Fast Growing Plants

Need a beautiful garden fast?


There are many reasons we might want a garden to fill in quickly. Aside from our obvious impatience perhaps you have an important event coming up or a new large property that will need vast garden spaces filled or quick privacy is desired. Whatever your reasons, there are many plants that can quickly create significant effect.

Although these plants will quickly fill your bare spaces, for best results do start with bedding plants rather than seed for annuals, and select the larger more mature containers for perennials and shrubs. If you are waiting for perennials and shrubs to grow, you can fill in open spaces with fast growing annuals.

These are some of the easiest to grow most reliable plants that can quickly give you an inviting landscape:

Fast Growing Annuals

Annuals are always anxious to grow quickly and produce flowers, even when grown from seed. This will happen even faster of course if you buy bedding plants in large containers.

  • Petunias are an all time favorite for big bright blooms by late spring or early summer. The newer breeds of Supertunias are faster than ever. The 'Vista' series is extra vigorous.

  • Cleome quickly start producing dramatic fireworks like blooms. No deadheading, low maintenance, drought resistant. For back of the border look for the tall Queen varieties.

  • Salvia creates quick and colorful impact with even just a few plants.

  • Cosmos are tall with fine foliage and colorful blooms.

  • New Guinea Impatiens are a favorite especially for containers. A dense mound of rich foliage is covered with bright blooms.

Fast Growing Perennials

  • Agastache, Anise Hyssop, fills in quickly and attracts pollinators. It does self seed, contributing more plants next year.

  • Daylilies spread quickly and produce colorful blooms all season. And so easy to grow!

  • Hardy Perennial Geraniums grow quickly and perform well in a variety of environments. Lovely lacey mounds quickly produce white pink or purple blooms.

  • Geum is one of my favorite perennials but I rarely see them grown. Rich deep green mounds of foliage are full and healthy all season and tall sprays of delightful blooms are produced early in the season.

  • Lupines have long been a cottage garden favorite for tall spikes of bright flowers.

  • Heliopsis are false sunflowers with a similar look to sunflowers and Rudbeckia. Bright blooms from summer into fall.

  • Perennial Salvia quickly produce a bushy mound and push up tall spikes of blooms.

Fast Growing Shrubs

  • Forsythia pops golden yellow flowers on arching branches in very early spring. Grows into a tall hedge at a moderately fast rate of 1 or 2 feet per year.

  • Weigela, especially Sonic Bloom, fills out and blooms rapidly. Great for foundation plants or in a shrub border.

  • Hakuro Nishiki Dappled Willow is a tall bushy shrub with delicate pink white and green fluttering leaves.

  • Beautybush is an old fashioned, reliable, fast grower that produces bright sprays of pink blooms in late spring.

  • Spirea blooming shrubs can nearly double in size the first growing season and are covered with blooms in summer.

  • Red twigged dogwood quickly grows into a large shrub with glorious winter impact

Fast Growing Evergreens

  • Arborvitae is a reliable staple of landscapes and foundation plantings. Quickly anchor a foundation with small shrubs or creates a privacy screen with towering trees. Green Giant is a very fast grower, but some are a bot slower so check with your local nursery.

  • Privet is a semi evergreen shrub great for hedging that grows a foot or two a year.

There are more fast growing plants of course. Check with your local garden center for the best choices in your region.

Do be cautious about fast growing deciduous trees. Slow growth is essential to create strong trunks and branches. Bradford Pear and Poplar are notoriously weak. But some maples and elms grow fairly quickly and form perfectly strong trunks and limbs. Be sure to check the tree section for detailed growth rates.

Sharon DwyerComment