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The 23 Best Fast Growing Shrubs for Privacy

It’s the perfect time of year for planting and you need something to get a little privacy from the neighbors. I have you covered with 23 of the best fast growing shrubs for privacy!

Is it just me or are properties getting smaller and smaller? You can just reach out of your window and touch the house next door. That’s great if you love your neighbor but even with the best you still want a little privacy.

I have a natural way to build that privacy into your landscape without putting up a fence.

Some areas don’t allow fences, like the town I live in. Here is a great option to create that division and privacy without breaking the rules!

*This post contains affiliate links. For more details see my full disclosure.

Fast Growing Shrubs for Privacy

I have gathered 23 of the very best here for you. Some of them are evergreen and some are deciduous. Read the descriptions for which is which.

Some of them flower and some grow so fast you need to be careful of your spacing. And if you have more questions check out the FAQ’s at the end of the post.

Cherry Laurel

A row of cherry laurel with white flowers in the grass and trees with no leaves in the distance.

Cherry Laurel is one of the fastest growing shrubs. It can grow so tall that if pruned can look like a tree. It likes slightly acidic soil but well-draining and doesn’t do well with cold temps.

  • Evergreen shrub
  • Grows to 25 feet tall and 30 feet wide
  • Full shade to full sun
  • Fertile, well-drained soil
  • Booms white flowers in Spring
  • Hardy in zones 4-9
  • The best time to plant is in the fall

Forsythia

A row of Forsythia with bright yellow flowers.

Forsythia is a gorgeous flowering shrub with bright yellow flowers. It blooms in early spring and pollinators love it. It can grow up to 24 inches a year!

  • Grows 2-10 feet tall and wide
  • Diciduous
  • Prefers full or partial sun
  • Likes moist but well-draining soil
  • Blooms bright yellow flowers in spring
  • Hardy in zones 5-8

Leyland Cypress

A row of Leyland Cypress bushes in the grass and a beautiful blue sky.

Leyland Cypress is a tree that can grow 24-48 inches a year in its early years. Because of this fast growth, it’s a good idea to prune it to keep it from overwhelming the landscape. This shrub can easily succumb to disease and insects so proper care is needed.

  • Evergreen
  • 60-70 feet tall, 10-15 feet wide
  • Prefers full to partial sun
  • Moist well-drained soil
  • Hardy in zones 6-10

Thuja

A close up of Thuja with yellow-green berries.

Thuja are dense narrow fast-growing shrubs. Often called the tree of life because of the oil extracted from it. When burned it has a pleasant aroma.

  • Evergreen
  • Can grow 50-125 feet tall, 3-6 feet wide
  • Prefers wet soil
  • Hardy, pest-resistant, and disease-resistant

Lilacs

A lilac bush hedge with tons of pink/purple flowers and evergreen trees behind it.

Lilac bushes have a moderate rate of growth, 1-2 feet per year. They bloom gorgeous flowers in early spring that have a pleasant aroma.

  • Deciduous
  • Grows 8-15 feet tall and 6-12 feet wide
  • Prefers full sun
  • Hardy in zones 3-7
  • Prefers loamy well-drained soil

Beautyberry

A beautyberry bush with tellow-green leaves and purple betties along the stems.

Beautyberry is native to the Southeastern United States. It grows moderately at 1-2 feet per year until it is mature. Maintenance is minimal on this shrub and it is very hardy, not prone to pests or diseases.

  • Deciduous
  • Grows 3-6 feet tall and wide
  • Prefers full or partial sun
  • Prefers loamy, moist, well-draining soil
  • Blooms pink, purple, and white blooms in spring and summer
  • Hardy in zones 6-10

Privet

A hedge of Privet with a tall tree in the background and a stucco building in the distance.

There are over 50 species of Privet. Some can be grown as small trees. Flowers bloom in early summer but the fragrance is not desireable. Round black fruit follows the blooms.

  • Deciduous
  • Grows 4-15 feet tall and 4-10 feet wide
  • Prefers full or partial sun
  • Blooms white flowers in early summer
  • Hardy in zones 3-8

Juniper

A juniper farm with lots of juniper bushes in rows.

