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Best fast growing plants for privacy and screening


July 28, 2022


Searles Gardening Team

There are many benefits to using screening plants as a natural barrier for privacy and reducing neigbourhood noise. They provide shade and a softened visual wall for privacy. Choose from one of these fast growing popular tried and proven screening plants.

Syzygium – Lilly pilly

Lilly pillys are a popular fast growing shrub growing up to 5 metres. In spring the shrub is decorated with white fluffy pom pom flowers followed by small pink edible berries. Ideal for most climatic conditions and are very hardy. Easily pruned into desired shape.


Syzygium ‘Big Red’ is a medium size shrub popular for its large glossy leaves and dark crimson new growth.

Syzygium 'Resilience'. Fast growing with tightly compact pale green foliage and reddish bronze new growth. Psyllid resistant.

Best fast growing plants for privacy and screening - syzygium


Best fast growing plants for privacy and screening - pittosporum

Pittosporum tenuifolims

Pittosporum tenuifolims have a diverse range with dense tight leaves varying in leaf shape and colour. You will find one to suit a classical style hedge or for a more informal natural habit. Popular varieties are ‘Silver Sheen’, Ivory Sheen’ and ‘James Stirling’. All are fast growing, hardy and grow happily in a sun to part shade position. They are suitable for coastal conditions.

Photinia 'Red Robin'

If you are looking for an attractive, vigorously growing shrub with lush foliage, Photinia is worth a look. Fiery red foliage on new growth and dainty white flowers in spring are one of their best features, making them popular for screening. They can grow up to 5 metres in a full sun position and can tolerate frost.

Best fast growing plants for privacy and screening - Photinia Red Robin


Best fast growing plants for privacy and screening - Viburnum


Another shrub loved for its screening and hedging capabilities and pretty little white flowers forming in late winter into early spring. Blue/black berries follow flowering for many varieties of Viburnum. There are different varieties of leaf size to suit your look. Small leaf, Viburnum tinus are used for informal hedges. The larger leaf variety, Viburnum odoratissimum “Sweet viburnum” is favoured for its evergreen dense glossy foliage. Viburnums are not overly fussy on soil type, although soil enriched with well composted manures and sunny to part shade position will help keep them happy and healthy. Keep them from drying out too much and fertilise with Searles Garden & Vegetable Plant Food twice a year.

Hardenbergia – Climber

This evergreen climber will grow up to 6 metres high in sunny to semi shade positions. Hardenbergia are popular for their white, pink or purple pea-like flowers overhanging the foliage. Hardenbergia are suitable to grow in every climatic zone in Australia and don’t mind a hard prune after flowering. A free and easy care variety with snow white flowers is ‘Edna Walling Snow White’. It will work its magic along a wall or pergola fence in no time giving you lush coverage.

Best fast growing plants for privacy and screening - Hardenbergia


Best fast growing plants for privacy and screening - Bougainvillea


Bougainvilleas are fast growing, tuff as nails and mold to any shape to fit your garden requirements. Even more so, their flamboyant bracts of fluorescent colour make them a hedge and screening shrub that demands head turning. Pick from a wide variety of small 'Bambino Bougainvillea' or standard Bougainvilleas. They are available in a dazzling array of colour choices, growing habits and heights. Hardy and favours dry conditions.


Quick growing and hardy, popularly used as a screening plant for its no-fuss requirements. Be careful to pick clumping bamboo varieties, which clump and don’t send out underground shoots and spread to out-of-control proportions. Clumping Bamboo ‘Gracilis’ is a reliable fast growing screening bamboo used for limited house and garden spaces. ‘Goldstripe’ is one of the narrowest and upright screening bamboos, ideal for quick screening in narrow spaces.

Climbing Roses

Climbing roses are popular due to their versatility to suit many garden styles, from classical, formal to rambling cottage. Many grow quickly with dense foliage, quickly trailing along walls and pergolas for cover. Choose from floribunda and hybrid tea varieties. Keep in mind they do lose some leaves in winter.


This national Australian favourite is instantly recognized and loved by both humans and wildlife for its flamboyant, nectar filled bottlebrush flowers. They grow up to 10 metres in most Australian soils and are commonly chosen for their hardiness.  

Best fast growing plants for privacy and screening - Clumping bamboo


Best fast growing plants for privacy and screening - Star Jasmine

Jasmines – Climber

Many varieties of jasmines are ideal to cover an unsightly wall or over a pergola or trellis in a short period of time. Give them strong support base for fast growth. Jasmines do well in full sun to part shade positions in most climates of Australia. Water well and fertilise regularly with Searles Flourish for abundant flower production.


Trachelospermum jasminoides – Star Jasmine, Chinese Star Jasmine

This climber is not a true jasmine, but displays many characteristics of one, such as pretty white flowers on climbing evergreen foliage. White star like flowers appear on Trachelospermum jasminoides from early spring.

Jasminum polyanthum

A true jasmine, also known as pink and white jasmine. Easy to distinguish by its reddish pink flower buds appearing in abundance from late winter to early spring. It’s five petal star shape white flowers are highly fragranced with a sweet scent. Support its rapid growth on a trellis or arbour.

Other screening plants

- Backhousia myrtifolia - grey myrtle. Hardy native shrub loaded with cream flowers and cinnamon scented leaves.

- Gordonia - fried egg plant. Easy to grow. Adorned with big white egg like flowers in autumn and winter. Glossy dark leaves.

- Waterhousea floribunda - weeping lilly pilly. Ideal for frost-free gardens. Tall weepy habit.