Sometimes you just need your plants to grow up in a hurry. Whether you’re trying to hide an unsightly view of your garbage cans (or your neighbor’s!) or want to add some curb appeal to the front of your house, fast-growing shrubs can solve the problem. Many fast growers also serve as great foundation plantings or groundcovers to prevent erosion on hillsides. And spring-blooming shrubs offer color when you need it most after a long, dark winter (hello, sunny-yellow forsythia blooms).
Fair warning, though: While many shrubs are considered fast-growing, “fast” is a relative term. Some shrubs grow like crazy in warm climates and are slower to take off in cold regions of the country. Environmental conditions, such as unseasonably cold weather or too little or too much rain, also can take a toll on a shrub’s growth rate.
To give your shrub its best start in life, make sure it’s sited correctly, according to the plant tag or description. For example, most flowering shrubs need full sun, which is considered 6 or more hours per day. You’ll also want to choose a shrub that’s suited to survive winters in your USDA Hardiness zone (find yours here). No sense wasting money on a plant that isn’t going to make it through winters where you live!