Let’s face it: At some point we’ve all planted shrubs around our foundation that may have been just a tad too big for the intended space. Can’t see out your front windows anymore? Yep, sounds like a dwarf shrub may have been a better option. Considering the mature size of any shrub you plant is always key to the success of your landscape. Right plant, right place!
There are key places within our urban landscapes that simply may not accommodate the larger standard form of many of our favorite shrubs. Luckily, the number of dwarf shrub options are on the rise and homeowners have many new choices for planting in tighter spaces.
Dwarf shrubs also serve many other useful purposes in the landscape. When planning your garden, you want to make sure the taller anchoring shrubs are placed the back and sides of foundation beds, whereas smaller shrubs should fill in the gaps in the middle or front of beds. Dwarf shrubs with interesting foliage, blooms and/or berries will perform double duty and give you more bang for your buck in the space you have.
Dwarf shrubs are also very useful in areas of high traffic, beds near driveways, streets, parking lots where planting spaces are limited and you need to limit overgrowth. Large shrubs that have overgrown their space are often over-pruned and end up looking less than stellar. Dwarf shrubs can also be used in large containers to create unique accents.
When shopping for foundations shrubs for planting near windows, entryways or walkways, be sure to look for “dwarf” specimens that do not grow taller or wider than your intended space can accommodate. Know that in warm climates with year-round growing seasons, many shrubs may grow a little taller than plant tag states.
Some of T-Y Nursery’s dwarf shrubs available now:
Dwarf Nandina, has all the color and texture of standard Nandina at only half the size. If clients need an evergreen foundation shrub that won’t block their window views, or low-maintenance evergreens for large containers, nandinas are an excellent choice. At only two to three-feet tall and wide, they are also perfect for tucking into landscape beds with deciduous shrubs or winter-dormant perennials. Plus, the fall foliage color is fantastic!
Wheeler’s Dwarf Pittosporum is a soft and beautiful option for creating evergreen foundation plantings where you need to minimize plant height. ‘Wheeler’s Dwarf’ is the perfect solution plant for foundation plantings on the north side of buildings where shade can be a challenge – especially in warm climates. In cooler zones you can plant ‘Wheeler’s Dwarf’ in sunnier spots. Makes a lush container planting.
More T-Y Nursery plants available in October:
Feather Reed Grass, Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’
Dwarf Pampas Grass, Cortaderia selloana ‘Pumila’
Blue Fescue, Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’
Leyland Cypress, Cupressocyparis leylandii
Juniperis chinensis ‘Blue Point’
Ligustrum japonicum ‘Texanum’
Purple Leaf Hop Bush, Dodonaea viscosa ‘Purpurea’
Santa Cruz Pyracantha, Firethorn, Pyracantha koidzumii ‘Santa Cruz’