10 Best Ornamental Grasses for Adding Privacy to the Garden

Plants with variegated foliage—foliage with a multicolored pattern—are quite popular among gardeners.

Zebra Grass

Bamboo is a grass, albeit a very large grass. Although bamboo has a reputation for being invasive in the garden, you can control this by planting the clumping type rather than those that spread by runners.

Hardy Clumping Bamboo

The tender variety of pampas grass, Cortaderia selloana, can be invasive in mild climates.

Pampas Grass

Feather reed grass grows in dense clumps of erect, narrow, green leaves that grow about 3 feet long.

Feather Reed Grass

This North American native plant is a great choice for a privacy screen, growing to about 6 feet tall with a 2- to 3-foot spread.

Big Bluestem

Pink hair grass, or pink muhly grass, is another native beauty that gardeners can grow with little effort.

Pink Hair Grass

Fountain grass adds privacy and visual interest to a landscape, thanks to its fuzzy catkins (flowering spikes).

Fountain Grass

Another North American native is switchgrass which produces dramatic, swaying feathery pinkish-purple flower plumes and green leaves that turn copper in the fall.


New Zealand flax is frequently used for its strap-like leaves are broader than the thinner and finer fountain grasses, making them ideal for privacy plants.

New Zealand Flax

One of the most popular grasses, Miscanthus sinensis, grows large, feathery, and tall but does just as well in the ground as it does in containers which can be moved around for privacy where needed.

Japanese Silver Grass