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Tall Fast Growing Shrubs

butterfly bush image by palms from

Tall shrubs with rapid growth rates and colorful flowers create a showy landscape display in a short period of time. Grown in a wide range of shapes and sizes, tall shrubs are ideal plants to use as a privacy hedgerow along a backyard patio or porch. Tucked along a front yard, tall shrubs create a focal point to the garden.


Rose-of-Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) is a deciduous shrub with a rapid growth rate and medium texture. Growing 10 to 15 feet tall and 3 to 6 feet wide, rose-of-Sharon creates a commanding landscape presence. The erect shrub is made of upright branches that container the flowers. Crepe-like, the 2 to 4-inch flower blooms grow in a wide range of colors including white, red, purple and lilac. Some flowers on rose-of-Sharon are two-toned with more than one color swirled together for a striking display. Rose-of-Sharon blooms last only one day, making for a short blooming period. Ranging 2 to 4- inches long, the dark green leaves on the rose-of-Sharon shrub are long with a toothed edging to turn yellow in fall. Drought and air pollution-tolerant, rose-of-Sharon are hardy spring-blooming shrubs. Rose-of-Sharon prefer full sun and moist, well-drained soil. The USDA Hardiness Zone for planting is 5 to 9.

Japanese Angelica

Japanese angelica (Aralia elata 'Aureovariegata’) has a rapid growth rate and course texture. Growing 12 to 15 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet wide, Japanese angelica shrubs have a rounded to oval form. The unbranched stems on the Japanese angelica hold the large spines. Emerging in late summer, creamy white flowers fill the Japanese angelica shrub to create a soft splash of color to the garden. The gray to green leaves on the Japanese angelica shrub grow 16 to 32 inches long and over 3 inches wide. Japanese angelica shrubs require full sun to partial shade and well-drained, cool soil that is fertile and moist. Adaptable, Japanese angelica shrubs can tolerate a wide range of soil varieties, including clay. The zone for planting is 4 to 9.

Alternate Leaf Butterfly Bush

The alternate leaf butterfly bush (Buddleia alternifolia) has a rapid growth rate and reaches 10 to 20 feet tall and 8 to 10 feet wide. Alternate leaf butterfly bushes have medium to fine texture and long, arching stems that have a pendulous shape. The bright purple, densely clustered flowers on the alternate leaf butterfly bush emerge in summer with their sweet scent. Growing on the previous season’s growth, alternate leaf butterfly bushes have dull gray leaves that grow up to 4 inches long. Drought-tolerant, alternate leaf butterfly bushes require full sun to part shade and loose, nutrient-rich soils. The zone for planting is 5 to 7.

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