I love slow-growing, dwarf conifers and find them especially valuable when choosing plants for small gardens where every plant needs to earn its keep—their compact size and year-round good looks consistently earn them a place in my designs.
But dwarf conifers can vary greatly in their growth rate and eventual size, and consequently they can be tricky to site properly in gardens. If you know what to look for, it can help you figure out whether the plant is a good match for you and your garden. As I'm getting acquainted with a conifer that's new to me, one of the ways I try to assess how large it might get in the garden is to examine how much new growth it pushes each season.
As I demonstrate in the video below, this is easiest to see early in the season, just after it has put on its spring growth but before it has fully hardened off and the color has faded.
If you're a conifer lover too, I invite you to browse eGardenGo for plant combination ideas that include some of my favorites: Cryptomeria japonica 'Little Diamond', Tsuga canadensis 'Monkinn', and Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Snow', to name a few! You'll find many more options if you search for "plant type = conifer" and "plant feature = dwarf plant" on the site.
CONIFERS THAT CAUGHT MY EYE ON A RECENT VISIT TO THE GARDEN CENTER
Visiting nurseries throughout the year is a great way to keep up-to-date on plant offerings, conifers and otherwise—and believe it or not, you'll find some of the best varieties and widest selection of conifers at your local garden centers this time of year. Sorry, only some of these are on eGardenGo at this time, though I'll be working on getting them added and included in some plant combinations. Stay tuned and check back.
PLANT COMBOS FEATURING DWARF CONIFERS
Focus: All Season Appeal, Contrasting Foliage and Texture, Foliage First, Four Season Garden, Front Yard Garden, Hell Strip, Hellstrip / Parking Strip, Low Maintenance, Native and Habitat, Saving Water, Small Space, Wildlife Friendly, Winter Interest
Exposure: Afternoon Sun, Full Sun, Reflected Heat, Sun
Zone: 7, 8, 9
Focus: All Season Appeal, Color Theme, Contrasting Foliage and Texture, Foliage First, Four Season Garden, Front Yard Garden, Low Maintenance, Mixed Border, Saving Water, Winter Interest, Textural Contrast, Curb Appeal, Efficient Use of Space
Exposure: Afternoon Sun, Full Sun, Part Sun, Sun
Zone: 7, 8, 9
Focus: Contrasting Foliage and Texture, Foliage First, Front Yard Garden, Hellstrip / Parking Strip, Low Maintenance, Mixed Border, Privacy and Screening, Saving Water, Seasonal Flow, Winter Interest
Exposure: Afternoon Sun, Full Sun, Sun
Zone: 7, 8, 9
SOME OF MY FAVORITE DWARF CONIFERS THAT ARE ON THE SITE
Explore some of my favorite dwarf and slow-growing conifers. Don't forget to click through for plant combinations ideas that include them.