you can provide an environment for a whole ecosystem to thrive by planting clusia.
Confederate Jasmine (USDA Zone: 8 to 10)
Confederate jasmine has sweet-smelling, star-shaped flowers. Though difficult to grow in colder regions, it’s definitely worth the consideration if you live in a warmer climate. Beautiful, fragrant, easy to train, and low-maintenance, confederate jasmine makes a great choice for a fence.
Emerald Green Arborvitae (USDA Zone: 2 to 7)
Emerald green arborvitae is a type of evergreen coniferous tree commonly used as a privacy screen or hedge. It can grow up to 15 feet tall. By planting Emerald green arborvitae along a fence, you can add privacy while blocking out wind.
English Ivy (USDA Zone: 4 to 9)
Most people choose chain link fences for their durability and cost, but they’re not known for being the most beautiful. This is where plants come into play. You can easily hide or beautify a fence by adding a vine like English ivy. It’s similar to Boston ivy, but English ivy is evergreen while Boston ivy turns red in the fall.
Escallonia Rubra (USDA Zone: 7 to 10)
Sometimes referred to as redclaws, this stubby evergreen shrub blooms some ridiculously gorgeous flowers. The pink flowers against the dark green backdrop are a beautiful sight. So consider planting a few of these shrubs in your yard.
Espalier Fruit Tree (USDA Zone: 4 to 8)
Espalier fruit trees are fun. There’s some work involved as you have to prune and tie tree branches to get them to lie “flat”. But in our opinion, they’re one of the most beautiful things you can plant along a fence. Several fruit trees that are easy to shape are apple, pear, and peaches.
Ficus Tree (USDA Zone: 9 to 11)
Ficus gets a ton of love and hate. The roots of ficus trees are known to be invasive, which means they may lift patios and damage underground utilities. They may attract unwanted pests like whiteflies too. But they’re beautiful, they grow fast, and they make a heck of a hedge or living fence.
Forsythia (USDA Zone: 5 to 8)
Forsythia shrubs grow to be about 3 meters tall, which means they’ll extend just beyond most fences. They’re another popular shrub for creating hedges. The best part about Forsythia, other than their vibrant yellow flowers, is their reliability as a garden plant, with no serious diseases or insects to worry about.
Hibiscus (USDA Zone: 5 to 9)
Hibiscus is guaranteed to turn heads with its beautiful flowers. There are literally hundreds of species of hibiscus to choose. It’s one of the most loved garden plants – by birds, butterflies, and humans.
Honeysuckle (USDA Zone: 4 to 9)
Honeysuckle plants are born to live by a fence. They’re vines and they love to arch so what better home for them than next to a fence? Plus, they have stunning flowers that smell great, they attract beautiful birds and butterflies, and they’ll hide a boring chain link fence.
Italian Cypress (USDA Zone: 7 to 10)
Italian cypress trees grow tall and upright. We’re talking taller than most houses. Your neighbors will definitely have hard time seeing what’s on your side of the fence if you grow a row of Italian cypress!
Knock Out Rose (USDA Zone: 5 to 9)
Knock Out roses will knock you out with their gorgeous, vibrant blooms. They complement evergreen shrubs well, or you can choose to plant a row of Knock Out roses on their own. Either way, they will add color and a wow factor to an otherwise bland garden.
Lady Banks’ Rose (USDA Zone: 6 to 11)
If you want to attract butterflies, or look at some gorgeous clusters of roses, plant some Lady Banks’ roses. These roses can be trained to a fence or grown as a groundcover plant. Its sprawling vines will spill over a fence or wall nicely too.
Leyland Cypress (USDA Zone: 6 to 10)
Leyland cypress is a fast-growing evergreen conifer that’s typically trimmed to a hedge or planted as a privacy screen. It can grow very big so it’s probably not the best tree for a small yard. But if you have a huge yard and lots of space you want to cover, this is your tree.
Lilac (USDA Zone: 3 to 7)
Is there anything more beautiful than lilac? OK, we say that about every flower. But really, those bunches of flowers are just a stunning.
