When it comes to screening, you want shrubs that will grow quickly. Screening hedges are excellent for adding privacy, creating shade, hiding unsightly items (unkept neighboring yards, pool pumps, sheds, etc.), and even providing some peace and quiet. With all these benefits, it's no wonder you want the shrubs to grow quickly.
We created a list of 19 fast-growing shrubs that are ideal for screening. Follow along to discover the best one for your landscape design!
1. Green Giant Arborvitae
The green giant arborvitae is a fast-growing, vigorous evergreen shrub that can reach an astounding 50 to 60 feet in height. Its spread is between 12 and 20 feet at maturity. It has a pyramidal to a slightly conical shape with dense green foliage. The vigorous grower can increase more than 2 feet in height each year.
Its Latin name is Thuja standishii x plicata.
This shrub grows best in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 7. Place the shrub in a spot that receives full or partial sun, receiving a minimum of 4 hours of direct sunlight per day. It does well in a range of soils, but avoid poorly draining and wet areas.
10 Live Green Giant Arborvitae Trees
Each live tree comes in a 2-inch pot.
2. American Arborvitae
The American arborvitae is a tall, narrow, evergreen shrub. The elegant-looking shrub can reach between 40 and 60 feet in height and a spread between 10 and 15 feet. It can grow up to 2 feet annually given the right conditions. The bright green foliage features overlapping scale-like leaves that fan out.
Its Latin name is Thuja occidentalis.
The American arborvitae grows best in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 through 7. Full sun is ideal, receiving at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. The shrub can grow in any type of soil.
American Arborvitae Live Plant
This arborvitae comes in a 2-quart pot ready to plant.
3. Amur Maple
The Amur maple is a deciduous shrub or tree that can reach a height of 20 feet at maturity. You'll enjoy the gorgeous red color in the fall. It features loose clusters of fragrant white flowers in the spring months. The shrub features simple, 3-lobed leaves that grow in pairs.
Its Latin name is Acer ginnala.
Be cautioned that the Amur maple may be considered an invasive species in some areas. The large shrub grows best in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 through 8. Soil should be moist, well-draining, and slightly alkaline. Full sun or partial shade is optimal.
4. English Laurel
The English Laurel is a fast-growing evergreen shrub with dense foliage. This variety is easy to prune and shape as you see fit. If left alone, the shrub can grow up to 40 feet; however, as a privacy screen, it's ideal to keep it pruned between 10 and 12 feet.
Its Latin name is Prunus Laurocerasus.
The English laurel grows best in USDA plant hardiness zones 6 through 9. In cooler climates, it does best with direct sunlight while in warmer climates, it does best with some shade. It can even tolerate any soil condition.
5. Schip Laurel
The Schip laurel, also known as the cherry laurel, features dense, rich-green foliage that's easy to shape. In the spring, it produces stalks of fragrant white flowers. At maturity, it will reach between 6 and 10 feet in height and width; it can grow up to 2 feet each year.
Its Latin name is Prunus l. ‘Schipkaensis.’
The Schip laurel grows best in USDA plant hardiness zones 6 through 9. It will thrive in partially shaded areas and can grow in any type of soil condition.
Cherry Laurel Shrub
This cherry laurel shrub comes ready to plant in a gallon-sized pot.
6. Portuguese Laurel
The Portuguese laurel is a dense, fast-growing large shrub or small tree that grows to about 10 feet high and 6 feet wide. Its leaves are evergreen and glossy and its stems are red. In the late summer, small white flowers appear before leading to way for small red cherry-like berries.
Its Latin name is Prunus lusitanica.
The Portugues laurel does best in USDA plant hardiness zones 7 through 9. This type of laurel performs best in drier conditions and sandy, clay-heavy soils. Place it in full or partial sun.
7. Western Red Cedar
The western red cedar is a fast-growing evergreen with conical-shaped growth. Its evergreen foliage is scale-like and aromatic. If it's left untrained, it can reach an astounding height between 70 and 120 feet. Trim it to between 7 and 10 feet tall for optimal screening height.
Its Latin name is Thuja plicata.
The western red cedar shrub performs best in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 8. Plant it in a spot that receives full sun or partial shade. This type of shrub grows best in deep, moist, and well-draining soil.
Western Red Cedar Live Plant
This live plant will easily fit in a 5-gallon container.
A privet is actually a small tree, but if given enough space it will grow like a shrub. At maturity, it reaches between 6 and 8 feet in height. During the spring months, 8-inch long clusters of white flowers emerge. Regularly trim this shrub to get the ideal shape. Its lustrous green leaves are stunning but note that it's not evergreen.
Its Latin name is Ligustrum japonicum.
The privet grows best in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 9. Plant it in a spot that receives full or partial sun. Well-draining, evenly moist soil is preferred for healthy growth.
Golden Ticket Privet Shrub
This shrub measures 4.5-inches and comes in a quart container ready to plant.
Hydrangeas are gorgeous, colorful blooming shrubs. Large globes of flowers cover the shrub in the spring and summer. While the blooms are captivating, the foliage is also texture-rich and green. Hydrangea shrubs can reach an astounding height of 15 feet.
Its Latin name is Hydrangea macrophylla.
Hydrangeas grow the best when they're planted in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 through 7. The shrubs need well-draining, organic nutrient-rich, moist soil. Partial sun is sufficient for their growth. It's important to give them some afternoon shade.
Endless Summer Hydrangea
This live hydrangea comes in a #2 size container fully rooted and ready to plant.
10. Bay Laurel
The bay laurel is a large evergreen shrub with smooth leaves. With consistent trimming, the shrub can be kept between 2 and 8 feet in height. If you let it, the shrub could reach between 25 and 55 feet in height. The trunk can be shaped into twists and braids. Its leaves, bay leaves, can be used as a seasoning.
