The Best Quick Growing Plants for Privacy & Screening (17 Plants)

best quick growing plants for privacy

If you need a fast-growing plant or hedge for privacy and screening purposes, then look no further. Below I’ve put together a list of options for you, each one explaining what time of year it’s best at, how fast it will grow, and how much privacy you can expect to get.

What is the fastest-growing plant for privacy?

Personally, I love bamboo as a fast-growing privacy and screening plant, but it’s not everybody’s favourite. It only really works if it’s in-keeping with the surroundings and can also quickly get out of control.

Because of that, I have also put together a list of the best quick growing plants for privacy which you can see below.

17 quick growing plants for screening and privacy 

1. Leylandii Evergreen Conifer

The evergreen Leylandii is one of the fastest-growing privacy plants around, with growth of between 75 to 90cm in a year. This screening plant will continually grow if not cut back, so you need to give it your utmost care and attention if you don’t want it out of control.

But if it’s privacy you want in your garden, this is what you can plant next to a fence for privacy and seclusion all year around – you can buy it on Amazon.

2. Bamboo

Bamboo is one of the best quick growing plants for privacy, it grows quickly in well-drained soil and will eventually reach its full, mature height in about 10 years. If that sounds too long to wait for privacy, don’t worry – bamboo has been known to grow almost a metre in one day!

what is the fastest-growing plant for privacy
Bamboo is a fast-growing plant that can offer privacy (Credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/bamboo-trees-green-growth-1283976/)

Some bamboo plants can grow at a rate of 0.00003 km/h. Bamboo is the fastest-growing plant on Earth. In fact, the Chinese moso bamboo can grow almost a metre in a single day.

BBC’s Science Focus website, https://www.sciencefocus.com/nature/speed-bamboo-plant-grow/

3. Arborvitae

Arborvitae, also known as “White Cedar,” is a fast-growing evergreen plant that is excellent for privacy and screening next to garden fences. It can grow up to 8 inches per year and will mature at between 20 to 30 feet tall if allowed to grow naturally. 

Arborvitae grows best in full sunlight with moist soil. Arborvitae is an excellent plant for privacy because its dense foliage prevents people from seeing through it. It is also evergreen, so when other plants have lost their leaves or are bare in the winter, Arborvitae still provides a green screened backdrop. 

Its foliage provides an all year-round fast-growing privacy hedge, and it is one of the few plants that will still look full and lush throughout winter and spring when most other plants are dormant or dying back. 

4. Rose of Sharon / Hibiscus

Rose of Sharon bushes can grow up to 10 feet tall and 10 feet wide if not pruned. They bloom with flowers that can be white, pink, or purple. They require lots of sun and average soil moisture to grow quickly and efficiently for privacy purposes. 

However, they will attract bees, leaving homeowners feeling uneasy about growing them in their yards if they don’t want those insects around. 

In addition, they attract hummingbirds that many people enjoy having in their gardens. These fast-growing privacy plants and bushes are an excellent choice.

5. Black Locust

Black Locust trees can be planted and begin to grow quickly within a year. They grow up to 40 feet tall and 30 feet wide, making them an excellent choice for providing instant privacy screens while growing large and quick at the same time. They require full sunlight and slightly acidic soil (pH of 6) but otherwise are very easy to care for and maintain. 

Their downside is that although they provide excellent shade, the leaves on the tree do not change colour or fall off during winter months like other deciduous plants such as maples or oaks, which add beauty to gardens during autumn months when most plants have lost their leaves. 

However, their long life span (up to 200 years) and mature height make them very attractive for growing quickly as a privacy screening plant in your garden.

6. Chinese Privet

Chinese privet bushes can grow 1 foot per year and reach heights of 8 to 20 feet tall. They require full sunlight and do not tolerate soil that is either too dry or too wet. However, they are very attractive and produce pretty white flowers in the springtime, which attract bees and butterflies. 

Their fast growth rate makes them an excellent quick growing plant as privacy screens, while their beauty attracts pollinators to gardens where they will add attractiveness to any yard or garden area where privacy is desired but not required. 

Depending on the climate, these quick growing privacy plants can be either deciduous or evergreen; however, they lose their leaves during the winter months and provide a bare space in gardens where other plants may still look lush and green.

7. Pokeweed

Pokeweed is a fast-growing plant that people use to help create a privacy screen quickly. Unfortunately, it is poisonous if eaten and can be a skin irritant, so gardeners must take necessary precautions when planting them near pathways or homes where they may creep into landscaped areas or encounter animal life that might eat them. 

what is the fastest-growing screening plant
Pokewood is a fast growing plant for screening purposes (Credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/pokeweed-berries-ripening-pokeweed-2670360/)

They are deciduous, which means they will lose their leaves in the winter months, but since they grow up to 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide, most homeowners get around this by cutting them down every spring before new shoots begin to emerge again in April or May. 

Since they get very thick and dense at the base of the plant, Pokeweeds make excellent privacy plants for growing next to fences.

8. Japanese Barberry

Japanese Barberry is a shrub that grows quickly, reaching 6 feet in height and up to 8 feet wide. It blooms with purple berries during the summer months, attracting birds and other animal life that some homeowners find appealing. 

Still, others detest it because they believe it simply serves as food for pests such as squirrels which chase away songbirds that people enjoy having around their properties when planting gardens meant for privacy or otherwise. 

It can grow in various soil types but prefers moist, sandy loam soils to spread more quickly. An advantage of this plant is that it does not require frequent pruning, so maintenance costs are low compared to other options on this list. Japanese Barberry is evergreen and produces dark green leaves that do not change colour or drop during the winter months.

