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Fast Fillers for Instant Impact

In a world where instant gratification is the status quo, people often expect plants to grow at lightning speed. If this sounds like you, be ready to hit the ground running next spring with top-performing Proven Winners that have instant impact when planted as screens, hedges, groundcovers and hanging baskets.

Contributors: Susan Martin

Fast growing plants have a unique way of boosting the confidence of the people who grow them. They make landscapers look smart for choosing hardy plants, and they make gardeners feel like they might just have a green thumb after all. Vigorous plants are economical too. They quickly fill in bare spaces with their beautiful foliage or colorful blooms and create the look of an established garden in just a few seasons. Select a few from the list below to get the look you want in a hurry and you’ll look like a pro.


Supertunia® Vista Petunia
There’s no faster growing petunia than those in the Supertunia® Vista series which includes Vista Bubblegum®, Vista Silverberry and Vista Fuchsia Improved. These extra vigorous varieties are bred to flower earlier, grow taller and wider, and be more vigorous than any other Supertunia®. A single plant can spread or trail up to three feet, and they make enormous hanging baskets like this one called Above & Beyond. Their vivid blooms create a solid blanket of color from spring into fall with no deadheading required.
Quicksilver Artemesia
One of the best new fast growing annuals for low water landscapes and containers is Quicksilver Artemesia. This is a low growing, wide spreading variety that forms a beautiful carpet of silvery white, lacy foliage when grown as a low maintenance groundcover in full sun. It also plays well with other drought tolerant plants in hanging baskets and combination containers. Its neutral tone makes it easy to match with any other colors you choose.
Señorita Cleome
Cleomes grown from seed can certainly have their issues. We’ve cleaned up all of that with our Señorita and Pequeña lines which are thornless, seedless, odorless, non-sticky, and have minimal disease issues. These are the most low-maintenance, fast growing cleomes you’ll find. They are especially heat, humidity and drought tolerant and bloom from spring through fall without the need for deadheading. What more could you ask for in a cleome?
 Graceful Grasses® Vertigo® Pennisetum purpureum
If you need a quick screen for obscuring the view onto patios, into first floor windows or around eyesores, plant Vertigo®. This fast growing, wide-leafed purple fountain grass will easily reach heights of 4-6 feet. The living screen shown here was planted in spring to create a temporary division between the driveway area and the backyard of this suburban home. Vertigo creates an architectural highlight in landscapes and very large containers.
 Sweet Caroline Ipomoea
More refined than the original sweet potato vines, Sweet Caroline Ipomoeas retain their vigorous growth rate but have better branching and are bred to reduce the formation of potatoes in their roots, which leaves more energy for the beautiful foliage. Sweet Caroline Ipomoea is available in these colors Raven, Red and Light Green. Additional subseries include Sweet Caroline Sweetheart and Sweet Caroline Bewitched.
 Lemon Coral Sedum mexicanum
This tough as nails, zone 7 hardy sedum grows vigorously to create a low maintenance, drought tolerant groundcover or succulent spiller in combination containers. It is incredibly versatile, thriving in full sun or part shade and any well-drained soil. For those who love the look of succulents but only have morning sun, Lemon Coral is a great solution. It is a workhorse in the garden.
 Superbena® Verbena
If you’ve had trouble with verbenas in the past, try Superbena®. They are incredibly vigorous, heat tolerant, disease resistant, and bloom from spring to frost without having to be deadheaded. While always great in containers, they are also fantastic in landscape beds where they can tolerate dry soils and lower fertility. An application of slow release fertilizer or amending the soil with compost is enough to keep them happy all season long.


 Rainbow Rhythm® Daylilies
At the top of the list of “easiest perennials to grow” are daylilies, and we have a whole rainbow of them. From the everblooming ‘Going Bananas’ to the astounding 9” flowered ‘Ruby Spider’, there’s a daylily to fit every design need. Modern daylilies are very low maintenance, long blooming plants that multiply quickly to fill the space and are easy to divide and transplant. They are the perfect choice for any gardener, new or experienced.
 ‘Tuscan Sun’ Heliopsis
Desirable for its native roots and long lasting flower power, ‘Tuscan Sun’ false sunflower is very easy to grow and multiplies quickly. This variety has good resistance to powdery mildew, is shorter than many Heliopsis, and reblooms soon after being cut back. It is highly recommended as a replacement for Rudbeckia in disease-prone climates since it fills the same niche and gives a similar look from midsummer into fall.
 Summerific® Hibiscus
For a plant that literally grows right before your eyes—up to an inch a day in summer—try Summerific® Hibiscus, commonly known as rose mallow. Give them plenty of water and ample sunshine and they’ll top out at 4-5’ by midsummer, then put on one of the most fabulous flower shows of the season. Dinner plate-sized flowers bloom up and down the stems of these large, shrub-like plants from midsummer into fall. They’ll be the highlight of the garden when many other plants are wrapping it up for the season.
 Prairie Winds® Perennial Grasses
Durable ornamental grasses are an easy choice for almost any sunny spot, tolerating wind, heat and poor soils with ease. The Prairie Winds® collection includes a variety of perennial grasses in a range of sizes and colors. Though they won’t grow quite as fast as the annual Pennisetum Vertigo® shown above, these hardy grasses are in it for the long haul, and are long-lived once established in the landscape.


 InSpired Buddleia
This trio of Pink, Violet and White butterfly bushes is incredibly popular because of their seedless plumes, making them non-invasive in the landscape. They are also fast growers and fill tons of space (up to 8 feet tall and wide) in a short amount of time. They flower continuously all summer long and are a magnet for monarchs and other butterflies. Buddleias are also deer resistant. They prefer full sun, require well-drained soil, and are best planted early in the season to ensure good overwintering success.
 Tuff Stuff Hydrangea serrata
Especially if you garden in an area that is prone to late spring frosts, mountain hydrangeas are an ideal choice. They are known and grown for their greater bud and stem hardiness as well as their reblooming capabilities. They flower reliably every year on both old and new wood from early summer to frost. Like Hydrangea macrophylla, Mountain hydrangeas are one of the fastest growing species in cultivation. This series includes the original Tuff Stuff, Tiny Tuff Stuff, and the new Tuff Stuff Red
A beautiful choice for fast growing foundation shrubs are the especially floriferous Sonic Bloom® Weigelas including Pearl, Pink and Red. Growing 4-5’ tall and wide, these unique varieties bloom first in spring, then continuously rebloom in waves from midsummer to frost. Their bright green foliage provides a lush backdrop in the rear of the border or up against a foundation. Deer typically don’t bother with Weigela, but hummingbirds and butterflies enjoy their trumpet-shaped flowers.


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