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17 Fastest Growing Plants

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Gardening is enjoyable but the popular crops people plant in their gardens take forever to mature. 

Peppers and tomatoes are notorious for their long growing seasons, and it will be ages before the produce can be ready for harvest. 

While there’s nothing wrong with plants that have a long growing season, sometimes you just want plants that mature faster to fix specific issues in your garden. 

You may have some privacy or landscaping issues that can be solved with fast-maturity tree or shrub varieties. Or perhaps you started gardening late and want plants that can mature before summer’s end. 

Whatever your needs, you will find some speedy vegetation to add height, color, and substance to your garden. 

Let’s dive in. 

1. Morning Glory

Morning Glory with its violet Flowers growing on the beach

Sun requirements: Sunny conditions

Soil needs: Well-drained soils

The Morning Glory is a fast-maturing plant with beautiful vines and vibrant purple, blue, or white flowers. 

Morning glories take just 120 days from seed to flowering, making them the perfect addition to your garden if you are looking to add a pop of color to your landscape. 

The plant was aptly named Morning Glory because the blooms open up in the morning and close in the afternoon.

This vibrant plant has many applications and can be planted on a trellis, grown by the side of your home, or allowed to run over a fence. 

Morning glories are easy to manage and with the proper care, they can reach up to 12 feet in just one season. 

The plant does well in well-draining soils and prefers sunny conditions. Water your morning glories consistently in the first two weeks to encourage rapid growth. 

Pruning isn’t necessary to get the plant to grow quickly but you can use vertical structures like fences and arbors to stimulate shoot growth. 

2. Arugula

Woman harvesting arugula leaves plant growing in the garden

Sun requirements: Partial shade

Soil needs: Well-drained, humus-rich soil

Do you enjoy salads and are looking for appropriate vegetables to grow in your garden? Then, the arugula plant should be one of your top considerations. 

With its slightly peppery flavor, the arugula leaves are a great addition to any salad. The plant also grows very fast, meaning you will not have to wait too long to enjoy the delicious leaves in a salad. 

After sowing the seeds in the ground, the arugula seedlings will emerge after about a week. It will take another three to four weeks for the plant to be ready for harvest. 

Chop the leaves from the stems to make a great salad. You don’t want to wait too long before harvesting the arugula leaves since the earlier they are harvested, the sweeter and more tender they will be. 

3. Radishes

Fresh red radishes with leaves in a basket in the garden

Sun requirements: Full sun

Soil needs: Loam, sandy soil

A favorite for many gardeners, radishes are a great choice if you are looking for a fast-growing vegetable for your garden. 

Radishes are great for salads and pickles and planting a few of them in your garden will ensure you have something snappy to enjoy with your meals. 

They are also a super fun addition to your kid’s garden since the little ones will enjoy uprooting the mature radishes to reveal the surprise beneath the soil. 

Radishes are super easy to grow and don’t need a lot of care. Once sprouted, the plant grows without constraint. Considering radishes are compact, they don’t need a lot of space to thrive. 

4. Bok Choy

Bok Choy growing in a frame in a vegetable garden

Sun requirements: Partial shade

Soil needs: Rich, well-drained soils

Bok choy is another fast-maturing plant you can grow in your garden. This Chinese cabbage is full of flavor and takes just 45 to 60 days to be ready for harvest. 

There are two bok choy varieties you can consider for your garden; the compact baby bok choy that’s less than 10 inches long, and the standard bok choy variety that can reach up to 2 feet. 

For the best result with your bok choy, plant them in partial shade. Water them consistently since drought could cause your lovely vegetables to bolt. 

5. Inchplant

Tradescantia zebrina also known as Inchplant in a pot in the garden

Sun requirements: Indirect sunlight

Soil needs: Humus-rich soil

Vining plants are a great addition to your home with their dazzling greens sure to light up your living space or garden. 

For those who love vines, the inchplant would be a wonderful choice if you are looking for a fast-growing plant to spice up your home. 

