The Q&A Archives: Fast Growing Shrubs

Question: I am looking for a hardy, very fast growing shrub to be used as screens in place of wooden fences around my yards. I would like the shrub to grow to 6' in less than 18 months and if they have flowers it is a plus.

Answer: You're asking a lot for a shrub to grow that tall in only a year and a half. It takes some plants a full year to become established in their new homes before they will put out a lot of new growth. Also, if a plant grows to 6 feet in less than two years, there's the potential that you'll have to deal with a 12 foot plant in only four years! That might require a great deal of maintenance on your part! Why not settle for a better behaved, but slower growing plant? Berberis (Barberry), Crataegus monogyna (Hawthorn) Ligustrum (Privet), and Elaeagnus (Russian Olive) are all deciduous plants and will lose their leaves in the winter. Abelia grandiflora (Glossy Abelia), Bamboo, Boxwood and Bottlebrush retain their leaves throughout the year. Except for the bamboo, they're all well-behaved and will make excellent hedges for your yard.

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