Warm temperatures, long growing seasons and plenty of sun to give the bushes the energy they need to grow fast. Fast growing bushes also tend to have a lower maximum height than slower growing ones. Fast growing bushes help establish the base for a new landscape in as little time as possible and provide quick shade for shorter shade loving plants, allowing them to be planted as soon as possible.
Mexican sage (Salvia mexicana) is a member of the mint family that grows from 5 to 12 feet tall--taller in the warmer areas--with a spread of about 3 feet. The plant produces dark blue flowers that bloom from late summer through the fall and leaves that are green leaves with white veins that are evergreen in the warmer areas. Plant Mexican sage where it can get sun in the morning and dappled shade in the afternoon. The plant is adaptable to different soil types as long as it is well drained, is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 8 to 11 and is a favorite of hummingbirds and butterflies.
Lady Banks Rose
Lady banks rose (Rosa banksiae) is also known as banksian rose and is a member of the rose family. The plant is a wild, climbing vine-like rose bush that can grow up to 50 feet long. The plant produces small evergreen leaves and white or yellow flowers that grow in clusters and bloom one time, in the late spring. Plant lady banks rose in full sun and a moist to dry soil. The bush is hardy in USDA zones 7 to 10 and is a favorite food source for butterflies.
Red top (Photinea x fraseri) is also known as red tip and photina and is a member of the rose family. The bush grows from 12 to 15 feet tall and produces leaves that start out as bright red, turn to reddish-copper as they age, a dark green when they are mature and grow from 3 to 5-1/2 inches long 2 inches wide. The small, white flowers bloom in the spring, growing in clusters that are 5 to 7 inches in diameter. Plant red top in full sun or partial shade and a soil that is moist and well drained. The plant is hardy in USDA zones 7 to 9.
Shrimp plant (Justicia brandegeana) is also known as false hop and shrimp bush and is a member of the acanthus family. The bush grows from 3 to 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide and produces oval-shaped, light-green leaves that grow from 2 to 3 inches long and large flowers that are red or yellow. Plant the shrimp plant in full sun or partial shade and in a fertile, moist, well drained soil. The plant is hardy in USDA zones 8 to 11 and is a favorite of hummingbirds and butterflies.