There are 67 known species of Juniper. They grow all over the northern hemisphere.

  • Evergreen
  • Some species can grow up to 131 feet tall
  • Hardy in zones 7-10
  • Depending on the species they can bloom several times a year

Needlepoint Holly

A Needlepoint Holly Bush with long stems and red berries along the stems.

Needlepoint Holly is a gorgeous evergreen bush that grows pretty red berries in the fall and winter. They prefer part sun to par shade.

  • Tough plant and very adaptable
  • Requires no maintenance once it is established
  • Shiny evergreen foliage provides year round interest
  • Red berries in fall and winter
  • Can grow up to 15-20 feet tall

Burning Bush

Burning Bush in a yard between driveways with groundcover under.

Burning Bush is named thus because of the gorgeous bright red foliage in the fall. This bush is very popular in North American landscapes. It grows at a moderate pace, adding about a foot a year.

  • Deciduous
  • Grows from 3-20 feet tall and 3-12 feet wide
  • Prefers full to partial sun (more sun gives a brighter red in the fall)
  • Prefers moist but well-drained soil
  • Hardy in zones 4-8

Mock Orange

A close up of Mock Orange with white flowers and yellow stamen.

Mock Orange is a deciduous shrub that has gorgeous white flowers in the late Spring/early Summer. It can grow about 2 feet per year and best planted in the early fall.

  • Deciduous
  • Grows about 10-12 feet tall and wide
  • Prefers full to partial sun
  • Likes loamy, moist, well-drained soil
  • Blooms white flowers in late spring/early summer
  • Hardy in zones 4-8

Red Twig Dogwood

Red Twig Dogwood next to green and yellow-green plants.

Red Twig Dogwood is a showstopper all year. It has spring blossoms, verigated leaves in the summer, berries summer to fall, and gorgeous red stems in the winter. In the fall the leaves turn gold then fall to reveal the red stems.

  • Deciduous
  • Grows to 6-9 feet tall and 8-12 feet wide
  • Prefers full to partial sun
  • Likes moist soil
  • Blooms white flowers in the spring
  • Hardy in zones 3-8

Boxwood

Boxwood bushes next to a patio paver driveway with tall trees in the background.

There are over 70 varieties of Boxwoods. Most grow in large bushes or small trees. The ones commonly used in landscapes are of the dwarf variety.

  • Grows 2-8 feet tall and wide
  • Evergreen
  • Prefers full to partial sun
  • Likes loamy soil
  • Blooms in the spring with green and yellow flowers
  • Hardy in zones 5-9

Thuja Green Jiant

An example of Thuja Green Giant in the middle of a field.

Thuja Green Giant is a variety of Thuja. This one is very large. They are perfect for privacy and are low maintenance as well as pest and disease resistant.

  • Evergreen
  • Hardy in zones 5-9
  • Grows 20-40 feet tall and 6-12 feet wide
  • Prefers full sun to partial
  • Grows 3-5 feet per year
  • Deer-resistant

Holly

A closeup of Holly with lots of red berries.

Holly comes in over a hundred varieties that range from a few feet tall to over 50 feet tall. They produce berries that are on the bush for 3-6 months, depending on the wildlife.

  • Prefers sun to part sun
  • Grows 2-50 feet tall and 2-40 feet wide
  • Foliage is a blue green color
  • Blooms white flowers
  • Hardy in zones 3-10
  • Low maintenance and deer resistant

American Arborvitae

A row of American Arborvitae against a dark house with a brick path.

The American Arborvitae is very popular in landscapes. It works really well as a windbreak. It’s also very low maintenance.

  • Hardy in zones 3-7
  • Grows in a narrow pyramid shape
  • Grows 40-60 feet high and 10-15 feet wide
  • Prefers full sun

Ligustrum

An example of Ligustrum with white flowers on it.

Ligustrum is a variety of Privet. It’s fast growing and has white flowers late spring and early summer. They are very tough plants and make excellent hedges.

