Top 5: Evergreen Shrubs For Small Spaces

I consider a small space shrub to be 5 feet in height and under. Very narrow upright evergreens fall into my small space category as well.

Small evergreen shrubs are a welcome addition to a border, edging, rock garden or xeriscape area of your yard.  They can be featured in containers and sunk into the ground in fall to winter over.  The definition of small evergreen varies with each gardener.  I consider a small space shrub to be 5 feet in height and under.  Very narrow upright evergreens fall into my small space category as well.  I would consider the narrow Degroot’s Spire Cedar a small space shrub.  Evergreens are a permanent landscape addition that provides us with plants of different textures and forms, and much needed winter interest.  They require little or no pruning, have few pests and are low maintenance.  Below are five small evergreens that grow in our zone (3b) and colder! 


  1. Mitsch Mini Mugo Pine  -  (Pinus mugo ‘Mitsch Mini’)  -  Zone 2 – Full sun

Mitsch Mugo Pine is a true mini evergreen.  It is also tolerant of our prairie winter temperatures down to minus 40 degrees C.  The mature size is 14 inches tall x 18 inches wide.  It is extremely slow growing (less than 1 inch per year) reaching only 12 inches tall by 12 inches wide after 10 years! 

Mitsch Mini has short grey-green dense needles with a fine-textured mounding form. 

This is a wonderful little shrub for rock gardens, miniature and railroad gardens, mass planted as a groundcover and alpine trough gardens.  It is happy with any soil pH and soil type and can even handle salty locations.  Once established, it will tolerate drought conditions making it an ideal shrub for xeriscape gardens.  Do not plant this shrub in wet areas.

Bonus:  Pruning is not required!


 Photo: Yew Berries-Pexels

  1. Morden Upright Yew -  ( Taxus cuspidata ‘Morden’)  - Zone 3 – Sun or Shade!

This is a smaller shrub at 3-4 ft. tall x 4-5 ft. wide.  I have included it in the small shrub category as it takes to heavy shearing and pruning very readily.  Use it as a border and foundation shrub or as a hedge.  This is a unique dark evergreen as it can be planted in sun or shade and has a different needle texture and look than other evergreens. 

Plant Morden Yew in a well drained, loamy moist soil that is somewhat acidic.  Make sure the planting area has good drainage.      

Fertilize in early spring with an all-purpose water-soluble evergreen fertilizer.  I would mulch around the base of this yew for the first two winters at least with a two- inch layer of compost. The seed in the red berries (arils) is toxic. 

Bonus: Rabbit resistant!


  1. Blueberry Delight Juniper -  ( Juniperus communis var. depress ‘AmiDak’)

12 in. in height by 4 ft. wide at maturity.  – Zone 3a – Full Sun.

Blueberry Delight is a tough little juniper that once established, can tolerate very dry conditions.  Perfect for the xeriscape garden.   Every needle has a silver-blue pinstripe giving it a shiny appearance in bright light.  From late spring to late winter this female juniper produces a ton of powder blue berries (cones).  A male must be close by for the female to set  fruit.

Blueberry Delight is very tolerant of a variety of soil types and pH ranges.  It is quite a slow growing juniper and turns a copper-bronze color in fall.   If necessary, prune lightly in very early spring.

Bonus:  Birds love the fruit (cones).  Deer and rabbit resistant.  This shrub is native to the Dakota Badlands.


 Photo: Pixabay

  1. Byland’s Blue Dwarf Spruce -  (Picea pungens ‘ByJohn’) – 3 feet x 3 feet -  Full sun – Zone 2

This Colorado Blue Dwarf spruce is an exciting evergreen for small spaces due to its beautiful blue foliage and rounded form.  It will not produce a leader and the growth rate is slow.

Byland’s Blue Dwarf Spruce likes a moist, well-drained soil.  Once established, it will tolerate some drought.   

It is the perfect blue spruce to fill a small space or spaces in your landscape.   

Bonus:  No pruning needed.  Deer resistant.  Zone 2- so extremely tough. Provides beautiful winter interest.

 Photo Courtesy of

  1. Anna’s Magic Ball Cedar -  (Thuja occidentalis ‘Anna van Vloten) – 10 in.-15 in. x 10 in.-15 in.  – Full Sun to Part Sun – Zone 3

This little cedar cutie was developed in Canada!  It has bright yellow foliage and a rounded form.   Anna’s Magic Ball cedar can be used in borders, rock gardens, miniature and fairy gardens and as part of a foundation planting.  Provide a rich, well drained soil and a moist environment. Fertilize in early spring with an all-purpose water soluble evergreen fertilizer. 

Bonus:  Does not need pruning.


*This blog is for information purposes only.  Floral Acres tree and shrub inventory will vary from day to day during the spring and summer season.

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