fastest growing plant (for porch screening) : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

this may be a strange question...but what plant,preferablly a tree,is the fastest growing and hardiest? I have a small garden/porch with a fence that just isnt high enough and i just wanted to plant something bushy in front of it for a little more privacy instead of putting up a whole new fence...and i want it to happen quickly. is this asking too much? I know beans are pretty fast...but im not sure id like a vine.

thanks for your info.

-- D of CA (, September 14, 2001


Response to fastest growing plant

Mimosa Tree is very fast growing.It has pink powderpuff blooms which attract hummingbirds. Bettie

-- Bettie Ferguson (, September 14, 2001.

Response to fastest growing plant

And a Momosa Tree will shed its seeds like wild fire and have little seedlings all over the place you have to pull up because if you don't in a year you have other trees as tall as you are. I hate those things!!

-- Teresa (, September 14, 2001.

Response to fastest growing plant

If you don't have animals.... oleanders (you know the plants in the middle of every highway in California :) are nice because even if frozen back grow back just as tall the next year. Red Tips are great and I have one in front of my porch to block the view, you can prune them to any shape, and whatever you cut off the top comes back in red (photonias or something like that) crepe myrtles are by far the prettiest and come in tree and bush varieties, also rose of sharon, all which I have great success with, as they mature and loose some of the under limbs, you can have lillies coming up to hide this, day lily is pretty but I am talking about the big spider lily that grows as large around as you let, digging it every couple of years gives you many many more plants. I would go with more of a bush type plant, nothing worse than planting trees then worrying about limbs! Lose one bush of several and you just replace it, lose a tree and your naked again :) Oh! and if it is shady, gardenia's! Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, September 14, 2001.

Oleanders cause skin irritations if touched, the plant is as bad as poison ivy and inhaling the smoke if burning can about kill you.

-- Mitzi Giles (, September 14, 2001.

I agree with Vicki--oleanders are about as maintenance-free as you can get, and the pink ones are very pretty. Once established they are pretty much drought-proof. Obviously, you have to teach your kids not to eat it, and some places in CA I think actually prohibit it near animals (you wouldn't want to use it bordering a neighbor's horse property for example).

I've never heard of any skin irritations caused by them--growing up we used to play hide and seek in the branches.

If you (or your spouse) don't mind the smell a plant that is used as both ground cover and vine is I think "star jasmine" (I think that is the name, it has a very sweet vanilla-y smell). Little white flowers.

-- GT (, September 14, 2001.

My mom's favorite plant in CA was bouginvilla. It climbs and is very pretty. Rose of Sharons are really fast growing. I have 40 or so here and they are trees just after 4 summers (they were sticks), and bloom all spring and summer long. They have hundreds of blooms ready on them still. I have white, pink and purple. They re-seed and make hundreds of little trees each spring too.

-- Cindy in KY (, September 14, 2001.

Well, since you're in California, I have to agree about oleanders. They're highly toxic to people and animals if eaten, hence Vickie's warning, but they are pretty much maintenance-free and grow like weeds in some cases. And they can be pruned into beautiful small trees, and blend well with numerous trees and shrubs.

On the other hand, I have a goll-dang fig tree growing in a semi- shady, unlikely spot, and I pruned it to the ground 2 years ago. It is now about 10 feet tall and is bearing figs like there's no tomorrow. I use figs, but there are so many more than I can use that the fig beetles (who fly around like helicopters and are just about as big) have taken up residence, and the extra fruit falls and makes a mess. Yuck. But if you like the fruit, it's a handsome (if pruned) tree, and pest-free, aside from the little helicopters, and it is also disease-free.

I wouldn't have responded to this, except that I have been so astonished by the growth of that darn fig, and I assume the more suggestions the better.

-- Leslie A. (, September 15, 2001.

Don't plant Bougainvillea againt the house - it will set its shoulders and push the house down.

Oleander is good - never had skin-reaction, although I guess it's possible for people who are sensitive. However, it IS proven deadly if consumed, or if smoke is inhaled (we've had people killed here burning wood whose origin they didn't know in a fireplace).

A trellis one path-width away from the house covered with a climbing vine is good, if you're not cencerned about giving cover to burglars. If you are, then there are trade-offs - put anything (say a climbing rose) against the house, and you can conceal termite infestation (where I live). Tress may be better - give you shade higher, and don't conceal termites or thieves lower down. If so, make your own choice - I'd choose wattle in Australia (a native relative of mimosa - lives fast, dies young), but it creates a lot of pollen - allergies aren't common, but they do exist.

-- Don Armstrong (, September 15, 2001.

Well for an evergreen try lelandii cypress. They'll grow 1-5 ft a year depending on care. Butterfly bush's grow GREAT. I planted 2 last year that were about 8" tall and they are 6 ft now. That was after a complete dieback from a very cold winter here in OK.

-- Stacia n OK (, September 15, 2001.

We've got a hops vine growing up our porch stairway, it gets bigger every year. It's a perennial here in Cent. Wisc. dies back every winter, but each summer (don't know how it does this) grows back larger than the year before, and does this growing pretty early in the season. Not sure how it would do in CA.

-- Rose Marie Wild (, September 15, 2001.

I think I agree with Bette. The Mimosa is a very beautiful fast growing tree. The leaves are almost like ferns and curl up at night. The flowers are the softest pink and are covered with humingbirds. Check em out!!!.....Kirk

-- Kirk Davis (, September 16, 2001.

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