What Are the Best Plants for Creating a Privacy Screen on an Urban Terrace?

Living in the urban jungle doesn’t mean that you have to forgo a touch of greenery in your living space. Whether you have a small balcony, a rooftop terrace, or a generous backyard, creating a private green oasis can be a rewarding project. It’s not only about making the most of your outdoor space but also about reclaiming your privacy. More than ever, privacy has become a treasured asset in city living. So, let’s explore the best plants that can help you create a privacy screen on an urban terrace.

1. Tall Plants as Natural Walls

Imagine a wall, but not just any wall. This is a vibrant, living wall made up of tall plants and trees, providing not just privacy but also shade, aesthetic value, and a home for local wildlife. Tall plants can serve as natural walls, effectively blocking prying eyes.

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Many urban dwellers prefer tall plants because they don’t take up much horizontal space. Instead, they grow upwards, making the most of the limited space available on city terraces or balconies. Some of the best tall plants for privacy include Bamboo, Italian Cypress, and Arborvitae. These plants are also relatively easy to maintain, a bonus for those of you who might not have a green thumb.

Bamboo, for instance, grows quickly and can reach towering heights, forming a dense green barrier between you and the outside world. Italian Cypress, with its slender columnar form, also grows fairly tall and can provide a Mediterranean touch to your urban terrace. Lastly, Arborvitae, a type of evergreen tree, is a popular choice due to its dense foliage and fast growth rate.

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2. Climbing Vines for a Vertical Green Screen

If you’re looking for a green privacy wall that’s both practical and breathtakingly beautiful, climbing vines might be the perfect fit for you. Vines not only offer privacy but also add a romantic, whimsical touch to your outdoor space.

Climbing vines such as Ivy, Clematis, and Wisteria grow vertically and can cover trellises, fences or walls, creating a lush, living privacy screen. These plants are a good match for urban terraces as they can be trained to grow in a certain direction to maximize privacy.

Take Wisteria, for instance. Its spectacular cascades of fragrant, purple flowers can turn a simple terrace into a magical, secret garden. However, it’s important to remember that vines require regular pruning to control their growth and prevent them from becoming invasive.

3. Container Plants for Flexible Design Ideas

When it comes to urban gardening, flexibility is key. Container plants provide that flexibility, allowing you to move your plants around as your needs or design ideas change.

Using a variety of container plants, you can create a living privacy screen that’s easy to adjust and rearrange. Container plants can be as tall, dense, or diverse as you wish. Some of the best container plants for privacy include Boxwood, Japanese Maple, and Dwarf Alberta Spruce.

For instance, Boxwood, can be pruned into a variety of shapes and sizes and is hardy enough to survive in containers all year round. Likewise, Japanese Maple with its stunning fall color, and Dwarf Alberta Spruce with its petite and pyramidal form, can make excellent container plants for your privacy screen.

4. Decorative Grasses for a Textural Privacy Screen

If you want to create a unique and textural privacy screen, consider using decorative grasses. Decorative grasses can add movement and depth to your terrace, creating a dynamic and eye-catching privacy screen.

Tall grasses such as Maiden Grass, Fountain Grass, and Feather Reed Grass can grow in containers and offer a different aesthetic compared to traditional privacy plants. Grasses are also a good choice for those who want low-maintenance plants.

Maiden Grass, for instance, can grow up to 6 feet tall and has graceful, arching blades with feathery, copper-colored plumes in the fall. Fountain Grass, on the other hand, has a rounded, fountain-like appearance and produces fuzzy, bottlebrush-like spikes in late summer. Lastly, Feather Reed Grass stands tall and upright, making it a good choice for a privacy screen.

5. Hiring Professional Contractors for a Customized Privacy Screen

If you’re unsure which plants will work best for your urban terrace or if you simply don’t have the time to create your privacy screen, you might want to consider hiring professional landscape contractors. They can help you design and install a customized privacy screen that suits your specific needs, space, and style.

Professionals will assess your space, discuss your privacy needs, and recommend the best plants for your situation. They can also take care of the installation and provide advice on how to maintain your plants well. Remember, creating an effective privacy screen with plants is not just about placing some tall plants here and there. It requires careful planning and selection of the right plants to ensure your privacy while enhancing the aesthetics of your urban terrace.

6. Selecting Plants for Full Sun Exposure

Urban terraces often have an abundance of sunlight, which can be a blessing for plants that thrive in full sun. There are a variety of tall, climbing, and container plants, as well as decorative grasses that enjoy basking in the sunshine.

Plants like Arborvitae, Italian Cypress, and Bamboo, which are fantastic options for creating a privacy screen, can withstand full sun. Similarly, many climbing vines, including Clematis and Wisteria, or container plants such as Dwarf Alberta Spruce and Japanese Maple, are sun-loving species.

For fans of decorative grasses, Maiden Grass and Fountain Grass are excellent choices for sun-drenched terraces. The key here is choosing plants that won’t just survive but will thrive in full sun exposure, creating a lush, vibrant privacy screen.

When designing your terrace, consider the sun’s path throughout the day. If your area is exposed to full sun, place the taller plants or use structures like trellises or poles to provide some shade for the more delicate plants or seating areas. You can even consider creating zones, like a kitchen dining area or a living room-like space, using the plants to provide privacy and define the spaces.

7. Accessorizing Your Urban Terrace

After setting up your green privacy screen, you can further enhance the space by accessorizing it. Just like your indoor living room or bathroom, your urban terrace can reflect your personal taste and style.

Add character to your terrace with outdoor furniture. You can create a cozy kitchen dining area or an outdoor living room with comfortable furniture, perfect for enjoying your backyard privacy. Just as bathroom vanity is the centerpiece in a bathroom, your outdoor dining table or couch can serve as the focal point in your terrace.

Other accessories like lighting wall fixtures or lanterns can also add charm and functionality to your urban terrace. Consider LED lights for a modern touch, or go traditional with wrought iron fixtures for a rustic feel.

As for your plants, you can dress up your Bamboo or Arborvitae with decorative pots or planters. The image credit for your luxurious terrace goes to your unique taste in creating this personal oasis.


A private, green oasis is indeed achievable in an urban setting. With careful consideration of plant species, sun exposure, and creative accessorizing, your terrace can become the escape from the urban jungle that you seek. Remember that your privacy screen doesn’t only serve a functional purpose but can also contribute significantly to the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space.

Whether you’re a fan of tall plants, climbing vines, container plants, or decorative grasses, there is a myriad of options to choose from. You can even seek the help of professionals for customized solutions for your urban terrace. Similar to a website lead, they will guide you through the process, using their expertise for project management, custom designs, and ease of maintenance.

Creating a green privacy screen on an urban terrace is more than just a trend; it’s a lifestyle choice that brings nature closer to you. You’ll be proud of your custom terrace that provides you with backyard privacy, an outdoor kitchen dining area, and an extension of your living room, all while enhancing the value of your property. So, why wait? Start planning your urban green oasis today!