The distinct leaves of the inchplant feature accents of silver alongside green and purple hues to give your indoor space or garden a nice pop of color. 

When setting up your inchplant, ensure to place them on a hanging pot so its vining stems can drip beautifully from the pot and climb down the walls. 

6. Chives

flowering chives in herb garden

Sun requirements: Bright sunlight

Soil needs: Well-draining soil

Chives are wonderful garden plants because of their pretty, grass-like appearance and beautiful purple blooms.

They are also fast maturing and take just 30 days from transplanting to give you healthy stems you can use for your meals. 

There are two ways to grow chives; by sowing the seeds directly into the soil or planting by seedling. 

Chives are easy plants to manage and do well both indoors and outdoors. They love plenty of sunlight but would also thrive with partial sun. 

Once transplanted, you can snip and enjoy your chives right away but ensure not to chop more than one-third of the plant or it will go into shock. 

7. Broccoli Rabe

organic raw green broccoli rabe rapini growing in the garden

Sun requirements: Full sun

Soil needs: Nutrient-rich soil

Also called rapini, broccoli raab is a healthy vegetable that resembles broccoli. However, this bitter-tasting vegetable is closely related to turnips and requires full sun to thrive. 

The broccoli rabe is ready for harvest after about 2 months and is a healthy source of vitamins and minerals. 

When harvesting your broccoli rabe, pluck the clusters right away because they will flower when left too long. 

The leaves and stems are also edible and best enjoyed when harvested young. 

8. Cress

Garden cress, young plants on old wooden table

Sun requirements: Partial shade

Soil needs: Doesn’t need soil

Cress is a healthy microgreen that’s a hit with gardeners who love how easy it is to grow. The leaves have an amazing peppery flavor that makes cress a nice addition to your meals. 

The plant can survive harsh conditions and is often grown throughout the winter months as a tasty year-round vegetable. 

Another benefit of this microgreen is that you don’t need soil to grow it. Simply sprinkle the seeds in a shallow tray that has been lined with wet paper towels and you’re good to go. 

The plant will germinate in a few days, and you can begin harvesting when the cress leaves are about 2 inches wide. 

9. Hay-scented Fern

Hay-scented fern (Dennstaedtia punctilobula) in the garden

Sun requirements: Moderate sun

Soil needs: Well-drained soil

The hay-scented fern is a large and feathery plant that spreads quickly. It can grow to reach 30 inches tall and attain a width of 36 inches. 

When left undisturbed, the plant can easily take over the ground next to it. As such, you want to prune your hay-scented fern regularly to keep it contained. 

The plant adapts well to both dry and wet conditions. It is also more tolerant to the sun than other fern species that prefer cold conditions. 

10. Kale

Fresh kale field in greenhouse

Sun requirements: Full sun or partial shade

Soil needs: Loam soil

Kale is a cold-tolerant plant that can be grown almost all year round in some gardening zones. This delicious vegetable is a healthy source of vitamins and a top choice for most gardeners. 

The time taken to maturity depends on the time you plant your kale.

Kales planted during spring take slightly longer to mature than those planted late in summer or early fall. 

When you grow your kales, ensure to provide them with a lot of water since drought makes them bitter. 

11. Mustard Greens

mustard plants in the nursery

Sun requirements: Moderate sun, partial shade

Soil needs: Well-drained, moist soil

Just like the kale, mustard greens also need a lot of water, or they will get bitter. But unlike kales, mustard greens are not as cold hardy and need warmer conditions to do well. 

That said, you don’t want to grow your mustard green in extremely hot conditions since the plant is sensitive to heat. As such, the best time to grow your mustard greens is early spring or late summer. 

Harvest the leaves of your mustard greens when they are large enough to eat for a healthy dose of vitamins. 

12. Schreber’s Aster

Sun requirements: Indirect sun, shade

Soil needs: Well-drained soil

Schreber’s Aster is a fast-growing plant that blooms during fall. The plant is a favorite for many gardeners who love it for its late bloom. 