Its Latin name is Laurus nobilis.
The bay laurel performs best in USDA plant hardiness zones 8 through 10. Full sun to partial shade is preferred. The shrub can tolerate nearly any type of soil as long as it's well-draining.
Live Bay Laurel Plant
This live plant will measure a minimum of 7-inches when you receive it. It has at least a 3-inch root ball and is ready to plant.
The leylandii shrub, commonly known as the Leyland cypress, is a fast-growing evergreen conifer with a columnar or pyramidal habit of growth. Without pruning, the tree can reach between 60 and 70 feet in height. Its gray-green foliage slightly fans out on upright branches. It also has small brown fruiting cones.
Its Latin name is x Cuprocyparis leylandii.
The Leyland cypress grows best in USDA plant hardiness zones 6 to 10. Find a spot that receives full sun to partial shade. The best soil for its health is well-draining, nutrient-rich, and moist.
Live Leyland Cypress Plant
This live leylandii shrub measures 6 inches tall.
Bamboo is a unique, fast-growing plant that will add some Asian flair to your landscape. Some of the tallest bamboo varieties can grow up to 100 feet tall, but you can find shorter varieties for your garden. Because of how quickly it grows and spreads, you may have to install a blocker so that the plant doesn't spread to an area where you don't want it to.
Its Latin name is Bambusa.
Bamboo needs to be watered deeply and frequently. Planting bamboo in full sun will result in the fastest growth. If possible, plant it in fertile, slightly acidic, well-draining, moist soil. It can, however, grow in other soil conditions.
Live Golden Goddess Bamboo
This bamboo comes in a 6-inch pot and is ready to plant.
Forsythia is bold and beautiful. This deciduous flowering shrub has an upright, arching form with long branches. Bright yellow blooms appear early in the spring. Depending on the variety, forsythia reaches a height between 2 and 20 feet.
Its Latin name is Forsythia x intermedia.
Plant the forsythia in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 8. Full sun or partial shade is optimal for its growth. The soil should be loose, well-draining, and hold medium moisture; the shrub is tolerant of less-than-optimal soil conditions, too.
Forsythia Live Plant
This plant comes in a 4-inch pot.
The crapemyrtle is a deciduous, small to medium-sized shrub that typically has a multi-stemmed form. It has showy flowers in the springtime that look like they're made from crepe paper. At maturity, the shrub can reach a height between 15 and 25 feet and a width between 6 and 15 feet.
Its Latin name is Lagerstroemia indica.
The crapemyrtle grows best in USDA plant hardiness zones 6 through 9. Plant the crapemyrtle in a spot that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. While it has soil tolerance, try to plant it in well-draining, moist soil.
Crapemyrtle Live Plant
This plant will be 1-2 feet tall upon arrival.
15. Beauty Bush
Living up to its name, the beauty bush features gorgeous arching stems and thick green foliage that turns yellowish-green in the fall. In the spring, the bush has an abundance of pink bell-shaped flowers. Prune it in the summer after its flowering. At maturity, the shrub reaches between 5 and 8 feet in height.
Its Latin name is Kolkwitzia amabilis.
The beauty bush can grow in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 8. Moist, well-draining soil is ideal for this shrub. It needs at least 4 hours of sunlight a day, but 6 or more is ideal.
The ninebark is a deciduous flowering shrub that flowers in late spring with clusters of bright white or pink blooms. As its name suggests, its bark peels into thin layers (supposedly nine). There are many varieties of this beautiful shrub, varying in height between 3 and 10 feet and a width between 3 and 8 feet.
Its Latin name is Physocarpus opulifolius.
The ninebark shrub performs best in USDA plant hardiness zones 2 through 7. The ideal soil type is clay or loam with medium moisture. Plant the shrub in a spot that receives full sun or partial shade.
Viburnum is a large group of flowering shrubs that can be either deciduous or evergreen. Some varieties can reach 20 feet in height. Depending on the variety, they can have white or pink flowers in the early spring. The foliage ranges between dark green and purplish-green.
Its Latin name is Viburnum.
Viburnum shrubs can grow in USDA plant hardiness zones 2 through 9. Viburnums perform best in full, but can also live in partial shade. Fertile, well-draining soil is essential. Prune the shrub to keep its shape the way you want it.
Live Viburnum Plant
This shipment comes with 3 live plants.
Serviceberry shrubs are large, ornamental deciduous bushes that vary in size depending on their variety. They provide ornamental value throughout the whole year. The shrubs are multi-trunked with a rich display of foliage. The berries that the bush produces are even edible. Depending on the variety, serviceberry shrubs can range from 4 to 25 feet.
Its Latin name is Amelanchier spp (several species).
The serviceberry bush is fit for USDA plant hardiness zones 2 through 9. Find a partially shaded spot in which to plant your serviceberry shrub. The soil needs to be well-draining, nutrient-rich, and slightly acidic.
There are over 175 different euonymus plants. The shrubs come in a range of sizes, shapes, and colors. There are both evergreen and deciduous varieties. The varieties that are best fit for hedges are narrow, upright, and fast-growing. It has dark green glossy leaves.
Its Latin name is Euonymus spp.
Optimal USDA plant hardiness zones for euonymus varieties are zones 4 through 9. Euonymus varieties do best in partial shade to full sun. The soil must be well-draining and it even has a moderate level of drought tolerance.
Euonymus Live Plant
This live plant comes in a 4.5-inch quart container ready to plant.
We hope this guide helped you find the perfect fit for your screening needs. Let us know in the comment section below which shrub you decide to use! Before you go, be sure to check out these other helpful garden guides: