Dwarf Shrubs for Small Spaces

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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
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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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
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.


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 (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.


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.


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.