The late bloom allows gardeners to keep their gardens vibrant even after summer perennials are done with their bloom. 

The Schreber’s aster has dark green leaves that form rapidly after the plant germinates. It also produces delicate white flowers that look nice against the lush green background of the leaves. 

This aster variety can tolerate sunny and shady locations as well as different soil moisture conditions. 

The plant takes one season to establish itself before it starts spreading. To control the spread, remove seeds from the plant before dispersal. 

Additionally, divide the plant every 3 to 4 years to maintain foliage vibrancy and flower quality. 

13. Green Beans

Green bean plants in bloom in the vegetable garden

Sun requirements: Direct sunlight

Soil needs: Slightly acidic soil

Green beans are a great addition to your garden because they can be grown successively up until frost.

This means you can grow and enjoy green beans several times a year till we get to the winter months. 

Some beans like the ‘Mascotte’ variety grow very quickly and take just 50 days to be ready for harvest.

By strategically spacing out your beans, you will always have some green beans ready to be harvested from your garden. 

The bush bean variety grows compactly and can be sowed directly to the ground or planted in containers. On the other hand, pole beans grow as vines and should be supported by stakes. 

14. Summer Squash

Yellow summer squash growing on a leafy plant in a vegetable plot

Sun requirements: Direct sunlight

Soil needs: Well-draining soil

Squashes are notorious fast-growing plants that take anywhere from 35 to 50 days to reach maturity. 

And due to their short growing period, you can plant your summer squashes later in the season to avoid trouble with the squash vine borer that attacks squashes early in the summer. 

Those who live in warmer climates can plant their squashes from mid-March to ensure they can harvest them in early May before the moths appear. 

You can also plant your squashes later in the season after the moths have left if you want another harvest or if you missed the first window for one reason or another. 

The fastest-growing varieties you should prioritize if you want fast maturing times are ‘Eight Ball’ squash, ‘Gold Rush’ squash, and ‘Bossa Nova’ zucchini. 

15. Bamboo Plant

the green leaf bamboo in garden of summer

Sun requirements: Full sun, partial shade

Soil needs: Well-drained, fertile, and moist soil

With a growth rate of 35 inches (91 cm) per day, the record for the world’s fastest-growing plant belongs to a particular bamboo species

Bamboo is an eco-friendly, fast-growing grass that’s native to several countries within the tropics.

The plants can reach a height of up to 60 feet and prefer full sun and well-drained soils to do well. 

You can also grow bamboo plants in patio containers if you live in a colder zone. However, bring them inside during winter to avoid exposure to frost. 

16. Leyland Cypress

Cupressus leylandii or Leylan cypress in the garden

Sun requirements: Direct sun

Soil needs: Well-drained clay or sandy soil

Are you looking for a fast-growing evergreen plant that would act as a tall screen for your home? Then you should get the Leyland cypress and plant it across your garden. 

When planted close together, the Leyland cypress plants have a slender shape and form a tower of foliage.

The plant does well in different climates and soil conditions, growing more than 4 feet per year even on degraded soils. 

17. Chinese Fringe Flower

chinese fringe flower in plastic pot in the garden

Sun requirements: Full sun, shade

Soil needs: Fertile, clay soil

The Chinese fringe flower is a great choice for those who want a fast-growing flowering plant. The plant has deep red foliage and beautiful white or pink flowers that bloom during spring. 

The only downside, the blooms fall off after a few weeks, leaving you with a beautiful carpet of color that reminds you of the lovely bloom you enjoyed not so long ago.

You can grow your Chinese fringe flower plants in the ground or in a pot. Ensure you expose them to sufficient light for them to grow optimally. 

Final Thoughts

Fast-growing plants come in handy when you miss a window and still wish to harvest produce at the end of the planting season.

Any of the plants in here will quickly fill and brighten your garden with the vibrant colors of summer. 


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