Looking to plant a few new shrubs this spring and wonder which ones are fast growing?
Shrubs look great in almost any garden or outdoor space. They provide adequate privacy and protection from sun, wind, and neighbors so you can relax comfortably in your outdoor space. On top of this, most shrubs are quite easy to grow and require little care, while adding tons of curb appeal to your home.
In this guide, discover which shrubs grow the fastest, along with basic care tips, and ideal growing conditions. Here are five fast-growing shrubs if you’re looking for privacy in your backyard garden or outdoor space.
1. North Privet
One of the quickest shrubs to grow is the north privet (Ligustrum x ibolium). This semi-evergreen shrub grows over 2 feet per year and thrives in hardiness zones 4 to 8.
North privets are thick and dense shrubs that bloom in the spring, producing small white flowers. They make excellent privacy screens, growing between 8 to 12 feet tall. These shrubs are also easily adaptable — simply trim and shear to whatever shape or height you’d enjoy.
Plant north privet shrubs in a spot that receives full sun. North privets can tolerate some shade; however, they require at least four hours of direct sunlight per day.
One of the most well-known or commonly found backyard shrubs is hydrangeas. With over 70 species, popular varieties include ‘Bigleaf,’ ‘Oakleaf,’ ‘Panicle,’ and ‘Nikko.’ Hydrangeas bloom during the summer months into the fall, with clusters of flowers that range in color — from blue to white to pink.
Hydrangeas grow in a wide variety of locations, in particular zones 3 through 9. Not only can they tolerate different climates, but they are also quite fast to grow, with a growth rate of more than 2 feet per year.
This flowering plant likes partial sun, so plant in a location that receives up to six hours of sunlight followed by afternoon shade. Doing so protects the plant from extreme heat during the summertime. The best time to plant hydrangeas is in the spring or fall. Depending on the variety, leave 2 to 10 feet in between your shrubs. It’s important these shrubs develop their roots before the heat of summer or colder temperatures begin.
Pro Tip: Plant your hydrangeas along a fence to create a colorful privacy hedge with some serious impact! Space each plant a few feet apart and transforms your boring old fence line into a flower-filled oasis.
3. Golden Bells
Another shrub that grows quickly is golden bells (Forsythia x intermedia), also commonly referred to as forsythia. Golden bells grow up to 10 feet tall at a rapid rate of more than 2 feet of growth per year. When planting as a privacy screen, make sure to leave adequate space in between your shrubs; Typically, 4 to 6 feet will suffice. This allows enough room for growth, as golden bells can reach up to 10 feet wide as well.
Not only is it a rapid grower, but golden bells also add a pop of color to your backyard! This flowering shrub is adored for its beautiful yellow flowers that bloom early in the spring and quite literally resemble a bell shape.
Golden bells is a deciduous shrub, which means it will shed its foliage every winter. Because of this, it grows best in hardiness zones 5 to 8. Golden bells can grow in partial shade, as long as the shrub receives direct sunlight for a few hours each day. Ideally, plant in a location that receives at least four to six hours of sun.
If you’re looking for a fast-growing and aesthetically appealing shrub, look no further than the beautybush!
Like golden bells, beautybush (Linnaea amabilis) is a flowering deciduous shrub with soft pink blooms that reaches up to 10 feet tall, growing over 2 feet per year. However, beautybush blooms later in the season than other shrubs. Expect to see its tiny pink flowers blossoming in late spring, lasting into the summer months. Once fall hits, the flowers turn a red color before dropping off.
Hardy in zones 4 to 8, beautybush shrubs grow best in full sun to partial shade. Select a spot in the garden that receives more than six hours of sunlight per day for the best growth. Keep in mind, beautybushes require frequent pruning to keep them growing healthy and strong. This shrub grows quickly and is very dense in nature, so trimming regularly ensures the shrub doesn’t become too unruly or overgrown.
5. Skip Cherry Laurel
Consider planting a skip cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus ‘schipkaensis’) if you want a shrub that grows rapidly but requires little maintenance. Relax in your backyard in solitude, as skip cherry laurels reach heights of up to 15 feet tall and grow at least 2 feet per year.
Skip cherry laurels are evergreen shrubs that can withstand cold or freezing temperatures. This type of shrub does best in hardiness zones 5 to 9 and needs partial shade to full sun. Skip cherry laurels will tolerate some shade. Generally, two to six hours of sunlight a day will keep them flourishing. They bloom during the spring and have fragrant white flowers with thick, dense greenery — perfect for keeping those nosy neighbors out of sight!
Be aware that this shrub in poisonous to humans, cats, and dogs. This might not be the best option if you have many pets or small children.
Get Planting Your Shrubs
With spring on the horizon, these fast-growing shrubs make a great addition to your landscape. Consider adding a few to your backyard and enjoy the seclusion you’ve been longing for!
Have you tried planting any of these shrubs in your garden before? Leave a comment down below with your experience.