15 Best Shrubs for Small Spaces


Picture of green shrub plants

With the upsurge of contemporary-styled homes, the gardens in urban areas have downsized to a significant amount. This has left gardeners with little space for their crops and has had them looking for smaller and compact varieties.

Shrubs for a small garden should be naturally dwarf or very slow growers to outgrow the space quickly. Without sacrificing the plant’s flower production, growth, health, and aesthetic value, one should keep them small.

And if you wish to build a shrub garden but do not have a lot of space, we have many options that will help you come across perfectly proportioned shrubs for your garden. These would offer you vibrant flowers or stunning foliage, or both!

Let us have a look at these petite-size shrubs that can help you help you build your own sweet little shrub garden.

Dwarf Butterfly Bush

Picture of Butterfly bush

One of the easiest shrubs to grow in small spaces has to be the dwarf butterfly bush. These shrubs not only look pretty in your home or office garden but also require minimal management and care. The sunlight requirement for these shrubs is a maximum of eight hours a day. One thing to note about any dwarf butterfly varieties is that they are vulnerable to rotting, so pruning is suggested during the springtime.

Thus, you should not be careless with them at any cost. The shrubs grow up to a height of two to three feet throughout the year. 

Forsythia

Picture of Forsythia plant

People who like to decorate their garden with bright flowers should go for forsythia as it blooms the most beautiful yellow-colored flowers. The ideal amount of sun exposure for these shrubs is six hours a day. If there isn’t enough sunlight provided to these flowers, then the chances of getting semi-bloomed shrubs are very high. Along with this, regular watering is essential for forsythia shrubs.

Well-informed gardeners would know that these delicate flowers require pruning at least once a year so that they can regrow quickly. Typically, forsythia has a height of eight to ten feet, spreading up to twelve inches at full maturity. 

Firedance Dogwood

Picture of firedance dogwood flower

A compact version of the popular Redtwig Dogwood cultivar is a shrub with the most beautiful flowers you will ever lay eyes on! Firedance wood is a variety of small shrubs that grow very well in small spaces. The most appealing factor about these shrubs is that their flowers turn into white berries at the end of summer.

This provides a unique look to any small space that a first-time gardener is cultivating on their own. With an average height of three to four feet, fire dance wood attracts birds and flowers. 

Bearberry Cotoneaster 

Picture of Bearberry Cotoneaster 

Another shrub that does not require constant care and love is the bearberry cotoneaster. If you plan to have a solid groundcover, then this particular shrub is perfect for your garden. This is because of massive green foliage that forms when the bearberry cotoneaster is in full bloom.

Since it is a low-growing variety of shrubs, the maximum height would be up to one or two feet. The flowers that bloom during the summertime are white in color, while the foliage tends to be purple during autumn and early winters. 

Hydrangea

Picture of Hydrangea flower

It is a widely accepted fact that hydrangea is one shrub that has won over the hearts of millions of people across the globe. This is mainly due to its flowers providing a pop of color in a bouquet, garden, or greenhouse. Keeping this in mind, it is suggested to plant big leaf hydrangea in smaller places to appreciate these shrubs’ beauty truly.

Depending upon the type of hydrangea, the height varies between one to twenty feet, respectively. The tiniest variety found in these shrubs is Vienna, which has pink or blue flowers ideal for growing in container gardens. 

Pink Sparkler Spirea

Picture of Pink Sparkler Spirea Flower

This variety of shrubs is becoming highly popular among home gardeners since its flowers can grow in the most mesmerizing shade of pink for multiple seasons. Moreover, it is the least demanding shrub regarding the type of soil required for proper growth.

So, if you are new to the world of gardening, the pink sparkler spirea would be a sure shot win for you! The foliage will reduce significantly during the colder months, but the re-growth will occur quickly as soon as the temperature rise in early summer or spring. 

Sugartina ‘Crystalina’ 

Picture of sugartina crystalina flower

Belonging to the family of clethra shrubs, sugar tina crystalline is one of the most miniature shrubs you can grow in small spaces. Growing up to a maximum height of three feet, this shrub is renowned for its fragrance. In areas where shade is a problem for some shrub varieties, sugar tina crystalline will come to the rescue!

Sweet-smelling white flowers grow in these shrubs during the summer without requiring heavy pruning all year round. It is recommended to space out these shrubs three to four feet apart to have a good spread individually. 

