36 Fast-Growing Evergreen Trees & Shrubs for Your Garden

36 Fast-Growing Evergreen Trees & Shrubs for Your Garden

Evergreen trees and shrubs are great landscaping options for your outdoor space. They keep their foliage all year round and grow fast, so you can quickly achieve your dreamy garden landscape. 

Here are 36 fast-growing evergreen trees and shrubs that you can choose from!

Fast-Growing Evergreen Trees 

1. Leyland Cypress

Leyland Cypress
Image: News Wire
Scientific NameHesperotropsis leylandii
Common NameLeyland Cypress
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Growth RateRapid
Hardiness Zone6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
Unique CharacteristicScaly reddish-brown bark with blue-green needled leaves

The Leyland Cypress is sought after for its fast growth and slender shape, making it a versatile evergreen tree for gardens. 

This tree has scaly reddish-brown bark with blue-green needled leaves. It grows 3 to 5 feet every year up to 50 feet tall. 

It can tolerate various soils and weather conditions and stays green throughout the year.

The Leyland Cypress should be planted 8 to 10 feet apart to create an evergreen hedge. It can also serve as a dense barrier or windbreak for your home, park, or gardening landscape. 

2. Magnolias

Magnolias
Image: Plantura Magazine
Scientific NameMagnolia grandiflora
Common NameBull Bay, Large Tree Magnolia, Southern Magnolia
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateMedium
Hardiness Zone6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
Unique CharacteristicFragrant large white and pink flowers

Magnolias are large evergreen trees that are recognizable through their deep green leaves and fragrant large white and pink flowers.

Magnolias can grow up to 20 feet tall in 7 to 8 years. It grows well on soil rich in organic matter and can stand full sun or partial shade. 

This tree is commonly used as a specimen plant in backyards and parks. 

3. Holly

Holly
Image: Gardenia
Scientific NameIlex aquifolium
Common NameChristmas Holly, Common Holly, English Holly, European Holly, Holm, Oregon Holly
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateSlow
Hardiness Zone7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
Unique CharacteristicSpiny, dark green leaves with red berries

Holly trees are perfect for landscaping because of their spiny, dark green leaves with red berries.

They grow fast in slightly acidic yet well-drained soil. This tree is best planted 5 to 6 feet apart. 

It is a pyramidal broadleaf evergreen tree that grows 2 to 3 feet yearly. 

Holly trees are commonly used as privacy screens, hedges, or bushes. 

4. Japanese Cedar

Japanese Cedar
Image: Homestead Gardens
Scientific NameCryptomeria japonica
Common NameJapanese Cedar, Japanese Cryptomeria
ShadeDappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateMedium
Hardiness Zone5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
Unique CharacteristicReddish-brown exfoliating bark

The Japanese Cedar grows about one foot yearly and can grow up to 30 feet tall upon maturity.

It develops layers of horizontal arching habit that gives the tree its distinctive pyramidal shape. 

This evergreen tree has a reddish-brown exfoliating bark and blue-green foliage, giving more dimension to the landscape. 

Japanese Cedar trees are best used as privacy screens and vertical accents for landscaping. 

5. Arizona Cypress 

Arizona Cypress 
Image: Tree Top Nursery and Landscaping
Scientific NameHesperocyparis arizonica
Common NameArizona Cypress
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Growth RateRapid
Hardiness Zone7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
Unique CharacteristicGray-brown bark with gray-green needled foliage

The Arizona cypress is a fast-growing evergreen tree known for its Gray-brown bark with gray-green needled foliage. 

As it matures, it develops a pyramidal habit that can grow more than 20 feet high. This evergreen tree is also drought and heat-resistant. 

Because of its gray-green needles, the Arizona cypress is an excellent choice for low-water landscapes. 

6. Italian Cypress

Italian Cypress
Image: Planting Tree
Scientific NameCupressus sempervirens
Common NameCommon Cypress, Italian Cypress, Mediterranean Cypress
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Growth RateMedium
Hardiness Zone7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
Unique CharacteristicDense crown, symmetrical shape and small scale-like leaves

The Italian cypress has a dense crown, symmetrical shape. 

As a tall columnar tree, it grows one to two feet yearly and up to 25 feet high and 3 feet wide upon maturity. 

It has small-scale-like, blue-green foliage that lasts all year long. It also holds its shape without needing regular pruning. 

This evergreen tree can tolerate various types of soils and is drought resistant. 

The Italian cypress can handle ocean breezes, so it is recommended for seaside gardens and landscapes.  

