20 Fast Growing Evergreen Shrubs For Screening And Privacy

Evergreen shrubs are an ideal addition to your outdoor space, offering year-round color and providing an attractive backdrop to colorful annuals and perennial flowering plants and shrubs. The shrubs can provide a dense privacy screen all year long. Privacy hedges also serve as windbreaks, reduce street noise and block unwanted views.Shrubs are also habitats for wildlife and can add decorative appeal with flowers, fruits and fall color. In this article, find the best and most beautiful shrubs that are best suited to the growing conditions in your garden, and that will grow to the required height and act as screen for privacy.

Baja Fairy Duster

Baja Fairy Duster is a medium sized shrub that grows to 5 feet high and 5 feet wide. Medium green, twice divided leaves are one inch long and give this native of Baja California its tropical appearance. Scarlet red to red-orange, tufted flowers appear nearly year-round. Flowering is most prevalent from November to March with intermittent blooming during the summer. The long red stamens of these flowers resemble the tufted head of a dusting brush. Baja Fairy Duster makes a beautiful addition to any xeric landscape where year-round color and low maintenance are desired.

Lucky Bamboo

Lucky bamboo is the quintessential privacy plant. When planted in a conducive area that can promote growth, the plant is capable of reaching a height of up to 8 feet tall and can grow in width by up to 2 feet. It’s easy to grow, it spreads like weeds, and it enhances the look of your outdoor space. This plant comes in many varieties and each one has different growth habits. Some are slow to grow; others will take over your yard in no time at all so choose wisely. The right bamboo variety adds height and lushness to the outdoor space, which makes it perfect for contemporary landscapes.

Also Read: Different Types of Fern Plants For Landscaping

Hope Bush

Hop Bush (also known as Hopseed Bush) is a drought-tolerant shrub with an upright, branching form. It reaches a height of 12 feet with a 10 foot spread. Its willow-like leaves are 4 inches long. The foliage is a bronzy-green color that turns a reddish shade in the winter months. Small clusters of yellowish-green flowers bloom in the spring and are followed by winged seed pods. This shrub does best in soil with good drainage. It has an upright growth habit that requires plenty of sunlight to reach its full height.


With arborvitae, you may get a short, 12-inch-tall shrub or a 50-foot-tall tree. Their great variety in height lends to their many different uses around the landscape. Arborvitaes are most easily recognized by their leaf shape, although this feature varies slightly depending on the cultivar. Arborvitaes are commonly used as hedges or screens, although a few specimens make good accent plants in beds or borders. Arbovitaes require little care, but avoid planting it where it is exposed to road salt or salt spray.

Leyland Cypress

Evergreen trees can be important feature in a home garden, providing green color and shade year-round. It has an oval-to-pyramidal shape, with graceful branches that tend to arch slightly and are covered in flattened arrays of soft, gray-green pointed needles. The tree is fast-growing, adding 2 or 3 feet to its height each year until it’s mature, when it can be 60 to 70 feet tall with a 10- to 20-foot spread. It can be a useful large specimen or works well as part of a screen planting, hedge or windbreak.


Viburnums belong to a very large group of deciduous, evergreen and semi-evergreen shrubs often grown as specimen plants, privacy screens and hedges. Viburnums generally produce dense, foliage-covered branches and clusters of white flowers in late spring, followed by small red or purple fruits attractive to birds. Two of the best choices are the wayfaring tree viburnum (V. lantana) and blackhaw viburnum (V. prunifolium). Both species are fast growers that reach about 15 feet, can develop colorful foliage in fall and are exceptionally tough and tolerant of most soil types and environments. 

Also Read: Difference Types of Hibiscus Flowers


Oleanders (Nerium oleander) are broadleaf evergreen shrubs that grow in an upright, rounded form. They reach a mature height of about 8 feet and spread to about 5 feet, making them a good choice for a privacy hedge. Oleander bushes are densely covered with glossy green leaves and develop fragrant white, pink or red flowers in summer. When Planted correctly, oleander plants can thrive in locations other plants cannot. This durable shrub can also be useful for accents, beach plantings and urban landscapes.