9. Privet Hedge for Privacy

Privet shrubs and trees (also known as Ligustrum) are very common privacy plants that grow quickly into dense evergreen hedges. Many homeowners find it to be the perfect solution as fast-growing screening plant for privacy during the spring, summer, and autumn months. 

The downside is that they can get invasive if not trimmed often enough and begin to spread outside of their designated area (typically 6 feet tall by needing pruned back to at least 1 foot high). 

10. Northern Red Oak Tree

The northern red oak (Quercus rubra) is more than just great for shade. It’s also a great choice for privacy since they can grow up to about 80 feet tall with a spread of 40 feet but typically around 20 to 30 feet wide. 

These trees are deciduous, meaning they lose their leaves during winter and sprout new leaves again in the spring or summer once the last frost has occurred. 

Due to their height, northern red oaks are best planted with plenty of room on all sides so that you don’t have to worry about pruning them back periodically throughout the year. These trees grow at a moderate to slow rate. However, they can live from 80 to 200 years, depending on the conditions they are planted.

11. Rowan Tree

Rowan trees (also known as Mountain Ash) grow very quickly and can reach 15 to 20 feet tall. According to the University of Illinois extension service, even when pruned back, they typically grow at a rate of 6 inches per year in width, so you must plant them in an area with room for their rapid growth. 

They are deciduous, meaning they lose their leaves in winter but begin to sprout new leaves again in late spring once the last frost has passed. Although Rowans are often used for food, most people plant them specifically for privacy due to how quickly they cover an area.

Handy Hint: Did you know that you can make your garden look bigger than it actually is by using a different colour paint on the fence?

12. Dogwood Tree

The advantage of the dogwood tree (Cornus florida) is it flowers early in spring before most trees come into blossom, which gives it the privacy advantage over other plants during any season. 

However, since they lose their leaves in winter and don’t grow back until late spring or summer, this tree is best suited for areas where privacy isn’t required year-round. 

They are deciduous but can be pruned to maintain a desired height or shape. Dogwood trees grow at a slow to moderate rate of only 6 to 12 inches per year, making them ideal for low maintenance.

13. Ligustrum Tree

Like the other fast-growing privacy plants on this list, Ligustrum’s are very effective at masking unsightly areas. They can be planted in several conditions, including shade or sun but prefer moist soil that isn’t waterlogged. 

what can I plant next to my fence for privacy
Ligustrum is a great plant for growing next to a fence for privacy (Credit: what is the fastest-growing screening plant )

These trees grow quickly up to about 20 feet tall with a spread of 15 feet. 

Pruning isn’t needed often unless you’re trying to maintain the tree’s shape, which means they are pretty low maintenance for homeowners who don’t have much time to fuss over their landscape design projects. 

Ligustrum trees can become invasive, so they should only be planted where you want them because if left unchecked, they will take over the surrounding area.

14. Boxwood Hedge

Boxwood hedges are a great choice to plant next to a fence for privacy since they grow in many different varieties. In fact, according to the University of Delaware extension service, “there are about 250 [species] of boxwoods that have been developed by plant breeders.” 

Boxwood shrubs and trees grow quickly with a spread of 10 to 15 feet but can also be shaped if desired, so they might not always maintain a natural appearance without regular pruning. T

hese evergreens do best in acidic soils, moist soil, and partial shade or sun exposure. While they lose their leaves in winter, they typically return in spring or summer after the last frost has occurred, making them an effective year-round option for privacy regardless of climate conditions.

15. Picea Glauca ‘Conica’

Spruce trees (Pisces glauca) are another popular choice for privacy since they grow quickly and block out surrounding views. They can be planted in any location, including sun or shade but grow best in moist, well-draining soil where there is plenty of room for their horizontal growth, which averages 6 feet per year. 

Spruce trees are evergreens, so they will provide privacy during any season but should be pruned regularly if you want to maintain a desired shape or size. Although spruce trees grow at a moderate rate of 4 to 7 feet tall each year, they only spread about 3 feet wide so consider the width and height when planting their optimal use as a screen or windbreak.

16. European Holly Hedge

European holly shrubs are grown for ornamental leaves and berries, which are often used as holiday decorations. While they lose their leaves in winter, they do regrow quickly once the last frost passes. These evergreen plants can reach heights of 10 feet or more depending on how much direct sunlight is available but typically maintain a spread of 5 feet during maturity. 

They can grow in different soil conditions, including shade to partial sun exposure, so this variety might be most suited for areas where climate varies significantly throughout the year, making them an excellent option if privacy needs are shared between two people who don’t live next door to each other.

17. Cypress Tree

Cypress trees (Taxodium distichum) are effective privacy plants next to fences because they only grow up to about 30 feet tall, making them a good choice for smaller yards. 

quick growing plants
The quick growing plant makes fast privacy hedging (Credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/hinoki-cypress-cypress-cypress-tree-944147/)

However, they can still attain a spread of 15 feet even though their height remains relatively short, so planting more than one variety can increase the space between you and your neighbours if privacy is desired. 

These trees are evergreen and deer resistant, so there’s no issue with losing leaves during winter since they remain on the branches until spring when they regrow again. Cypress trees require much more sunlight than other varieties such as evergreens and grow in partial sun to full shade.

Conclusion

When select from this list of the quick growing screening plants, please choose carefully. Some of them will grow so fast and high that you might end up with a monster on your hands!

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