The 8 Best Ornamental Plants/Grasses for Privacy

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With the help of the right ornamental grasses, you can easily create a sense of increased privacy for your yard without investing in a new structure. Planting certain ornamental grasses that grow very fast is recommended for anyone who wants an inexpensive method to block out the view to the neighbor’s yard or patio.

There are various plants like evergreen trees and shrubs that can achieve a similar purpose and yet ornamental grasses are more practical thanks to their fast growth rate. Even if one of the specimens dies, the empty gap will be quickly replaced by a new growing one. Check out the following ornamental grasses that will increase the privacy of your area with minimal costs involved.

1. Pampas Grass

With its large clumps of lush foliage, pampas grass represents an excellent choice to add some much-needed privacy to any area. This elegant ornamental grass will beautify any landscape without putting you in difficulties when it comes to growing it. The plant can get really large as some specimens reach heights of 10 feet. Although it has great privacy potential, you need to be a bit careful to control the spread of this grass as it grows so efficiently that it can easily take over your garden.

Make sure you select the tender type of pampas grass called Cortaderia selloana. There are other varieties out there that are less attractive and more invasive. Pampas grass performs well in various conditions including full sun or light shade. It remains beautiful even in the fall or winter seasons. The plant can tolerate many common problems of other plants like various soil conditions, drought, and pests. Multiple groups of this ornamental grass are ideal for creating a dramatic backdrop in the garden.

2. Feather Reed Grass

This is one of the most popular ornamental grasses to include for your garden. Aside from its great potential to offer privacy, the grass has a very stylish upright look. You can enjoy feather reed grass for a long time, even in the winter. The plant is particularly hardy when it comes to growing in harsher climates and reaches up to 6 feet in height. There are different species to consider for your yard. Some of them can be softer, others sharper or wider.

Feather reed grass prefers moisture-retentive soil but it shouldn’t have too many issues even with drier soils. The secret to growing this plant successfully is to nurture it well in the initial growth stages until it can fully establish itself in your garden. This sun-loving ornamental grass can be combined with perennials plants that grow at smaller heights to craft a beautiful architectural look.

3. Pink Muhly Grass

If you’re looking for a truly striking ornamental grass, Pink Muhly would be a great choice. It has a look that resembles cotton candy floating gracefully. This is definitely a nice grass to use for privacy reasons considering the dense foliage and vibrant pinkish-red flowers. The beautiful color of this grass is retained for a fairly long period of time before it begins to fade to light tan. It’s worth mentioning that Pink Muhly keeps its beauty during the winter season.

4. Zebra Grass

Zebra grass comes with a distinctive style fitting for ornamental purposes. It can successfully be used to add privacy in your yard thanks to its elegant foliage display. This grass boasts a rich gold look throughout the season until it becomes tan in the winter. The plumes have a delightful pink color with copper hues making the grass stand out anywhere it’s placed. The perennial Zebra grass can grow up to 7 feet tall and 6 feet wide. It requires a decent area to spread its beautiful foliage.

When it comes to growth conditions, zebra grass doesn’t have particularly strict needs. It thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. You don’t need to worry about the fertility of the soil as the grass can handle a wider range of soil types. The fact that zebra grass is generally not affected by pests or diseases means that pretty much anyone can grow this plant successfully. Due to its amazing versatility, zebra grasses can be planted as screens or hedges, placed in borders, or as accent plants in the garden.

5. Fountain Grass

This is an ornamental grass that’s native to Japan and eastern Asia. Fountain grass provides a graceful look with the help of its cascading foliage that sways pleasantly in the wind. It has a very basic maintenance process while rewarding any gardener with a dramatic look. There are lots of dwarf cultivars for fountain grass so make sure you choose a variety that grows tall enough to serve as a privacy screen. This ornamental grass is highly recommended for decorating beds and borders thanks to its textural feel.

6. Big Bluestem

A tough perennial that grows up to 8 feet tall, big bluestem grass may not have a particularly attractive look for an ornamental grass but it’s great for privacy plantings. Due to the way the seedhead branches out into 3 parts, it looks very similar to the foot of a turkey. The grass is well adapted to drought and can handle all kinds of soil conditions as long as it gets adequate amounts of sunlight. Deer won’t pose problems for big bluestem so that’s an extra advantage as well.

7. Switchgrass

Switchgrass grows tall forming a nice clump of blue foliage that becomes golden in the summer due to the emergence of nicely textured flower panicles. The color of the grass intensifies until it reaches a striking dark golden look in the fall season. Switchgrass is a North American prairie grass with a long lifespan and strong enough to withstand tough growing conditions. Given how it grows to heights of 6 and 7 feet, you can count on this ornamental grass for privacy needs.

Multiple specimens of switchgrass will look even more impressive. You can rely on switchgrass for adding some nice color and texture to borders. The plant performs ideally in full sun and grows without problems in both moist and dry areas. There are no serious pest or disease issues to worry about when it comes to this grass. Switchgrass is remarkably sturdy even during drought periods or during dormant stages. Aside from very snowy areas, the plant can handle the winter period well offering nice protection for birds.

8. Fargesia Robusta Bamboo

Although people usually think bamboo is a tree, it’s actually a particularly tall grass. Some varieties like the Fargesia Robusta bamboo can be successfully used as ornamental grasses to obtain decent privacy for your yard. It’s important to go for Fargesia clumping bamboo varieties because others are usually too invasive and can be difficult to control. Fargesia Robusta is an exemplary type of bamboo that creates a dazzling dual-color display thanks to the deep green canes decorated with white culm sheaths. It’s easy to grow and can reach impressive heights of up to 15 feet.


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