Dwarf Shrubs for Small Spaces

We all have them. Those tight spaces (narrow walkways, against the side of the house, petite little borders) that need a little something that makes a style statement, but doesn’t become a maintenance nightmare by overgrowing the area.

We’ve chosen 18 smaller shrubs by groups of zones that are either naturally dwarf (typically topping out at about 4 – 5′ tall maximum) or are very slow growers  Each of these has something special going on that we’re pretty sure will solve a problem in your landscape. Plants may span many zones, so please don’t feel limited to the outline here!

Need more specific advice about a small space issue that’s vexing you? Leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to help you.

Little Joker® Ninebark
Zone: 4 – 8

Award-winning beauty with burgundy stems and leaves and pale pink button flowers in spring and summer! Useful for small urban gardens, mass plantings, or a low maintenance landscape. Up to 4′ tall and wide. Partial shade to full sun.

Zones 3 - 5

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Haaga Rhododendron
Zone: 4 – 8

Look at those blooms! Very compact evergreen shrub that’s perfect for small gardens in cool, damp climates. Up to 3′ tall and wide. Partial sun.

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Dwarf Globe Blue Spruce
Zone: 2 – 8

Will eventually reach about 5′ tall and wide but a slow grower. Bright blue needles add a cool calming effect to the garden. Up to 5′ tall and wide. Partial to full sun.

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Seaside Serenade® Bar Harbor Hydrangea
Zone: 3 – 8

New, compact form of Annabelle hydrangea with stems that hold up in heavy rain. Up to 4′ tall and wide. Partial to full sun.

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Kelsey’s Dwarf Red-Osier Dogwood
Zone 2 – 8

Bare red stems provide striking seasonal color to dormant winterscapes. In summer, makes a perfect lush green backdrop. Up to 30″ tall and wide. Partial to full sun.

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Crimson Kisses™ Weigela
Zone: 4 – 9

Such a colorful choice to back a flower border or to feature in front of larger shrubs! Blooms in spring, repeating through summer. Up to 3′ tall and wide. Full sun.

Carstens wintergold mugo pine
Carsten’s Wintergold Mugo Pine
Zone: 2 – 7

We love conifers that change color with the seasons! Deep, minty green in summer, turning to a rich gold in colder weather. Up to 2′ tall and wide. Full sun.

Zone 6 - 8

Lil Flirt Spirea
Lil’ Flirt Spirea
Zone: 4 – 9

Flowers in spring, and again in summer, and in between, is a tough, compact choice for poor soil, even compacted clay. Partial shade to full sun. Up to 3′ tall and wide.

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Tiny Tower® Dwarf Alberta Spruce
Zone: 3 – 8

When you need structure for a tight space or a container, this handsome dwarf conifer is the perfect option for smaller gardens. Up to 6′ tall, 2′ wide. Full sun.

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Enchanted Forest® Impish Elf™Lily of the Valley Shrub
Zone: 6 – 8

Evergreen with red new foliage, purple-pink buds for winter color, and bright pink spring flowers. Up to 5′ tall and wide. Partial sun.

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Petite Pinkie™ Crape Myrtle
Zone: 7 – 9

A bit taller than other “dwarf” picks, but on the smaller side. Excellent massed in single-color plantings or as an individual accent. Up to 5′ tall, 4′ wide. Full sun.

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Seaside Serenade® Cape Cod Hydrangea
Zone: 4 – 9

Beautiful blooms for months. Bred for smaller spaces and for containers. Up to 4′ tall and wide. Partial shade to partial sun.

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Scallywag™ Holly
Zone: 5 – 9

Every great garden has plants with interesting foliage. This has shiny dark green foliage that turns burgundy in colder weather. Up to 4′ tall, 3′ wide. Full sun.

Zone: 9 - 11

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Chansonette’s Blush Camellia
Zone: 7 – 9

Oh, those pretty blooms! Grows low and wide so the ideal antidote for a shorter border or in front of taller camellias. Up to 3′ tall, 8′ wide. Full shade to filtered sun.

Little Ollie Dwarf Olive

Little Ollie® Dwarf Olive
Zone: 8 – 11

Adds a grey/green glam with foliage that almost shimmers in sunlight. Heat, drought, and salt tolerant (great for coastal gardens!). Up to 4′ tall and wide. Full sun.

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Dwarf Pomegranate
Zone: 9 – 11

All the brilliant orange flowers and signature (ornamental) fruit on a more compact plant. Thrives in hot, dry summer areas. Up to 3′ tall and wide. Full sun.

Everblooming Gardenia

Everblooming Gardenia (Grafted)
Zone: 8 — 11

Grafted gardenias (the upper portion is married to a superior root stock) are a great solution for areas with less than ideal soil. Up to 4′ tall, 3′ wide. Partial to full sun.

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Ballerina Indian Hawthorn
Zone: 8 – 10

It’s amazing that a plant this pretty could also be tough-as-nails in the garden! Rose-pink flowers produce small, dark berries. Up to 2 1/2′ tall, 4′ wide. Partial to full sun.

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Cream De Mint™ Dwarf Mock Orange
Zone: 8 – 11

Compact evergreen with dense foliage requires very little maintenance.  Up to 2½’ tall and wide. Partial to full sun.

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