Morning Glory (USDA Zone: 2 to 11)
Words can’t do morning glory flowers any justice. Perhaps they’re something that needs to be appreciated in silence. So plant some morning glory vines along your fence and take in the sight.
Ocotillo (USDA Zone: 8 to 11)
Ocotillo is a one-of-a-kind desert plant. Its individual stems can be used to make a living fence. But if you prefer, you can grow them as a plant. They get pretty tall and can offer some privacy.
Oyama Magnolia (USDA Zone: 6 to 8)
Oyama Magnolia flowers rank right up there among our favorites. This shrub doesn’t require much maintenance so that’s always a big plus.
Pittosporum (USDA Zone: 9 to 10)
Easy to care for and cute, pittosporum is an excellent evergreen shrub to plant along a fence. You can find several hundred species of pittosporum ranging in height and color. Check out “Marjorie Channon” or “Elizabeth” cultivars for some stunning, variegated foliage.
Pyracantha (USDA Zone: 6 to 9)
With their vibrant-colored berries, it’s hard not to notice pyracantha, also known as firethorns. Pyracantha is often used to create a hedge, privacy screen, or living fence.
Red Tip Photinia (USDA Zone: 7 to 9)
Red tip photinia is a popular fence shrub with beautiful leaves that start out red and turn dark evergreen. Growing up to 15 feet tall, it is typically used as a hedge or privacy screen. The clash between red and green leaves is what stands out about this plant, rather than the flowers which have an unpleasant fragrance.
Silvergrass (USDA Zone: 5 to 9)
Silvergrass is a fast-growing ornamental grass that would add a nice accent to any garden. There are many species to choose from but certain species are known to be invasive, producing thousands and thousands of seeds. Look for a low seed-producing cultivar like the “Yaku Jima” or one that does not self-seed such as “My Fair Maiden”.
Slender Deutzia (USDA Zone: 5 to 8)
Slender Deutzia is a cute little shrub that comes from Japan. It grows to be about 5 feet tall to 5 feet wide. You might choose this shrub for its attractive, frangrant flowers and because it requires little maintenance.
Sweet Pea (USDA Zone: 2 to 11)
You can create a mosaic of color along your fence with sweet pea. Many cultivars have a variety of colors including pink, purple, blue, red, and white. Other than its stunning colors, this annual climber is also appreciated for its unique fragrance.
Sweet Tea (USDA Zone: 7 to 9)
Sweet Tea shrubs have wonderful, white blooms that are like a hybrid between Jasmine and camellia flowers. They’re not known for being easy to grow, but the beautiful sweet-smelling flowers may be worth the effort.
Taylor Juniper (USDA Zone: 3 to 9)
Taylor Juniper is another coniferous tree (or shrub) to consider planting along a fence. It’s a great choice for those who live too north to plant Italian cypress. It grows tall too, with a similar profile, and would make a fantastic privacy screen.
Trumpet Vine (USDA Zone: 5 to 9)
Hummingbirds love trumpet vines, and so do we. There’s nothing quite like a trumpet-shaped flower. Trumpet vines, like many other vines, need the support to climb so it makes a lot of sense to plant them along your fence.
Virginia Creeper (USDA Zone: 3 to 9)
We can’t forget to include Virginia creeper, a classic vine. As its name suggests, this vine will creep slowly but surely along whatever path you lay out for it. We think it’s best for hiding a chain link fence.
Washington Hawthorn (USDA Zone: 3 to 8)
There are many species of hawthorn, but the Washington hawthorn is something special. Washington hawthorn is known for having fragrant, white springtime flowers as well as bright red fruits and fall-color foliage. It can be planted in many places and can be trimmed to a hedge.
Yew Plum Pine (USDA Zone: 7 to 9)
One of our favorite evergreen conifers that can be grown as a shrub, hedge, or privacy screen is the yew plum pine or “podocarpus macrophyllus”. The flat, needle-shaped leaves are what make this pine special. If you want a conifer that stands out, pick the yew plum pine.