How Do I Choose the Best Fast-Growing Evergreens?

Jen Ainoa

The best fast-growing evergreens are those that are best suited to the given climate, soil type, and personal preferences of the gardener. Evergreens are plants or trees that do not change color or drop leaves in autumn. Many evergreens are conifers that produce needles and cones, but there are some broad leaf evergreens, too. This expands the possible choices. Perusing the options in plant catalogs or local garden centers can offer insight regarding which plants are best suited to an area as well as the array of fast-growing evergreens available.

Only a few species of evergreen trees are particularly fast-growing.
Only a few species of evergreen trees are particularly fast-growing.

Some common species of coniferous evergreens found in landscaping include juniper, fir, pine, and spruce. Of these, only some species of pine are particularly fast-growing, and they have specific soil and climate requirements, so they don't grow well everywhere. Some pine species also have rather thin canopies and do not provide much cover when privacy is the goal.

Fast-growing evergreens are sometimes used to hide unsightly objects, but if the soil is too rocky, sandy, or full of clay, some evergreens may fail to thrive. In such cases, it may be necessary to amend the soil before planting. The amount of sunlight available is also an important factor. Most fast-growing evergreens need full sunlight, so it is important to know the amount of sunlight an area receives before choosing a plant for that spot.

Once the soil, sunlight, and climate conditions of an area have been established, personal preferences should also be considered. The cost of plants, particularly evergreens, can be high, and this can influence decisions. Shopping around for sales and special offers can help keep costs within budget. Often, plants purchased late in the season, such as the end of fall, can be obtained for a substantially lower price.

Plant color and form is also something to consider. Evergreens range from bright green to silvery blue, depending on the species. If the plant is to blend in or stand out against a background, color choice will be something to consider. The habit or growth pattern of a particular species of evergreen is also very important to know before planting. Some evergreens tend to spread out like a ground cover but not grow tall like trees. Other evergreens grow tall and straight like columns but do not make a wide umbrella-like canopy. Reading about a particular plant to know how it grows will be very helpful in matching the best fast-growing evergreen to a given location.

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