Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies in America and beyond. However, the pandemic accelerated interest in this activity because many Americans had a lot of free time on their hands. As per Bonnie Plants CEO Mike Sutterer, over 20 million novices took up gardening as a hobby in 2020, increasing the number of American gardeners to over 63 million. Every gardener wants to enjoy the fruits of their labor as quickly as possible, and you can achieve this by planting fast-growing shrubs in your yard. Here are some of the best, fastest-growing shrubs to plant in your backyard.
- Cherry laurel
The cherry laurel, also known as schip laurel, is a popular, glossy-leaved evergreen shrub that you can use for fast-growing hedges. This beloved evergreen easily flourishes into narrow and tall hedges, and you will only need to prune it at least once a year. You can also hire expert services like MasterScapes lawn care and landscaping to help with the occasional trimming and shaping necessary to maintain this shrub all year round. The cherry laurel grows incredibly fast, reaching up to two feet in just a year. Consequently, it is one of the best shrubs to plant for privacy. This shrub grows well in hardiness zones 6-9 and fares well in dappled shade. Still, it can cope with various soil types, making it a versatile choice for quickly creating a dense hedge.
Photinias are low-maintenance evergreen shrubs that are renowned for their quick growth. They belong to the rose family and are related to the apple. Their green foliage turns red in the summer, spring, or fall, making them an excellent shrub choice if you want leaves that change color. Photinias grow well in sand, loam, or clay soil that drains well. They can work well as standalone features or play a supporting role in your garden. For instance, you can use them to separate garden areas, create a privacy hedge, or for flower bed concepts. These shrubs require minimal pruning, but you will still need to trim them occasionally in summer or spring to encourage dense growth and keep them in good shape.
Forsythia is a genus of deciduous flowering shrubs that trace their roots to the olive family. They have an upright, arching form with yellow branches that fill with bright yellow blooms in early spring. The flowers come before the leaves, allowing you to enjoy looking at the blooms without having your view blocked by any foliage. Forsythias grow at least one foot a year and can tolerate many conditions, making them very versatile. Also, they grow up to 10 feet tall and wide. Therefore, leaving enough room for this brilliant shrub to spread is vital, particularly if you intend to use it for hedging or a garden wall. You can space your forsythias about six feet apart and prune them often to prevent their labyrinth-like stem structures from looking untidy. On the other hand, you can simply allow these shrubs to grow naturally if you prefer their wilder look.
Elderberry certainly ranks among the best, fastest-growing shrubs in any backyard because it bears a lovely blossom and edible fruits. These deciduous perennial shrubs flourish excellently in sunny or shady locations. Also, they bloom from late spring, producing several tiny flowers you can pick and use for elderflower cordial. The berries are rich in immune-boosting vitamins A, D, and C and ripen between July and September. You can harvest them and use them for various healthy treats, from pies to elderberry jelly. There is no denying this shrub is an excellent addition to any kitchen garden, but you must be careful with elderberries. This is because berries of some elderberry varieties are harmful when eaten raw. Consequently, it is better to always cook elderberries before eating them to be on the safe side.
Buddleja is an evergreen shrub with beautiful arching branches littered with magenta, pink, or purple conical-shaped flowers. Also known as the butterfly bush, this shrub is an excellent addition to any wildlife garden because it attracts pollinators like butterflies. These deciduous shrubs grow three to six feet high and prefer moist soil in partial shade or full sun. It is incredibly easy to grow and maintain this shrub. However, remember that buddleja shrubs are considered invasive in certain areas, and states like Oregon and Washington have even banned its sale. Consequently, always check whether growing this shrub in your area is fine before planting.
Which shrub was your favorite?