The Fastest-Growing Shrubs

Create a classic hedgerow or border within the garden using fast-growing shrubs. Look for native shrubs that grow within the environment to ensure a successful planting. Investigate the shrubs' potential growth to ensure you have space in your garden for the mature plants. Fast-growing shrubs need more pruning than slow-growing varieties to keep them looking tidy and well kept.

Thorny Elaeagnus

Thorny Elaeagnus (Elaeagnus pungens) grows in USDA Hardiness Zones 6 to 9. It's a rapidly growing evergreen shrub that grows up to 15 feet tall with a spread of 6 to 10 feet. It has a spreading, mounded shape with dense, arching branches that require frequent pruning. The silvery-white, fragrant flowers emerge in spring followed by small, red berries that bring winged wildlife into the garden. Thorny Elaeagnus has shiny silver-to-green leaves that grow 2 to 4 inches long with ruffled margins and a light-brown underside. It requires full sun to part shade and tolerates a wide range of soil varieties, including dry and wet soil. Thorny Elaeagnus is drought tolerant.

Chinese Photinia

Chinese Photinia (Photinia serrulata) is an evergreen shrub that is adaptable in zones 6 to 9. It grows 12 to 25 feet tall and has a spread of 12 to 20 feet. Chinese Photinia has a broadly oval shape and can be grown as a small tree. The white flowers are born in spring to grow 4 to 7 inches long with a scent some find offensive. Small, red pomes emerge from summer to fall for a stunning display that is one of this shrub's best features. It does best in full sun or part shade and well-drained soils. Chinese Photinia has lustrous dark-green foliage that grows 4 to 8 inches long, with new growth emerging in chartreuse and tinged with bronze.

Alternate Leaf Butterfly Bush

Alternate leaf butterfly bush (Buddleia alternifolia) is a perennial shrub with a rapid growth rate and long, arching stems that hold the fragrant summer-blooming flowers. They grow in zones 5 to 7. The alternate-leafed bush grows up to 20 feet tall with a width of 8 to 10 feet. The dense clusters of bright purple-to-lilac flowers appear on new wood, so prune after flowering to ensure a round of hardy blooms the following season. They grow best in full sun and nutrient-rich soils that is full of organic matter. The butterfly bush tolerates drought and clay soils and is adaptable to different soil conditions.

Keywords: fast growing shrubs, thorny Elaeagnus, Chinese photinia, butterfly bush

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer, designer and photographer in North Carolina. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate your indoor and outdoor living environment. Her articles have appeared in and and her photography has been featured in "Automotive News" magazine and