Camellias not only produce attractive flowers but are also ideal for evergreen yard screens. Small to medium-sized trees growing between 10 to 20 feet in height, they may also be pruned into hedges. Choosing the right planting spot is the key to successfully using these low-maintenance shrubs in your landscape design. Space it plants at least five feet away from other plants to allow enough space for mature plants to have good air circulation while also preventing the plant from having to compete too much for water while becoming established.


Holly is a shrub with bluish-green leaves that grows up to 15 feet tall and 10 feet wide. Holly performs best in partial shade, although most types tolerate full sunlight. The plant requires well-drained soil and prefers slightly acidic soil with a pH between 5.0 and 6.0. As a compact shrub holly makes an ideal foundation plant close to the home, and taller varieties can provide some shade and privacy. The prickly leaves of the plant make them naturally deer-resistant, but the colorful red berries provide food to smaller wildlife during the winter.

Also Read: Plant Varieties that Produce Most Oxygen

Skip Laurel

Skip laurel is a type of evergreen shrub that works great as a hedge or as a natural screen. This plant could grow to about 18 feet or so although it’s easy to trim. Skip laurel is known for its extremely dense, thick foliage. It’s a hardy plant that thrives in a hot, dry or cold climate. This plant could also tolerate dry or nutrient-deficient soils. Skip laurel grows to two feet each year so trim this plant regularly to keep its foliage under control. This plant is as tough as they come so you can either prune ruthlessly or gently, skip laurel will thrive regardless. This is the kind of privacy plant that’s thick enough to hide an ugly view. However, it’s mostly used to section off certain parts of the yard.


Common boxwood inspires more admiration than awe. Whether grown as a small tree around 20 feet tall or trimmed severely into hedges, boxwood is generally given a secondary role in the garden. Its small leaves and tolerance of shearing allow you to carve it into curious shapes, but the plants are most commonly lined up in hedges like little, trained soldiers or well-behaved children on a school outing.

When placing a boxwood shrub in its planting hole, leave the top 1/8 of the root ball above the soil level, fill in with soil and water the planting site thoroughly. If the shrub is wrapped in burlap, then it can be planted anytime during spring through early summer. If it’s in a container, then plant it during the period from spring to early fall. In order to create a boxwood hedge, space dwarf cultivars about 30 to 36 inches apart, plants for a low hedge 15 to 18 inches apart and plants for a tall hedge about 24 inches apart. 

Also Read: Types of Cypress For Landscaping


Plants in the genus Ligustrum, commonly called privets are, semi-evergreen shrubs, with 2 1/2-inch long, dark green leaves. Their flowers bloom in late spring and early summer; their fragrance is so strong that many consider it unpleasant. Privets require little maintenance and will grow in part shade to full sun in most soils except those that are soggy. Privets are best planted 2 feet apart for low, formal hedges and 4 feet or more for informal hedges or medium to tall formal hedges. Not all species of privet are suitable for hedges because of their invasive spreading habits. Do not plant rapidly growing privets next to home foundations. The best varieties of Privets for privacy screening include: California private, Chinese and Japanese Privets.

English laurel

English laurel is a fast-growing shrub that can reach heights of 12 to 30 feet. It belongs to the same family as flowering cherry, peach and apricot trees. Its glossy foliage is dark green and its leaves average 3 to 7 inches long. English laurel blooms with spikes of scented white flowers in spring and early summer. The shrub has dense branches and is well-suited for use as a hedge or natural privacy screen.

Also Read: Different Types of Ornamental Grasses For Landscaping

Butterfly Bush

Butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii) is an attractive shrub with grayish-green foliage and small clusters of fragrant flowers in colors such as purple, lilac, yellow, red, blue or pink, depending on the variety.Butterfly bush is easy to reproduce with softwood cuttings, hardwood cuttings or simple layering.