It can also be placed in small yards, a specimen tree or accent plant in entrances, or as a narrow border. 

7. Thuja Green Giant

Thuja Green Giant
Image: Thuja Green Giant
Scientific NameCupressus sempervirens
Common NameCommon Cypress, Italian Cypress, Mediterranean Cypress, Green Giant Arborvitae
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Growth RateMedium
Hardiness Zone7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
Unique CharacteristicPyramidal habit with glossy green leaves

The Thuja Green Giant is fast-growing arborvitae, that stands out because of its pyramidal habit and glossy green leaves. Its dense green foliage turns to bronze during winter. 

It grows 3 feet yearly, up to 40 feet, and spreads up to 15 feet wide. It can be planted in various soil types and places exposed to full sun. 

The Thuja Green Giant is a natural windbreak as it can withstand heavy wind, ice, and snow. It is also drought-tolerant and pest-resistant.

This evergreen tree can be used as a specimen plant, hedge, or privacy screen for your garden landscape. 

8. Taylor Juniper

 Eastern White Pine
Image: The Spruce
Scientific NameJuniperus virginiana ‘Taylor’
Common NameTaylor eastern red cedar, Taylor Juniper
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Growth RateMedium
Hardiness Zone4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
Unique CharacteristicBlue-green foliage

The Taylor Juniper is an evergreen tree with semi-soft blue-green foliage. It grows well in various soils, in full sun, and can tolerate droughts. 

It reaches up to 30 feet and spreads up to 5 feet. Because of this, it is suitable for small areas where fast growth is needed. 

The Taylor Juniper grows upward, making it ideal as a foundation plant.  

If it is to be used as a privacy screen, the Taylor Juniper must be planted 3 feet apart. 

9. Murray Cypress

 Eastern White Pine
Image: The Tree Center
Scientific NameX Cupressocyparis leylandii
Common NameMurray Cypress
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateFast
Hardiness Zone6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Unique CharacteristicNeedled evergreen leaves and sturdier branches

The Murray Cypress is one of the fastest growing evergreen trees. It grows 4 feet yearly until it reaches 40 feet high and spreads up to 10 feet. 

The Murray Cypress has needled evergreen leaves and sturdier branches than the Leyland Cypress.

It is a hardy tree that serves as a windbreak and can tolerate extreme summer heat. 

The Murray Cypress can be used as a privacy fence; plant them 5 feet apart when you do. 

10. Norway Spruce

 Eastern White Pine
Image: Spruce Tree Direct
Scientific NamePicea abies
Common NameBaltic Whitewood, Common Spruce, European Spruce, Norway Spruce
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Growth RateRapid
Hardiness Zone2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b
Unique CharacteristicPyramidal habit with long cylindrical cones

The Norway spruce is recognizable through its dense branching pattern, pyramidal habit, and long cylindrical cones. 

This evergreen tree grows up to 3 feet yearly until it reaches 131 feet high. 

It is one of the most common trees for windbreaks and lives up to 1,000 years. 

The Norway spruce is a famous landscape specimen tree, Christmas tree, and privacy screen. 

11. Eastern White Pine

 Eastern White Pine
Image: The Tree Center
Scientific NamePinus strobus
Common NameEastern White Pine, North American White Pine, Northern White Pine, Soft Pine, White Pine
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateRapid
Hardiness Zone3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
Unique CharacteristicOval, a pyramidal habit with blue-green needled leaves

The Eastern White pine is an evergreen conifer that grows 3 feet per year, until it reaches 50 to 80 feet high and 20 to 40 feet wide upon maturity. 

It grows well in moist, well-drained soil with total sun exposure. It also attracts butterflies, songbirds, and other pollinators. 

This tree is also used for timber production because of its lightweight and straight-grained bark. 

The Eastern White pine is usually seen as an ornamental landscape tree, hedge, or border in parks and spacious yard landscapes. 

12. Golden Bamboo

Golden Bamboo
Image: Landscapic
Scientific NamePhyllostachys aurea
Common NameBamboo, Fish Pole Bamboo, Fishpole Bamboo, Golden Bamboo
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateRapid
Hardiness Zone4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
Unique CharacteristicGolden yellow stems

The Golden Bamboo is known for its stiff golden yellow stems and deep green leaves. 

This plant prefers moist, well-drained soil and full sun or partial shade. It can tolerate extreme heat but requires regular watering, especially during summer. 

The Golden Bamboo is perfect for exotic evergreen landscapes. They can form a living wall of 10 to 12 feet high in two years. 

