Top 10 Dwarf Conifers for Small Spaces

Small space gardening is made easy with our list of the top 10 dwarf conifers.

It’s easy to see why conifers are a staple of most backyard landscapes. They provide reliable shelter for birds, offer nice color and year-round structure in the garden and are mostly maintenance-free. Now you can have those same virtues in a smaller package, thanks to newer downsized varieties. While often referred to as “dwarf conifers,” many of these are technically just slow growers. They will eventually get larger in 20 or 30 years, but most stay fairly compact and are classified based on their growth rate and size at 10 years. With the help of conifer expert and author Richard L. Bitner (Timber Press Pocket Guide to Conifers, 2010), we put together this Top 10 list of dwarf conifers, specifically with small space gardening in mind.

Creeping juniper

(Juniperus horizontalis species, Zones 4 to 9)

This North American native grows well in just about any soil and is a popular choice for mountain slopes and seashores. Like other junipers, it prefers full sun and good drainage. Top picks include the blue-green Icee Blue, and Mother Lode (pictured), with its golden color in summer.

Why we love it: We’re always big fans of plants with dual benefits. With this one, you can have your conifer and ground cover, too!

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