Lupinus 'Camelot'

Fast-growing perennials

Need some plants that will get going fast? Then try these speedy perennials.

Some perennials can take a while to establish so if you can’t wait, need an area to look good fast, or are creating a new border or garden from scratch, you might want to choose some fast-growing perennials.

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Fast-growing perennials should bulk up and produce flowers within a couple of growing seasons. They’ll create an impact while slower-growing plants catch up.

Perennials will establish quicker if they are planted correctly, getting them off to the best possible start.

Here are 10 fast-growing perennials to consider.

Fast-growing perennials create an impact while slower-growing plants catch up.

Crocosmia

Crocosmias, such as Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ form dense clumps of upright, sword-like foliage and flowers in a range of fiery hues in late summer. The look especially good in ‘hot’ borders or tropical and jungly planting schemes and make good ground cover.
Height x spread: 150cm x 50cm

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Lily-of-the-valley

Lily of the valley, Convallaria majalis, bears bell-shaped, flowers with an extremely strong fragrance, from late spring. It establishes quickly in a woodland garden or shady border. Convallaria majalis var. rosea is an unusual pale pink variety.
Height x spread: 30cm x 20cm

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Hardy geraniums

Hardy geraniums get established quickly and weave their way pleasantly through plants without overwhelming. Geranium psilostemon is a vigorous grower and ‘Catherine Deneuve’ is an unusual variety with eye-catching, star-shaped flowers. Grow in sun or shade.
Height x spread: 50cm x 30cm

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Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’

Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’ bulks up quickly to form a large, bushy mound. It flowers almost all year round, even in winter, and is popular with bees and butterflies. It only lives for a few years, but is easy to propagate from cuttings.
Height x spread: 45cm x 50cm

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Acanthus mollis

Acanthus mollis (such as Acanthus mollis ‘Whitewater’, shown here), has large leaves and tall flower spikes in late summer. It has a striking, architectural look. Grow in fertile, well-drained soil in partial shade. Divide congested clumps in spring or autumn.
Height x spread: 150cm x 90cm

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Geum

Geums are charming perennials that flower in May and June and look good in any planting scheme. Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ is a Chelsea Flower Show favourite that looks good with many other plants, including other perennials such as delphiniums and roses.
Height x spread: 30cm x 45cm

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Lupin

Lupins are classic cottage garden plants, that are making a comeback – they can often be spotted at the top flower shows. Their tall spikes of flowers come in a range of colours. Grow in a sunny spot and be sure to protect them early from slugs and snails.
Height x spread: 90cm x 75cm

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Penstemon ‘Andenken an Friedrich Hahn’

Penstemon ‘Andenken an Friedrich Hahn’ bears wine-red, foxglove-like flowers from June to October and is perfect for the middle of a sunny border. It establishes quickly and is hardy in all but the harshest winters – take a few cuttings in summer as a back-up.
Height x spread: 60cm x 60cm

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Bronze fennel

Foeniculum vulgare is a fast-growing culinary herb that looks fabulous at the back of a border, where it adds height and an airy feel. The flowers are attractive to hoverflies and birds eat the seeds. Grow in moist but well drained soil, in a sunny spot.
Height x spread: 180cm x 60cm

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Euphorbia amygdaloides ‘Purpurea’

Euphorbia amygdaloides ‘Purpurea’ has attractive, purple-tinged flowers and acid-yellow flowers. It’s a fast-growing choice for the middle of a border in a dry spot, or in an area that’s in partial shade.
Height x spread: 30cm x 60cm

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