As a privacy fence, the Golden Bamboo must be planted 2 feet apart and with enough space for its roots to extend at least 8 inches below the ground. 

Fast-Growing Evergreen Shrubs

1. Photinia

Photinia
Image: North Carolina Plant Toolbox Extension Gardener
Scientific NamePhotinia serratifolia
Common NameChinese Hawthorn, Chinese Photinia, Oriental Photinia
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateMedium
Hardiness Zone6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
Unique CharacteristicBronze-tinged or reddish-purple leaves with white inflorescence and red berries

Photinias are distinctive for their bronze-tinged or reddish-purple leaves and clusters of small white flowers during spring and summer. 

They grow best in partial shade or full sun and in well-drained soil. 

The Photinia is a fast-growing shrub that reaches up to 15 feet high and wide. On a brighter note, its height can be contained through regular pruning. 

During spring, its round-shaped habit is filled with white inflorescence, followed by the production of juicy red berries. 

The Photinia is best used as a privacy screen hedge for street landscapes. 

2. Hybrid Mahonia

Hybrid Mahonia
Image: UT Gardens
Scientific Namex Mahoberberis aquisargentii
Common NameHybrid Mahonia
ShadeDappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateMedium
Hardiness Zone5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
Unique CharacteristicSmall clusters of yellow flowers and black berries

Hybrid Mahonias are fast-growing shrubs suitable for shade as it grows up to 6 feet tall and wide. 

It blooms small clusters of yellow flowers and black berries in late winter to early spring. 

This shrub grows best in moist, well-drained soils and partial shade or full sun. 

As a design feature, Hybrid Mahonias can be utilized as a border, hedge, or privacy screen. 

3. Schip Laurel

Schip Laurel
Image: Instant Hedge
Scientific NamePrunus laurocerasus ‘Schipkaensis’
Common NameCherrylaurel, Cherry Laurel, Schipka Cherry Laurel, Schip Laurel, Skip Cherry Laurel, Skip Laurel
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateMedium
Hardiness Zone5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
Unique CharacteristicGlossy lanceolate leaves and small white flowers in dense clusters

The Schip Laurel is an upright evergreen shrub that grows more than 40 feet high. 

This shrub has a distinctive goblet shape with glossy lanceolate leaves and small white flowers in dense clusters.

The Schip Laurel can tolerate alkaline and dry soils and heavy pruning. 

Because of its lush growth, it is perfect for creating barriers while still providing shade. Its dense canopy also provides a nesting site for songbirds. 

The Schip Laurel is an excellent specimen plant, mass plant, or privacy hedge for landscaping.

4. Loropetalum

Loropetalum
Image: The Spruce
Scientific NameLoropetalum chinense
Common NameChinese Fringe Flower, Fringe Flower, Loropetalum
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateMedium
Hardiness Zone7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
Unique CharacteristicFragrant pink or purple flower inflorescences at the tip of shoots and leaf axils

Loropetalums are vibrant evergreen shrubs that produce fragrant pink or purple flower inflorescences at the end of shoots and leaf axils.

It has a rounded and vase-shaped habit with arching branches. It can reach about 10 to 15 feet high upon maturity. 

It prefers moist, acidic, well-drained soils and full sun or partial shade. This shrub should be planted at least 4 to 6 feet apart. 

Loropetalums can be used as borders, foundations, or even as privacy screens for landscaping. 

5. Golden Euonymus

Escallonia
Image: Brighter Blooms
Scientific NameEuonymus japonicus ‘Aureomarginatus’
Common NameGolden Euonymus
ShadeDappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateMedium
Hardiness Zone6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
Unique CharacteristicYellow leaves with green patches

The Golden Euonymus is a rounded evergreen shrub with distinctive yellow leaves with green patches. It keeps its yellow-green foliage all year round. 

They are also fast-growing and can reach up to 10 feet tall and spread to 6 feet. 

The Golden Euonymus is great for a colorful hedge, ground cover, or privacy screen. 

6. Tea Olive

Tea Olive
Image: Wikipedia
Scientific NameOsmanthus fragrans
Common NameFragrant Tea Olive, Sweet Osmanthus, Tea Olive
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateMedium
Hardiness Zone8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
Unique CharacteristicSweet-scented small orange flowers

Tea Olives are fragrant broadleaf evergreen shrubs. They produce sweet-scented small orange flowers during the spring and fall seasons. 

This shrub has a dense habit and reaches 10 to 20 feet tall. 

It prefers moist soils with good drainage as well as full sun or partial shade. 

