Lush, full landscapes don’t happen overnight. For many gardeners, especially those seeking shade or privacy from their landscape plants, frustration sets in after they plant a shrub or tree and it just seems to sit there without growing at all. Perennials, including lots of shrubs and trees, often follow the “sleep, creep and leap” rule of thumb for growth — they “sleep” the first year (no new above-ground growth), “creep” the next year (very little growth observed) and “leap” the third year (noticeable, measurable growth). Although plant growth seems to be slow as molasses sometimes, what’s happening below ground is significant — the root systems are becoming established so they can support and nourish growing plants.
The Problem: What if you’re among the scores of impatient gardeners who don’t want to wait three years before you see any significant growth on your shrubs and trees while the roots are the only part growing? And then – bringing more disappointment – you watch your plants continue to grow slowly even after the third year because you’ve planted a tree or shrub that is categorized as a slow-growing plant?
The Solution: The answer to how you can get ahead of the growth curve is by planting trees and shrubs that by nature (or breeding) are classified as fast-growing plants.
Adding color to your landscape with these perennial shrubs will bring your entire yard to life!
- Knock Out® Rose (Rosa x). This award-winning rose is not only fast-growing, but it’s also exceptionally easy to grow. Defying the susceptibility of other types of roses to disease, Knock Out Roses have superior disease resistance. And you can forget about the intensive pruning regimen that other roses require — Knock Out Roses continue their profuse blooming all season long without needing to be deadheaded
- Butterfly bush (Buddleia spp.). Plant a butterfly bush, such as ‘Black Knight’ (dark purple flowers) or ‘Miss Molly’ (reddish-pink flowers) and get ready for the show. Hummingbirds and butterflies cannot resist these plants. You’ll be amazed at how fast these shrubs grow, and you’ll be tickled pink (or purple) with the profusion of flower clusters they produce all season long!
- Forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia). Sometimes called “yellow bells” because of its nodding, bell-shaped flowers, Forsythia is a must-have spring-blooming plant. And Lynwood Gold is the gold standard among forsythias. One of the earliest shrubs to flower in springtime, it’s also one of the lowest-maintenance plants you can grow. With a very fast growth rate, it’s also drought-tolerant — another plus!
- Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera). This flowering tree is for large landscapes because it can easily exceed heights of 50 feet. Its rapid growth makes it a super choice for a deciduous shade tree; in summer, the broad tulip-shaped leaves shade your home, and in winter, the leafless branches allow the sun to warm your home. As a bonus, mature trees are covered with yellow and orange tulip-shaped flowers in springtime!
- Cleveland Pear (Pyrus calleryana ‘Cleveland Select’). An improvement over the weak-structured Bradford Pear tree, Cleveland Pear explodes in a flurry of white every spring to awaken your landscape from its winter dormancy.