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36 Fast-Growing Shrubs and Bushes for Ultimate Privacy in Your Yard

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Look, we’ve all been there, haven’t we? There you are, enjoying a sunny Sunday afternoon on your back deck when suddenly you lock eyes with your neighbor. Your shirtless neighbor.

Mowing his lawn. Again. Yes, the same neighbor who thinks it’s absolutely acceptable to wear Bermuda shorts on any given day.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I like my privacy, and I bet you do too. Here’s where fast-growing shrubs and bushes come to our rescue.

Not only do they offer a quick, eco-friendly solution to your nosy neighbor problem, but they also make your garden look like it was plucked straight out of a landscape magazine. Let’s dig in!

1. Arborvitae:

The ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae truly lives up to its name. A hybrid variety that grows quickly, this evergreen is a living wall builder’s dream. It’s sturdy, wind-resistant, and can grow up to 3 feet per year.

Plus, its rich green foliage stays vibrant throughout the year, ensuring your backyard stays as private in December as it is in July.

There are more breeds of Arborvitae, such as – North pole arborvitae and Emerald green arborvitae. The interesting fact is nearly all the arborvitae breeds will serve your privacy purpose flawlessly.

2. Bamboo:

Bamboo, the speed demon of the plant kingdom, can grow up to a foot a day. This fast growth can provide a lush, dense screen in no time.

However, careful management is needed as it can spread rapidly and colonize other parts of your garden. Be sure to choose a clumping variety over a running one to prevent it from becoming a garden crasher.

3. Holly:

Holly is a festive, fast-growing plant that gives you a privacy screen and a bit of Christmas cheer! The dense, prickly leaves make it hard for prying eyes (and hands) to get through, and the bright red berries add a splash of color to your winter landscape.

Besides, there are many types of Holly shrubs, such as – Nellie Stevens Holly, with its glossy leaves and abundant red berries, this fast-grower is privacy with a dash of holiday cheer!

Sky Pencil Holly, this is a fantastic option if you’re short on space. It grows tall and slim – think supermodel of the shrub world! Castle Wall Holly, not just for Christmas, this holly provides year-round dense coverage and adds a festive touch with its glossy leaves and blue berries.

4. Leyland Cypress:

This giant hybrid can grow up to 60 feet tall, with an impressive annual growth of 3 to 4 feet. Its dense, feathery foliage creates a substantial privacy screen. Just remember to check on its height now and then unless you want a privacy screen for passing airplanes!

5. Privet:

Privet hedges are almost synonymous with privacy. Its rich, glossy leaves grow so thickly that even the most curious onlookers would struggle to see through. It’s a racehorse of a plant, growing so fast that it may occasionally need to be reined in with a good trim.

Another sorts of privet are the Japanese Privet, this dense shrub with its glossy leaves and fragrant white flowers offers a gorgeous, fast-growing barrier.

6. Skip Laurel:

This evergreen shrub provides a thick, green, and glossy privacy screen growing about 2 feet per year. Resilient and robust, Skip Laurel is like your personal bodyguard, steadfastly maintaining your privacy.

7. Murray Cypress:

A relative of the Leyland Cypress, Murray Cypress combines vigorous growth with disease resistance. This hardy evergreen develops a dense canopy, growing about 4 feet per year, making it an excellent choice for a fast, reliable privacy hedge.

8. Boxwood:

Boxwood might not grow as quickly as others on this list, but what it lacks in speed, it makes up for in density. Its small, glossy leaves create a thick hedge, perfect for sculpting. If you fancy trying your hand at topiary or if a maze is on your garden wishlist, boxwood is a fantastic choice.

9. Forsythia:

Forsythia doesn’t believe in maintaining privacy discreetly. When spring comes, it celebrates with a stunning display of bright yellow blooms, creating a spectacle while keeping your garden private. Once the flowers have faded, its dense foliage takes over the privacy duty.

10. Wax Myrtle:

Wax Myrtle is more than just a privacy provider. This hardy shrub brings an added bonus of aromatic leaves, making your secluded garden also smell amazing. It’s like Mother Nature’s version of a privacy screen that doubles as a garden freshener!

11. Spartan Juniper:

With its columnar shape and dense foliage, it provides a solid wall of green, growing up to 2 feet per year.

12. Hybrid Poplar:

These trees grow insanely fast and can provide quick coverage. Just be careful about where you plant them; their strong roots can invade water lines!

13. Eastern Red Cedar:

This hardy evergreen can withstand poor soil conditions and still grow 1 to 2 feet per year, providing a dense screen.

14. Rose of Sharon:

This deciduous shrub, filled with beautiful summer blooms, can grow quite tall and provide a lovely, living privacy fence.

15. Willow Hybrid:

Known as the fastest growing tree in the world, this one can shoot up to 6 feet a year. That’s some serious growth spurt!

16. Thuja ‘Green Giant’:

This evergreen hybrid can grow up to 5 feet per year once established, quickly forming a dense privacy screen.