Tea Olive shrubs may be used as specimen plants in open lawn areas, or as privacy screens, hedges, or borders in gardens. 

7. Escallonia

Escallonia
Image: Best for Hedging
Scientific NameEscallonia rubra
Common NameEscallonia, Redclaws, Red Escallonia
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateRapid
Hardiness Zone8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
Unique CharacteristicObovate glossy fragrant leaves with funnel-shaped flowers with five lobes

Escallonia is another fast-growing evergreen shrub that is perfect for landscaping. 

It has obovate glossy aromatic leaves with funnel-shaped flowers with five lobes.

They attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. 

This shrub grows well in clay, loam, or sandy soils and prefers full sun or partial shade. 

Escallonias can be used as a barrier, hedge, mass plant, or specimen plant for landscaping. 

8. Choiysa 

Choiysa
Image: OSU Landscape Plants
Scientific NameChoisya ternata
Common NameMexican Mock Orange, Mexican Orange, Mexican Orange Blossom
ShadeDeep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateMedium
Hardiness Zone7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
Unique CharacteristicFragrant white star-shaped flowers with glossy elliptical foliage

Choiysa is an attractive evergreen shrub recognizable for its fragrant white star-shaped flowers and glossy oval foliage. It can grow from 4 to 8 feet high and wide. 

This shrub prefers moist, well-drained soils as well as exposure to full sun or partial shade. 

Choiysa makes a wonderful border, foundation plant, hedge, privacy screen and specimen plant for landscaping. 

9. Pyracantha 

Pyracantha 
Image: Namuzona
Scientific NamePyracantha coccinea
Common NameEgyptian Thorn, Everlasting Thorn, Fire Bush, Firethorn, Scarlet Firethorn, Scarlet Pyracantha
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateRapid
Hardiness Zone6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
Unique CharacteristicSmooth reddish-brown bark with lenticels

The Pyracantha is a broadleaf evergreen shrub that usually reaches from 6 to 18 feet high and wide. It has a smooth reddish-brown bark with lenticels. 

Every spring, it blooms clusters of white flowers on top of its glossy deep green leaves. It usually attracts songbirds. 

This shrub prefers moist, well-drained soils and full sun or partial shade. It is deer, drought, and salt resistant. 

It is frequently used as a border, foundation plant, hedge, mass plant, privacy screen, or specimen plant. 

10. Evergreen Clematis

Evergreen Clematis
Image: OSU Landscape Plants
Scientific NameClematis armandii
Common NameArmand Clematis, Evergreen Clematis
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateRapid
Hardiness Zone7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
Unique CharacteristicFragrant white flowers and oblong-lanceolate, prominently veined glossy deep green leaves

The evergreen Clematis is a perennial vine with oblong-lanceolate, prominently veined glossy deep green foliage. During spring, it blooms with fragrant white flowers. 

This plant thrives in moist, organic-matter-rich soil with good drainage. It should be planted with supports for its trellis. 

The vine can reach up to 15 to 30 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide. 

The evergreen Clematis can serve as a living privacy screen or hedge in landscaping your garden. 

11. Common Beech

Common Beech
Image: Landscape Architect’s Pages
Scientific NameFagus sylvatica
Common NameCommon Beech, European Beech
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Growth RateMedium
Hardiness Zone4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b
Unique CharacteristicSmooth light gray bark with alternate dark green leaves

The Common Beech is easily recognizable for its bronzed foliage and showy floral buds. It can reach as high as 50 feet. 

This plant can tolerate different soil types and high temperatures and is deer resistant. 

Although it is a deciduous tree, it is an excellent choice for a specimen tree in large yards, lawns, or parks. 

The Common Beech can also be used as an accent, flowering, or shade tree in different landscapes. 

12. Pieris Japonica

Pieris Japonica
Image: OSU Landscape Plants
Scientific NamePieris Japonica
Common NameAndromeda Japonica, Fetterbush, Japanese Andromeda, Japanese Pieris, Lily-of-the-Valley Shrub, Pieris
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateSlow
Hardiness Zone4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
Unique CharacteristicBronzed foliage and showy floral buds

The Japanese Pieris is an evergreen shrub noted for its bronzed foliage and showy floral buds. It can grow from 9 to 13 feet. 

This shrub prefers full sun or partial shade and moist, well-drained, rich in organic matter soils. 

It is used as a design feature for landscape borders, foundation plant, mass plant or specimen plant.

