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15 of the Best Fast-Growing Shrubs


Are you looking to add some shrubbery to your home that may be lacking on the natural side? Is your garden covered in little more than dirt, weeds, and concrete? This article will go through the 15 best fast-growing shrubs that will bring the most effective results for your garden, from the colour, length, and speed growth. You will find that these fast-growing shrubs will decorate your garden in no time and will allow your slower-growing plants a bit of competition as they slowly develop in the coming years.

We will explore the following fast-growing shrubs:

1 Bamboo

bamboo fast growing shrub

Whilst bamboo is well renowned for being a vigorous grower, it is one that you need to be aware of since it often grows outwards. This can be prevented by tying it so that it will grow vertically. Alternatively, use a barrier to restrict the bamboo’s spread.

2 Beauty Bush

beauty bush fast growing shrub

The beauty bush is easy to grow and is a great fast-growing shrub to add to your garden. Not only is it beautiful to look at with its sprouting white and orange flowers, but it is a honeysuckle, meaning it is best grown in the summer alongside medium moisture and good, drained soil. The most maintenance it will require is pruning after it has flowered.

3 Buddleja

buddleja fast growing shrub purple

Better known as the butterfly bush, the Buddleja is excellent for attracting wildlife and is easy to care for, so you will have no fuss when growing this shrub in your garden. It can also sprout a wide assortment of colours, the most common being purple, and will have many creatures curious about the many goings-on in your garden.

4 Cornus (dogwood)

cornus dogwood fast growing shrub

Often envisioned as a weed-like plant, Cornus (Dogwood) is a fast-growing shrub with versatile branches that will create a fascinating, fiery display around your garden, especially throughout the winter months.

As leafless as they are, you will have forgotten all about it by the time they sprout into life and decorate your garden with colours aplenty, from yellow, orange and red.

Find out how to spot bats in UK gardens.

5 Elderberry

elderberry fast growing shrub

Add some fruition to your collection of fast-growing garden shrubs by adding in elderberry, an exceptionally common but also beneficial for yourself since the berries are edible and will bloom beautifully throughout the seasons. The berries usually blossom between July and September. The flowers will appear late Spring, and there will be plenty to enjoy from the berries. Why not make your own elderberry jelly, pies and preserves too?

WARNING: Elderberries are toxic when eaten raw, so always cook them before eating.

Find out why shrubs are beneficial for your garden here.

6 Forsythia

forsythia fast growing shrub yellow

This bright-coloured shrub has woody branches that will help make your shrubbery branch out and sprout many beautiful flowerheads, which will usually appear quickly at the start of summer. Forsythia is not fond of the shade. When in full sun, will bloom massively and will grow to at least ten feet long and are relatively low-maintenance.

7 Hydrangeas

purple and pink hydrangeas fast growing shrub

Hydrangeas are widely loved and recognised for their prominent and colourful flower heads that display many colours, making them an essential candidate to add to your garden shrubbery. Prune this quick-growing shrub regularly, and ensure you brush up on your pruning skills. You will find that Hydrangeas will not need too much attention to make the most of them in your garden.

8 Lavender

lavender fast growing shrub

Another essential fast-growing shrub to add to your garden is lavender, well known for its lovely bearing purple, blue, pink, or white flowers that sprout across the summer. The aroma of lavender is very invigorating, and their lush colours go great alongside the sunshine. If you are aiming for a Mediterranean-style garden, lavender is the one to go for. Lavender usually grows between 1 – 3 feet long and can be dotted along your flower beds, too. They are also a handy herb in the kitchen.

Check out the best flowers to attract bees.

9 Mock orange

mock orange white flowers fast growing shrub

There is nothing to mock about the mock orange/philadelphus, as it is a very vigorous and fast-growing shrub that will bring your garden to life when it flowers between June and August. Mock orange plays great on the senses, especially with their sweet scents. Use well-drained soil and plenty of sunshine in the summer, and your garden will be fully enlightened by the sight and smells of mock orange.

10 Photinia

photinia fast growing shrub

Another low-maintenance and fast-growing shrub to add to your list is the evergreen photinias which can be trimmed to make it look like a tree in your garden if you so desire. The leaves will change colour in new and interesting ways, which is a wonder to behold. You won’t even need to prune photinias often, except when you want it in good shape in your garden between spring and summer.

11 Schip Laurel (Cherry Laurel)

schip cherry laurel fast growing shrub

Schip / Cherry Laurel is recognised for its glossy leaves, making them a great candidate to add some diversity to your shrubbery, rather than having shrubs that are sorely focused on flowers. On average, Laurel can reach 2 feet within a year and is effective towards giving your garden more privacy. Use a good mix of soil for your Laurel and dappled sunlight for best results.

