Instant Gratification: Fast Growing Plants

When your garden needs immediate intervention, here are some go-to plant choices.

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©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

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Photo By: Select Seeds Antique Flowers at


Cosmos take a few weeks to produce blooms — but once they do, the daisy-like flowers will keep showing off until frost hits.


The beloved sunflower grows quickly for its size. Sow seeds every 10 to 14 days to keep their sunny blooms coming all summer.

Morning Glory

Morning glory has a superb flower display from summer to fall. It will twine over an arch or pergola.

Sweet Pea

Sweet pea is a bushy or climbing annual that features highly fragrant flowers on winged stems. Get them into the ground early — they'll germinate more readily in cool temperatures.

Tobacco Plant

Tobacco plant is very fragrant, especially at night, and a wonderful plant for attracting hummingbirds. The flowers grow above large, light green, oval leaves covered with sticky hairs in summer and early fall.


Foxglove looks superb in drifts in light shade. They shoot up very quickly and are self-seeders. Pendulous, tubular, funnel-shaped flowers are closely grouped along each spike and the flowers are attractive to hummingbirds.

Black Elderberry

European elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is a large, deciduous bush or small tree that forms green leaflets and umbels of white, flat-topped flowers in summer followed by black fruit in autumn.

Broom Plant

Broom plant (Cytisus) is an ornamental garden plant and a sturdy evergreen shrub with whip-like branches covered in small leaves. The pea-like yellow flowers bloom from late spring through mid summer. 

Pot Marigold

Pot marigold (Calendula officinalis) blooms in shades of lemon yellow, creamy white, and deep orange, flourish in cool, temperate climates. They bring glowing accents to gardens or containers and provide long-lasting cut flowers.

Passion Flower

Passion flower is an extremely fast-growing, hardy plant with ornate, multi-colored flowers with a minty scent. It will regrow from roots the following year after planting.


Nasturtium is a fast-growing, climbing annual with colorful blooms and bright green leaves. They are great as hanging basket plants and provide instant color.

California Poppy

Prepare for lots of sunny blossoms — often used in wildflower mixes, California poppy blooms heavily from March to late May and reseeds readily.


Stock (Matthiola incana) is an easy-to-grow cottage garden plant. The plant has long been popular both for bedding and for providing cut flowers, and is prized for its wonderful clove-like scent.

Climbing Black-Eyed Susan

Cheery yellow flowers with a distinctive black "eye" cover this vigorous climber from midsummer to autumn. It is superb in a large container in a sunny spot.

Cup-and-Saucer Vine

Chartreuse buds open to reveal a dainty cream-colored cup and saucer on this Mexican native. Vines climb by tendrils, hoisting stems upward to heights of 10 to 20 feet. Purple blooming types open green flowers that fade to deep purple. Plants blossom best in full sun, opening buds until hard freezes.

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