Dwarf or miniature evergreens have many uses in the landscape. They can be planted in perennial flower borders to provide evergreen color, setting off the flower's vibrant colors. Put miniature evergreens in small rock gardens, near foundations or in the front row of a mixed evergreen shrub border. Many varieties of dwarf evergreen shrubs eventually grow to full size, but are so slow growing they are effectively treated as miniature specimens.
'Little Gem' Norway Spruce
A miniature cultivar of Norway spruce, 'Little Gem' (Picea abies 'Little Gem') grows just a foot high, with a rounded form. It has dark green needles and a dense growth habit. 'Little Gem' grows just ½ to one inch per year. It is rated through U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zone three.
'Sherwood Compact' Pine
With either a globe or pyramidal shape, the named cultivar 'Sherwood Compact' pine (Pinus aristata 'Sherwood Compact') is also known as “bristlecone pine.” It grows best in full sun and tolerates drought. It has bluish-green needles that are often dotted with white pitch. Hardy through USDA zone five, bristlecone pine grows only one to three inches per year.
'White Imp' Cedar
A pyramidal shaped evergreen, 'White Imp' cedar (Cedrus deodara 'White Imp') slowly grows to three feet tall and three feet wide. Unlike other varieties of cedar that have grayish-green needles, 'White Imp' has green and white variegated foliage. Cedars are reliably hardy through USDA zone three.
'Gentsch White' Canadian Hemlock
Growing only four feet tall by four feet wide if never pruned, the Canadian hemlock 'Gentsch White' (Tsuga canadensis 'Gentsch White') can be kept at half this size when sheared regularly. 'Gentsch White' grows best in partial shade and evenly moist, well-drained soil. This evergreen cultivar has exceptional winter interest because the new growth from the previous spring becomes creamy-white during fall and winter, standing out against the dark green older foliage.
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