12 Seaberry

seaberry oranges fast growing shrub

Add seaberry to zones 3-8 in your garden to bring a fruitful nature sprouting with oranges. Plant male and female seaberry plants together, and they will begin producing fruit in 4 to 5 years. If your garden is located near the coast and is susceptible to winds, this will be no trouble for seaberry because, not only is it a fast-growing shrub, but it also is hardy and can withstand strong winds, whilst protecting the fruits that grow on its branches.

13 Viburnum tinus

viburnum tinus fast growing shrub

An exquisite name in itself, the Viburnum will undeniably stand out as a popular fast growing shrub in your garden, especially with its properties of growing up to 13-16 feet in height. If you want your shrubbery to reach new heights, then Viburnum Tinus is undeniably the one to choose from. It also brings beautiful white flowers to your garden in the winter, as well as enjoying the sun in the summer.

14 Weigela

pink weigela fast growing shrub

Did you know that within 2 years, Weigela can grow up to 2-3 metres in height? That is a pretty impressive feat for a shrub that sprouts such beautiful pink flowers, which will be invigorating in the spring. You cannot go wrong with this low-maintenance and fast-growing shrub.

15 Willow

willow fast growing shrub

The last fast-growing shrub on this list is the willow, which works best in the winter, especially with its mix of green and reddish stems. Willow is best for adding more colour to your garden, and can grow at least one metre in height.

Enjoy your fast-growing shrubs alongside our wooden garden chairs.

Plenty of Fast-Growing Shrubs to Go Around

With so many choices from the list, you may be struggling which shrub to add to your garden. Why not mix and match them and choose ones you may be familiar or unfamiliar with? Whether you want more colour or privacy to your garden, there is plenty to pick from these 15 fast growing shrubs, and you won’t regret it when you see the brilliant results that they will bring to your garden.


What are fast-growing shrubs?

Fast-growing shrubs are plant species that have a rapid growth rate, allowing them to reach maturity or achieve a substantial size in a relatively short period compared to other shrubs. These shrubs are ideal for creating privacy screens, adding greenery to a landscape quickly, or filling in empty spaces.

What are some popular fast-growing shrubs?

Several popular fast-growing shrubs include:
Forsythia (Forsythia spp.): Known for their vibrant yellow flowers in early spring.
Privet (Ligustrum spp.): Offers dense foliage and is commonly used for hedges.
Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus): Displays showy flowers in various colors during summer.
Lilac (Syringa spp.): Known for its fragrant flowers and attractive foliage.
Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus): Features fiery red foliage in autumn.
Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii): Offers colorful foliage and thorny branches.
Leyland Cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii): A popular choice for privacy screens due to its rapid growth.

How fast do fast-growing shrubs typically grow?

The growth rate of fast-growing shrubs can vary depending on the species, environmental conditions, and care provided. On average, fast-growing shrubs can add anywhere from 1 to 3 feet (30 to 90 cm) of growth per year.

Are there any specific planting requirements for fast-growing shrubs?

While the specific requirements may vary among different shrub species, there are some general guidelines to follow when planting fast-growing shrubs:
Choose an appropriate location: Consider the shrub’s sunlight, soil, and moisture preferences. Some shrubs prefer full sun, while others tolerate shade.
Prepare the soil: Ensure the soil is well-draining and amend it with organic matter if necessary.
Dig the planting hole: Make the hole slightly wider and deeper than the shrub’s root ball to allow room for root growth.
Plant the shrub: Place the shrub in the hole, making sure it is level with or slightly above the soil surface. Backfill the hole with soil, firming it gently around the roots.
Water thoroughly: After planting, water the shrub deeply to promote root establishment. Provide regular watering until the shrub becomes established.
Mulch and maintain: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the shrub to retain moisture and suppress weed growth. Regularly water, fertilize, and prune the shrub as needed.


Lifescape Colorado. (2014). Top Benefits of Growing Shrubs in Your Garden. Accessed [04/02/23] Retrieved from: https://lifescapecolorado.com/2014/09/top-benefits-of-growing-shrubs-in-your-garden/

Garden Benches. (n.d.). Flowers to Attract Bees. [Accessed 04/02/23] Retrieved from: https://www.gardenbenches.com/blog/flowers-to-attract-bees/

Garden Benches. (n.d.). Wooden Garden Chairs. [Accessed 04/02/23] Retrieved from: https://www.gardenbenches.com/wooden-garden-chairs

Anna Sharples

Anna is the marketing and office manager for Garden Benches - a premium supplier of high-quality wooden benches and other outdoor furniture.

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