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Choosing the right shrubs and bushes is key for both looks and function when designing your landscape. These plants are a great option because they offer a backdrop that draws in pollinators, provides privacy, reduces noise, and adds beauty and color from spring through fall.

Here are 15 quick-growing shrubs and bushes that provide the ultimate privacy in your backyard.

Photinia

Photinia at the end of March.
Image Credit: Thomon, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The ‘Red Robin’ variety is very popular for privacy due to its bright red new leaves that turn green as they mature. Photinia can grow up to 12 inches per year and reach heights of 10-15 feet when fully matured. It thrives in full sun and requires regular pruning to maintain its dense foliage.

Arborvitae

Decorative evergreen trees, arborvitae and junipers and boxwood in the landscape design.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Several varieties of arborvitae are popular for screens. They can grow 3-5 feet yearly and reach 30-50 feet when mature. Their dense, lush green foliage is low-maintenance and does well in many soil types and conditions. Arborvitae is also easy to maintain and upkeep in the garden.

Viburnum

Viburnum × burkwoodii in Hilltop Garden at RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Essex, England
Image Credit: Acabashi, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Many viburnum species are fast growers, adding up to several feet of new growth each year. They offer not only privacy but also aromatic flowers and sometimes attractive berries. Heights and spreads can vary, ranging from 8 to 20 feet, depending on how pruned.

Lilac

Lilac
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Some varieties of common lilac grow quickly and reach a fully mature height of at least 10-12 feet with a spread of about 6 feet. Their stunning blooms come in the spring and thrive in full sun with well-draining soils. They are a great privacy shrub that adds color and fragrance to the garden.

Wax Myrtle

Wax Myrtle Found in Collier-Seminole State Park, Florida
Image Credit: Homer Edward Price, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

This native shrub can grow 3-5 feet per year, reaching 15-20 feet. Its foliage releases a pleasant scent when crushed, and its dense form makes it an excellent choice for a privacy screen. With a tolerance for heat and salt, it is especially hardy as a screen in coastal areas.

Privet

A close up of White flowers of a common privet (Ligustrum vulgare) hedge.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Commonly used for formal and informal hedges, privet can grow 1-2 feet per year, with some varieties growing even faster. It can reach up to 12-15 feet but can be trimmed to any desired height. Privets are hardy plants that can be grown in a wide range of soil and light conditions.

Holly

American Holly (Ilex opaca) at Brinka Cross Gardens.
Image Credit: Chris Light, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Many types of holly are popular for privacy screens as many are relatively fast-growing and reach heights of 15-25 feet. Their dense, dark green foliage and red berries in winter provide year-round interest. May holly varieties also produce red berries, adding to the unique appearance of the garden.

Forsythia

Bright yellow Forsythia bush flowers in the garden in spring season close up.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Before the leaves appear, forsythia bushes are covered in bright yellow blooms early in the spring. These plants can grow up to 2-4 feet per year, reaching heights of 8-10 feet. They can be planted in a row for a colorful privacy fence offering seasonal interest and a splash of color.

Hydrangea

hydrangeas
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Fast-growing varieties like the ‘Annabelle’ can provide quick coverage. While individual plants range in size from 3 to 10 feet in height and spread, they can be planted together to form a lush, flowering hedge. Their unique blooms also add an interesting focal point to the landscape.

Juniper

Juniper procumbens, 'Nana', Juniper, ..ressaceae, University of Georgia
Image Credit: Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Fast-growing varieties of juniper are ideal for privacy screens due to their vertical growth, reaching heights of 15-20 feet in as little as 3-5 years at times. They are extremely hardy and require little maintenance while being drought-tolerant and evergreen in most environments.

Weigela

Weigela
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

This shrub can grow 1-2 feet per year, with some varieties quickly reaching up to 6 feet tall. Its pink to red flowers in spring and early summer attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The shrub is lush and dense and makes a stunning hedge plant.

Silver Sheen Pittosporum

Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Silver Sheen' hedge
Image Credit: Nadiatalent, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

This shrub is known for its attractive, silvery-green foliage that shimmers in the light. It grows quickly, up to 2-3 feet per year, and can reach about 10-15 feet. It forms a dense, columnar shape perfect for narrow privacy screens and hedges in smaller spaces.

Mock Orange

mock orange
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Known for its rapid growth and lush foliage, mock orange can grow up to 2 feet per year, reaching heights of 10-12 feet. It features fragrant white flowers in late spring or early summer that turn any backyard into an oasis. They thrive in sun and nutrient-rich soils.

Orange Jessamine

Murraya paniculata. Common name: Orange Jasmine. Mock Orange.
Image Credit: Mokkie, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

This unique garden plant is a fast-growing evergreen shrub that averages 1-2 feet annually. They produce white, fragrantly sweet flowers that resemble orange blossoms, hence the nickname “Orange Jessamine.” They can grow up to 10-12 feet tall and are perfect for a dense privacy hedge.

Cherry Laurel

Prunus laurocerasus Otto Luyken shrub in bloom.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

With its glossy green leaves and rapid growth rate of up to 2 feet per year, cherry laurel can quickly create a dense screen. It can grow up to 15-20 feet tall but can be pruned to desired heights and shapes. These plants are hardy and perform well in various light and soil conditions, too.

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Tall red flowers of Monard bee balm in the summer garden
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

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Herb harvest at home while cooking. Woman picking fresh basil leaf from growing herbs plants in hydroponic kratky jars system. Edible plant leaves. Basil, mint, thyme.
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cinnamon on houseplant
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