13. Elaeagnus

Elaeagnus
Image: Van Den Berk
Scientific NameElaeagnus angustifolia
Common NameRussian Olive, Russian-olive
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Growth RateRapid
Hardiness Zone2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b
Unique CharacteristicSilver foliage, tiny fragrant yellow flowers and olive-like fruit

The Russian Olive is a loosely-growing evergreen shrub that reaches up to 40 feet.

It possesses silver foliage, blooms little fragrant yellow bell-shaped flowers, and produces olive-like fruits. It also has twigs that often bear strong thorns.

The Russian Olive makes an excellent structural plant and can be used for hedging in designing your garden. 

14. Weigela

Weigela
Image: HGTV
Scientific NameWeigela florida
Common NameOld Fashioned Weiglea, Weigela
ShadeDappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateMedium
Hardiness Zone4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 8a, 8b
Unique CharacteristicDense rounded shrub with tubular five-lobed flowers

The Weigela is a dense rounded deciduous shrub that blooms with tubular five-lobed pink flowers. It reaches up to 9 feet in 2 years. 

It prefers full sun or partial shade and clay, loam, and sandy soils.

The Weigela is an excellent choice for filling gaps in gardens. They can also be used as a foundation, mass, or shrub border. 

15. Beauty Bush

Beauty Bush
Image: Sylvan Gardens Landscape Contractors
Scientific NameKolkwitzia amabilis
Common NameBeautybush, Beauty Bush
ShadeDappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateRapid
Hardiness Zone4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
Unique CharacteristicSpring flowers emerging from a vase-shaped habit

The Beauty Bush is a deciduous shrub that comes from the honeysuckle family. 

It has an arching, vase-shaped habit that grows from 6 to 10 feet tall. 

During spring, it blooms with pink flowers with yellow centers.

It prefers moist, well-drained soils and full sun or partial shade to grow.  It is also pest and disease-free and deer and drought-tolerant. 

The Beauty Bush makes an excellent hedge, border, foundation, mass, and even privacy plant. 

16. Buddleja

Buddleja
Image: The Tree Center
Scientific NameBuddleja davidii
Common NameButterfly Bush, Orange-Eyed Butterfly Bush, Summer Lilac
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Growth RateRapid
Hardiness Zone5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
Unique CharacteristicLarge drooping clusters of tiny purple flowers

The Buddleja is a hardy deciduous shrub that can easily be spotted because of its large hanging clusters of small purple flowers. It grows from 3 to 6 feet tall. 

Its conical-shaped flowers attract pollinators like butterflies, which is perfect for wildlife garden pegs. Hence, its nickname is the Butterfly Bush.

This shrub grows well in moist soil with full sun or partial shade. It is also deer, drought, heat, humidity, and salt resistant. 

The Buddleja can be used in your landscape as a specimen plant or mass plant. 

17. Fortsythia

Fortsythia
Image: Gardener’s Path
Scientific NameForsythia suspensa
Common NameWeeping Forsythia
ShadeDappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateRapid
Hardiness Zone5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
Unique CharacteristicFragrant golden yellow flowers

Forsythia is a versatile fast-growing shrub known for its fragrant golden yellow flowers. It grows up to 10 feet high and wide. 

This shrub prefers loam soil and full sun to encourage flowering. 

Forsythias can be used for hedging or creating a garden wall. Be sure to plant these shrubs at least 6 feet apart and prune them regularly. 

18. Sea Berry

Hydrangeas
Image: Jardineria On
Scientific NameHippophae rhamnoides
Common NameSea buckthorn, sea berry
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Growth RateRapid
Hardiness Zone2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Unique CharacteristicLarge thorny shrub with orange berries

The Sea Berry is another fast growing shrub that can fit any landscape. 

It is a sizeable thorny shrub that produces vitamin C-rich orange berries. It can grow as high as 30 feet tall. 

The Sea Berry is ideal for coastal and windy gardens. It can be used as an ornamental plant or hedge for landscaping. 

19. Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas
Image: North Carolina Plant Toolbox Extension Gardener
Scientific NameHydrangea macrophylla
Common NameBigleaf Hydrangea, French Hydrangea, Hortensia, Lacecap Hydrangea, Mophead Hydrangea, Snowball Plant
ShadeDappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateRapid
Hardiness Zone6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
Unique CharacteristicBall-shaped flower clusters 

Hydrangeas are show-stopping evergreen shrubs known for their sizeable ball-shaped flower clusters. 

They are easy to grow and regularly produce flowers during the summer and fall seasons. 

It is a shade-loving shrub that thrives on moist soil. It is also pest and disease-free. 

