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A great way to get patio privacy is to use tall potted plants.
You may choose to live in an apartment for many reasons. Perhaps the thought of a garden and the work involved fills you with horror.
Maybe you just like to live higher up and appreciate the views from your patio.
Whatever the reason for living in a place where there is a patio, you may at some point find that you never use it because it is overlooked by people or that the view is unattractive.
There are other reasons why you may not use your patio, even though you would like to, but the most likely reason is because of the lack of privacy.
Can you Change this Situation of Having No Privacy on Your Patio?
Yes, most definitely you can change this situation of having no privacy on your patio.
With strategically placed tall potted plants you can have complete patio privacy and enjoy your outdoor space again.
Tall plants serve more purposes than simply giving you privacy, they can also help protect you against the elements.
The right plants placed in the right position will give you a sheltered place, wind free and restful.
Patios can appear harsh and unfriendly places, but the addition of plants will transform the space into a comfortable and friendly place where you can relax and not be overlooked or blown away.
Let’s look at some of the popular tall potted plants for patio privacy.
Top 5 Tall Potted Plants for Patio Privacy
While Bamboo has huge advantages of growing fast, when it is placed in the ground it requires a good deal of maintenance. However, when placed in a pot it becomes easy to control.
- Fast growing
- Is light and airy, easy to move around
- Needs good drainage holes
- Can still reach almost 20’
If you are having problems with your bamboo, we have an article on why is my outdoor bamboo dying.
Although this may grow in bushes, the bougainvillea is technically classed as a vine and needs support if you want it to grow vertically.
- A vigorous grower
- Stunning selection of colourful blooms
- Needs a trellis or similar to support
- Watch those thorns, particularly with small children
3) Dwarf Alberta Spruce
This conical shaped evergreen will reward you with dense green foliage. The name ‘dwarf’ means that it is slow growing – the Alberta Spruce can easily grow to 12’ and higher.
- Dense needles which ensure privacy
- Takes around 25 years to mature
- It is a ‘scratchy’ plant so wear gloves when you work with it
- Needs a balance of moisture and good drainage when grown in containers
This is both a tree and a shrub and well known for the beautiful white or pink bracts of flowers it produces.
- Minimal care requirements
- Popular for the bright stems which develop in the winter
- If placed in full sunlight, you must make sure they receive adequate water and have good drainage
5) Cypress Trees
There are over 130 species of these, so you are sure to find one that you like for your patio. Leaves vary from dark green to silver green.
- They can handle almost any soil type
- Make excellent screen if pruned during the year
- Tough and hardy plants
- Some species are slim so you may need to place them closer together
Things to Consider When Choosing Your Tall Potted Plant
Although choosing tall potted plants is fun, there are some things to consider so that you can transform your patio into the haven you want.
Think About the View
If you plan on having seats on your patio then think about the view from eye level as well as from a standing position.
If the view is unsightly you may want to conceal it with taller plants with smaller ones around the base so that your attention is drawn to the bottom rather than the top of the plants.
When you need to plant for privacy you may want to use plants which grow lush and thick, rather than more spindly plants which will not give you a decent amount of privacy.
Grasses and some trees will grow dense and thick enough to give you long lasting privacy.
There are many plants which will produce beautiful colours through the year, although there will always be a certain amount of cleaning up when the flowers fade and drop off.
Remember the Full Grown Height
This is an important issue because you may not want your tall plants to grow high enough to disturb your neighbour upstairs – he will not be happy with this!
Choose your Pots Wisely
Because you are choosing tall potted plants for patio privacy, it stands to reason that they will need larger pots. In fact, the heavier the pot, the better as there is less risk of it blowing over in strong wind.
Pots should always have good drainage as most plants grown in pots do not do well with waterlogged roots. Taking this a step further, your patio also needs some drainage holes so that excess water can drain off the area.
If you intend to grow a vine up a trellis then you should make sure that the trellis is firmly attached to the wall, rather than simply placing it in a pot.
Choose your Plants Wisely
If you live in an area where it is constantly windy you may want to grow tall plants which do not have huge leaves. Constant attack from the wind and you will find the leaves are in tatters.
Plants with soft foliage can be damaged in constant exposure to wind, you may also see the leaves burnt and dry.
Plants with multi branches and smaller leaves work well in windy conditions, as they are more stable that single stem plants.
If you have the space on your patio you may also think about palms. The advantage of having a palm on the patio is that you have a built-in sunshade for those hot days.
Any palm that you can grow indoors in a pot will adapt to growing outdoors in a sheltered position on a patio. Two or three palms placed close together will give you shade throughout the day.
Best Pots for Tall Potted Plants
You should select pots based on the plant root ball.
Remember that the root will also increase in size and the pot needs to be able to accommodate this, otherwise you will end up replacing pots when they get too small.
Here’s an example of a pot for a large plant. You will notice that the pot is made of waterproof resin, which is frost resistant and does not fade.
The pot is also BPA free and has a double wall to protect the roots in case of frost.
How do you Keep Tall Potted Plants from Falling Over?
Because you are placing tall plants in pots on the patio for privacy, it means that the plants are intended to be bushier to be effective.
Unfortunately, this also puts the pots and plants at risk of being blown over.
Make sure that the pots are large enough to house the plant. If you notice that the plant dries out often, you may want to repot it in a bigger pot, with more soil.
With vines you may find that the plant appears to be top heavy, so it is important that any trellis is well secured rather than left only in the soil.
As a general guide you should only use pots that are larger than 40cm across. Any smaller than this will see your plants and pots strewn across the patio when the wind comes up.
Rectangular pots should be no less than 1 metre in length to be stable.
There are Several Ways to Stop Pots from Toppling Over on the Patio.
- Fill them with soil and a layer of gravel on the top. Soil is heavy and gravel adds even more weight to the mix.
- Keep pots against the wall of the patio and use the corners as well. Pots which are spread out will always be more at risk when it gets windy, while pots which are grouped together will be less prone to blow over.
- Use heavy pots. Don’t be tempted to buy your pots from the ‘bargain basement’ at the garden centre. Stick to good quality, heavier pots.
- Secure the pots if you need to. You may need to insert some hooks into the walls so that you can secure the pots to the wall if you live in a very windy area.
- Screen the patio. If your patio is enclosed with bars instead of walls the pots will be more inclined to be blown over. You may want to screen the bars with fabric so that your pots are more protected from gales.
Final Thoughts: Top 5 Tall Potted Plants for Patio Privacy
With a little planning and forethought, you can easily build a space using tall potted plants for privacy on your patio throughout the year.
With so many different plants available for growing in pots, and the choice of beautiful pots there is no reason why your unattractive patio should not become a place where you can escape and enjoy privacy when you want it.
Written by: Valerie Holyoak
Before you go, here are some more related articles I encourage you to read below to help solve more of your gardening issues: