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What Are the Different Types of Fast-Growing Plants?

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  • Written By: Jessica F. Black
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 06 April 2014
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There are many fast-growing plants, and varieties depend on the location, amount of sunlight, soil quality, and water availability. Some of the most common fast-growing plants are bamboo, ivy, ornamental grass, and the butterfly bush. Many vegetables are also fast-growing plants, including lettuce, spinach, turnips, and radishes. Plants often require a lot of attention, and growth could also depend on the caretaker. Some locations with certain climates may influence the speed of growth of plants, and other areas could require plant maintenance.

Bamboo belongs to the grass family and can grow in climates ranging from extremely cold to brutally hot. The rate of growth has been recorded at more than three feet (0.91 m) in one day, and it is usually not finished growing until the plant is four to six years old. Life spans of bamboo plants have been recorded up to 115 years. This plant spreads rapidly and seeds often dominate the garden area, making bamboo one of the most aggressive fast-growing plants.

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Boston ivy is one of the fast-growing plants that people may recognize for covering large building structures. Japanese ivy or Boston creeper are other terms often used for this particular plant. The unique qualities of Boston ivy is its ability to grow in a variety of soil and light conditions. Calcium carbonate secretions give this plant its ability to climb and stick to walls or other vertical structures. This ivy has a relatively slower growth rate than bamboo, but usually reaches eight feet (2.43 m) per a year.

Ornamental grass has become increasingly popular for gardeners due to low maintenance, adaptability, and the ability to grow in a variety of soil. Different species of ornamental grass may require different care and have varied growth rates. This is a family of fast-growing plants, and can grow two to four inches (5.08cm-10.16cm) weekly. Increased care, including watering and pruning, may increase growth rate. Gardeners interested in this grass can research additional maintenance options on the Internet or in the gardening section at a local library.

The butterfly bush is planted for its beauty and ability to attract butterflies. This plant comes in a variety of colors and has become a popular garden hobby plant due to ease of care, growth rate, and attractiveness. Growth rates vary depending on the type of butterfly bush that is planted, and some can grow 10 feet (3.04 m) within a year.

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