17. River Birch:

This tree can grow 1.5 to 2 feet per year, and its leaves create a lovely rustling sound in the breeze, adding an auditory dimension to your privacy.

18. Cryptomeria Radicans:

This evergreen grows up to 4 feet per year, creating a dense, pyramidal form that’s perfect for privacy.

19. Photinia:

Offering stunning red new growth, Photinia is a fast-growing shrub that can provide a colorful privacy screen.

20. Weeping Podocarpus:

With a unique cascading habit, this fast-growing evergreen can create a dramatic privacy screen in your landscape.

21. Hornbeam:

This deciduous tree can grow up to 2 feet per year, and its dense branching structure and leaves provide excellent coverage.

22. Mock Orange:

This shrub not only grows quickly to provide a thick screen, but it also offers fragrant flowers that smell like oranges.

23. Crape Myrtle:

Known for its spectacular summer blooms, this fast-growing tree can provide a tall, dense screen when planted in a row.

24. Red Twig Dogwood:

This deciduous shrub grows quickly, offers dense coverage, and provides winter interest with its bright red stems.

25. Osmanthus:

This evergreen shrub grows quickly and offers fragrant blooms. Its spiny leaves deter any attempts to peek through.

26. Purple Leaf Sand Cherry:

This fast-growing shrub provides a dense screen, stunning purple leaves, and fragrant white to pink flowers. It’s a privacy provider and a showstopper!

27. Blackthorn:

This deciduous shrub is fast-growing and creates dense thickets, thanks to its spiny branches. Plus, it rewards you with lovely white blossoms and delicious sloe berries.

28. Lombardy Poplar:

Known for its tall, columnar shape, this tree is a fast-grower and can provide a towering privacy screen in a short time.

29. Portuguese Laurel:

This evergreen shrub grows quickly and forms a dense, dark green screen. Its leaves are smaller than other laurels, giving it a unique, refined look.

30. Griselinia:

Native to New Zealand, this evergreen is known for its rapid growth and bright green, glossy leaves, perfect for a vibrant privacy screen.

31. Pussy Willow:

A fast-growing shrub with distinctive furry catkins in the spring. It can provide a dense screen and a talking point for your garden.

32. Spirea:

This deciduous shrub grows quickly and provides lovely flowers along with its dense foliage. Various species offer different colors, from bright yellows to deep purples.

33. Blackberry:

It grows quickly, provides dense coverage, and rewards you with delicious fruits! Just watch out for the thorns.

34. Elaeagnus:

This fast-growing shrub is known for its silver foliage and fragrant flowers. It’s also remarkably tough, tolerating poor soils and seaside conditions.

35. Cotoneaster:

With its fast growth and dense branching structure, this shrub forms a solid screen. Plus, it offers attractive red berries that can feed birds in winter.

36. Lilac:

Known for its intoxicating fragrance and lovely blooms, this fast-growing shrub can provide a beautiful, scented screen. Just make sure you give it plenty of sunlight!

Tips & Tricks for Fast Growing Privacy:

When it comes to selecting fast-growing shrubs for privacy, remember that bigger isn’t always better. The key is to select the right plant for the right place.

Sun, Soil, and Water:

Just like we have our favorite spots to lounge, plants have their preferred conditions. Some shrubs adore basking in full sun, while others prefer a shady nook.

Similarly, different plants require different soil types and moisture levels. Bamboo, for example, loves water and can thrive in various soil conditions, while boxwood prefers well-draining soil.

Before you bring a new plant home, make sure you understand what it needs to thrive. Don’t forget to accommodate for your local weather conditions too!

Give Them Space:

Each plant comes with an invisible personal bubble, its space requirement for healthy growth. Overcrowding can lead to inadequate air circulation and sunlight, leading to slower growth and even plant diseases.

Make sure you know how wide and tall each shrub can grow and space them accordingly when planting. You wouldn’t want your privet and arborvitae wrestling for room!

Size Check:

It’s easy to underestimate the growth potential of a cute little sapling. Always consider the mature size of the plant before deciding on its location.

Unless you want your garden to resemble a wilderness, a fully-grown Leyland Cypress or bamboo might not be the best choice for a small yard.


Fast-growing plants are like energetic kids; they need guidance to grow in the right direction. Regular pruning helps maintain their shape and encourages dense growth, making your privacy screen thicker.

It also helps keep plants healthy by removing dead or diseased branches. So, get your pruning shears ready for some gardening action!

Neighborly Love:

While you’re enthusiastic about your soon-to-be lush green privacy screen, your neighbors might not share your joy, especially if your plants start encroaching on their property or blocking their sunlight.

Discuss your gardening plans with them beforehand to maintain good relations. Besides, who knows? They might get inspired to create their own green haven!

In the grand scheme of things, gaining privacy doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. With these 26 fast-growing shrubs and bushes, you can create your own secluded haven in no time.

After all, there’s nothing like soaking up the sun in your backyard, free from curious eyes and Bermuda shorts. And, who knows?

With your newfound passion for planting, you might just become that green-thumbed neighbor everyone else is trying to keep up with!

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