  • Pest, deer, and disease resistant
  • Pollution, heat, and drought tolerant
  • Beautiful yellow foliage in fall
  • Hardy in zones 6-10
  • Grow 3-4 feet tall and wide
  • Prefers full sun

Hydrangea

A hydrangea against a white picket fence and it has big white balls of flowers.

Hydrangeas are extremely popular in garden beds because of their large flower heads and wide array of colors. They average 2 feet of growth per year.

  • Likes full sun in moderate climate, Morning sun in warmer climates
  • Can grow 2-20 feet tall and 2-6 feet wide
  • Prefer moist, well-drained soil
  • Blooms summer into fall
  • Hardiness in zones 5-9

Wax Myrtle

A hedge of Wax Myrtle that is tall with red mulch and it separates grass from a road.

Wax Myrtle is a gorgeous evergreen that is native in the US from New Jersey down to Central America. It’s tolerant of high winds and salt spray so it lives well by the ocean.

  • Grows 10-15 feet tall and wide
  • Prefers part sun to part shade
  • Produces blue/gray berries
  • Drought tolerant
  • Cold hardy
  • Hardy in zones 7-10

Hicks Yew

A curved hedge of Hicks Yew separating grass from a driveway.

Hicks Yew is a gorgeous evergreen that does very well in colder climates. It’s perfect for a hedge or privacy screen. It takes shearing very well to keep it maintained to a specific shape.

  • Perfers sun to partial shade
  • It’s semi drought tolerant
  • Grows 10-15 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide
  • Hardy in zones 4-7
  • Likes well-draining soil

Viburnum

An example of Viburnum with big white pillowy flowers.

Viburnum is one of the most popular flowering shrubs used in landscaping. It blooms early spring to June, followed by fruit then gorgeous fall foliage.

  • Grows 3- 20 feet tall and 3-12 feet wide
  • Prefers partial to full sun
  • Likes moist, well-drained soil
  • White and pink blooms in Spring
  • Hardy in zones 2-9
  • Native to North America

Portuguese Laurel

an example of Portuguese Laurel shaped into a topiary with an inverted bell shaper.

Portuguese Laurel is native to Portugal and Spain and is a member of the rose family. It has a dense round form and can easily be shaped through pruning.

  • Grows 10-20 feel tall and wide
  • Likes moist well-drained soil
  • Drought Tolerant once established
  • Can be shaped into a topiary
  • Pollinators love it
  • Prefers full sun to part shade
  • Hardy in zones 7-9

Cotoneaster

An example of Cotoneaster with red berries.

Cotoneaster is a gorgeous plant that flowers white and pink flowers in the fall followed by clusters of berries. Most varieties bear red berries and sometimes the entire plant can be covered in them.

  • Hardy in zones 4-7
  • Deciduous
  • Prefers sun to part sun
  • Grows 1-3 feet tall and 5-15 feet wide
  • Foliage is blue/green
  • Flowers are red/pink/white
  • Attracts Birds
  • Low maintenance
  • Deer resistant and drought tolerant

Frequently Asked Questions o Fast Growing Privacy Shrubs

What are the best low-maintenance shrubs for privacy?

Honestly, the best will depend on a lot of factors such as sunlight, water, soil conditions, etc. It also depends on which ones you like the look of best.

Is a hedge cheaper than a fence?

Hedges can be cheaper than a fence depending on the distance you need. Hedges do take longer to create a barrier, you have to let them grow in. A fence is up and running right away.

What is the best plant to block neighbor’s views?

Any of the plants listed here are good choices to block a neighbors view into your property.

What is the best shrub for screening?

There are several really good options here. In the US the most popular is the American Arborvitae.

Other outdoor spaces you might be interested in:

A grid of eight different types of fast-growing bushes you can use as privacy screens with text overlay.

Fast Growing Privacy Shrubs

As a licensed Real Estate Agent and an avid home decorator, I strive to give my clients the very best I can when it comes to staging, selling, and decorating their homes. I have lots of experience with paint color choices and love to DIY my home so I can have everything just the way I want it. I share my ideas and projects with the world in the hopes that I can help others have their homes just the way they want as well.

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