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.

Sawara cypress

(Chamaecyparis pisifera, Zones 4 to 8)

The cultivars of this species vary widely, with the large versions growing up to 150 feet in natural settings. Good cultivars for a small landscape include Filifera Aurea, with golden-yellow foliage that makes it an attractive border plant. Also try Golden Mop, a low and mounding variety with threadlike foliage.

Why we love it: If you do a little research, you can find dwarf varieties in all kinds of shapes and sizes, including shades of green, blue, yellow, white and variegated.

 

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