Hydrangeas are so versatile that they can be used as an accent plant, foundation plant, hedge, mass plant, and a colorful privacy screen. 

20. Viburnum tinus

Viburnum tinus
Image: UC Master Gardeners of Butte County
Scientific NameViburnum tinus
Common NameLaurustine, Laurustinus Viburnum
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateMedium
Hardiness Zone8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
Unique CharacteristicWaxy flattened white flowers

The Laurustine is an evergreen shrub with waxy flattened white petaled and pink-budded flowers. 

It has a multi-stemmed rounded habit that can grow from 13 to 16 feet high. 

They prefer full sun or partial shade and thrive in moist, well-drained soil.

This shrub can be used in creating vertical gardens to make an illusion of a larger space. 

The Laurustine can also be used as a border, foundation plant, hedge, privacy screen or specimen plant in garden landscapes. 

21. Lavender

Elderberry
Image: Here by Design
Scientific NameLavandula angustifolia
Common NameCommon Lavender, English Lavender, Lavender, Narrow-Leaved Lavender
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateMedium
Hardiness Zone5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
Unique CharacteristicAromatic lilac flowers on long shoots

Lavender is an evergreen shrub known for its aromatic lilac flowers emerging from its long nodes. It usually grows 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide. 

This shrub prefers drained soil and total sunlight exposure. 

During summer, it blooms with aromatic leaves and flowers that later become the source of lavender oil.

Lavender can be used as a border, low hedge, or mass plant in landscaping. 

22. Elderberry

Elderberry
Image: Think Global Garden Local
Scientific NameSambucus nigra
Common NameBlack Elder, Elder, Elderberry, European Elderberry
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateRapid
Hardiness Zone5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b
Unique CharacteristicFragrant white flowers and glossy black berries

The elderberry is one of the fastest growing shrubs that produce fragrant white flowers and glossy black berries.

The white flowers emit a musky fragrance that attracts butterflies. Afterward, it produces edible black berries that are used for making wines, pies, and even jellies. 

They grow well in full sun or partial shade and in moist, well-drained soil.

The elderberry shrub is best used as a hedge in landscaping.

23. Flowering Dogwood

Flowering Dogwood
Image: The Ohio State University
Scientific NameCornus florida
Common NameFlowering Dogwood
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateMedium
Hardiness Zone5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
Unique CharacteristicBiscuit-shaped bud with flattened silky white flowers and red berries

The Flowering Dogwood is a woody shrub that grows from 15 to 25 feet high. 

It thrives in full sun or partial shade and in well-drained soil rich in organic matter. 

Its flowers have biscuit-shaped buds that attract bees and butterflies. 

This shrub also produces red berries that become a food source for songbirds and other wildlife. 

The Flowering Dogwood can be used as a border, accept plant, or an understory tree for landscaping purposes. 

24. Mock Orange

Mock Orange
Image: Gardenia
Scientific NamePhiladelphus coronarius
Common NameFragrant Mockorange, Golden Mock Orange, Mock Orange, Sweet Mockorange
ShadeFull sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateMedium
Hardiness Zone4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
Unique CharacteristicRounded shrub with 4-petaled white flowers in small clusters

The Mock Orange is a rounded shrub from the hydrangea family. It is noted for its  fragrant 4-petaled white flowers in small clusters.

This plan prefers full sun or partial shade and moist, well-drained soil. It is also drought and wind tolerant. 

The Mock Orange is a great design feature as a garden foundation plant, hedge, or privacy screen.

25. Wax Myrtle

Wax Myrtle
Image: North Carolina Plant Toolbox Extension Gardener
Scientific NameMyrica cerifera
Common NameBayberry, Candleberry, Dwarf Bayberry, Dwarf Wax-myrtle, Eastern Bayberry, Southern Bayberry, Southern Waxmyrtle, Southern Wax Myrtle, Tallow Shrub, Waxmyrtle, Wax Myrtle
ShadeDappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
Growth RateRapid
Hardiness Zone7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
Unique CharacteristicAromatic glands on the surface of its leaves

The Wax Myrtle is a fast-growing evergreen bush that is known for its light green leaves that emit a spicy aromatic odor, and yellow resin dots on its surface.

This shrub can tolerate strong winds, water-clogged soils, and even salt spray. 

They also produce small globose blue berries surrounded by an aromatic waxy substance. 

The Wax Myrtle is best used as a barrier, hedge, privacy screen, or accent tree in landscaping. 


Did we miss any fast-growing evergreen trees and shrubs? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!

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