Butterfly bushes tolerate close planting to form a hedge. They grow between 6 and 10 feet tall and wide, depending on the cultivar, and should be spaced 5 to 10 feet apart. Young plants benefit from soil tilled to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, with 2- to 4-inch layer of compost mixed in before planting. Place young plants so the top of their container soil is level with the surrounding soil, and water thoroughly after planting.


Hydrangeas produce large, showy blooms that attract butterflies and provide an old-fashioned look to your garden. These typically hardy ornamental shrubs handle most soil types and conditions, and some species can even tolerate salt and fog, making them an ideal choice for coastal gardens. Most hydrangeas grow best in partially shaded locations; however, several species of hydrangeas thrive in full sun.

“Little Gem” magnolia

Depending upon conditions, this dwarf tree may grow up to 35 feet, although a more typical size of a mature tree is a height of 15 feet and a spread of 7 to 10 feet. “Little Gem’s” leaves are a leathery dark green on top with rust-colored, hairy undersides. The large, cream to white, cup-shaped flowers are showy and fragrant and give way to cone clusters from late summer to early fall that release small red-coated seeds. Although the tree itself doesn’t need much maintenance, dropped flowers, cones and leaves can be messy. Also known as the dwarf Southern magnolia, this tree works well for smaller yards and in lawns, near decks and patios, in planters or as a privacy screen or hedge.

Yellow Bird of Paradise

Yellow bird of paradise is an upright, fast growing evergreen shrub. Clusters of bright yellow flowers with long red stamens are produced in the summer. Its natural growth habit is irregular and open, but pruning will encourage dense growth. This long-lived and durable shrub is quite tolerant of cold, heat and drought, and performs best in full sun exposures. Grows to 10 feet tall by 8 feet wide.

Also Read: Large Shrubs For Landscaping Your Yard

Mexican Bird of Paradise

Mexican Bird of Paradise is an evergreen shrub with lush, ferny compound leaves provide a dark green backdrop for the bright yellow flower spikes that appear on the branch tips during the warm season. These flowers are followed by woody pods, which “explode” as they mature, adding a little bit of natural music the outdoor environment. This plant grows fairly rapidly 10-15 feet tall and spreads to 15 feet wide. The Mexican bird of paradise can be grown as a small tree or pruned to create hedge or privacy screen.

Twisted Myrtle

Twisted Myrtle is an irregular fast-growing evergreen shrub that grows to heights of nine to twelve feet with dark green, glossy leaves that have a slight sharp point on the tip and are clustered around the branches. The foliage produces an aromatic scent when the plant is touched. Its growth habit is interesting in appearance, with a twisted branching pattern. The plant has tan bark, and when mature, it peels and becomes papery. In spring through summer, twisted myrtle produces fragrant, white, star-shaped blossoms in small clusters on its branches, followed by bluish-black fruit. The bitter fruit can be eaten and the flowers attract birds, butterflies, and bees. You can use it as a focal point, accent, screen, background planting, barrier, container, or informal hedge.

Orange Jubilee

Orange Jubilee is an upright shrub that can grow up to 12 feet tall and 8 feet across if not frozen back for a couple of winters. The rich green, lush looking foliage gives this hybrid shrub a subtropical appearance. The compound leaves are about 6 inches long by 4 inches wide and are divided into 9 to 11 leaflets. Clusters of orange-red, bell-shaped flowers appear from spring to fall.Orange Jubilee is moderately drought tolerant, surviving on minimal supplemental water during the summer. This shrub works well for smaller yards and in lawns, near decks and patios, in planters or as a privacy screen or hedge.

Further References

  1. Shrubs for Fencing: https://homeguides.sfgate.com/landscaping-shrubs-fencing-49386.html
  2. Fast growing shrubs: https://homeguides.sfgate.com/landscaping-shrubs-fencing-49386.html
  3. Shrubs for Privacy: https://www.thespruce.com/fast-growing-shrubs-for-privacy-hedges-specimens-4767365
  4. Flowering Shrubs: https://www.treehugger.com/shrubs-for-privacy-5116150
  5. Evergreen Shrubs: https://www.gardendesign.com/shrubs/evergreen.html