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.
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.
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.
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.
New, compact form of Annabelle hydrangea with stems that hold up in heavy rain. Up to 4′ tall and wide. Partial to full sun.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Evergreen with red new foliage, purple-pink buds for winter color, and bright pink spring flowers. Up to 5′ tall and wide. Partial sun.
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.
Beautiful blooms for months. Bred for smaller spaces and for containers. Up to 4′ tall and wide. Partial shade to partial sun.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Compact evergreen with dense foliage requires very little maintenance. Up to 2½’ tall and wide. Partial to full sun.