Inkberry Holly

Picture of Inkberry Holly flower

People looking for evergreen shrubs should not overlook inkberry holly for their small patio or garden area. These shrubs are relatively slow in growing but do not require much attention or care. Keeping this in mind, it would be wise to keep its soil soggy with partial to total sunlight exposure.

Inkberry holly is a green shrub that reaches up to a height of eight feet at full maturity. One thing to factor in is that these shrubs require quite a lot of water that should be supplied at least once a week. 

Azalea

Picture of Azalea flower

Flowering shrubs of the ​​Rhododendron genus that have been a big hit in the gardening community iareazalea. Traditionally, these shrubs did not re-grow flowers for multiple seasons, but in recent times, varieties like Bloomerang, Perfecto Mundo, etc., have flowers blooming quickly.

Azalea can grow to a height of three feet in a small space. The ideal time to plant these shrubs is springtime when the sun is not harsh on its delicate leaves. It has been observed that fertilization is needed to fight nutrient deficiency in these shrubs, so make sure to use organic fertilizers. 

Dwarf Ninebark

Picture of Dwarf Ninebark flower

Small spaces that are designed in a specific manner should have shrubs with a proper form. For this purpose, dwarf ninebark is the best variety available in the market. These shrubs grow in a reasonably rounded manner with a height of five feet at full maturity.

White flowers and small leaves are the trademarks of this variety that go perfectly well in a backyard patio or lawn. Adaptable to most temperatures, these shrubs can thrive even in the most polluted parts of the world. The most sought-after variety in these shrubs is Tiny Wine which requires full sun for proper growth. 

Round Form Arborvitae

Picture of Round Form Arbovitae

While most seasoned gardeners presume that arborvitae is a short tree ideal for planting in a big garden or farm, its round form variety can be grown in small spaces. Also known as Little Giant Arborvitae, these shrubs provide an elegant touch to a miniature garden or greenhouse.

The average height of the shrub ranges between one to three feet. One of the most appealing characteristics of round form arborvitae is that they successfully sustain in the cold winter months. As an evergreen variety of the most immaculate kind, you will be able to create a landscape with these shrubs. 

Abelia

Picture of Abelia Flower

A fragrant variety of small shrubs that has pink, purple, or even peach flowers is abelia. The scent of its flowers is classified as “spicy and sweet” by experts. With an upright arching habit, these shrubs grow up to a height of two to ten feet.

The most appropriate time to plant abelia is during mid-summer or early autumn, when the temperatures are pleasant. This helps in avoiding cold or heat stress on these plants. The timely removal of dead stems and leaves will help in efficient re-growth. Besides this, abelia shrubs should be watered once or twice a week. 

Caryopteris

Picture of Caryopteris flower

One of the lesser-known varieties of shrubs is caryopteris that has blue flowers. Its fragrant foliage provides a welcoming aura to a small patio garden. The most rewarding part of planting these shrubs is that they bloom during the end of summer when most other shrubs shed their leaves and flowers.

Thus, you will have the most exquisite-looking flowers in your garden at a time when all others would be in the process of re-growing. The maximum height ranges from two to four feet with a dome-shaped spread. 

Mugo Pine

Picture of Mugo Pine

Most people feel that only smaller varieties of shrubs work well in backyard patios or mini gardens. However, mugo pine brings a distinctive look to a small space as its height does not reach beyond ten feet at full maturity. These are evergreen shrubs with dark green-colored leaves and a “piney” fragrance that is refreshing and pure.

The most helpful way to plant these shrubs is on the borders of your landscape, as they naturally create an outline that makes the entire garden look neat. Due to their rugged nature, minimal maintenance and care are needed throughout the year. 

Deutzia

Picture Deutzia

Often gardeners face issues providing the right amount of sun to the plants growing in a small area. Deutzia is a shrub variety that does not require much fuss as it can grow in the shade. It has more than sixty species, with the most admired being Yuki Cherry Blossom, Deutzia x Lemoinei, and many more.

During the spring season, these shrubs have pink or blue flowers. On the other hand, its foliage transforms into a burgundy ccolorduring the autumn. The average height of deutzia is kne to three feet for low-growing varieties and three to eight for medium-growing sorts. 

Conclusion on 15 best shrubs for small spaces

Several reasons urge you to start your odyssey to find an assortment of small shrubs. Maybe you do not have room for more shrubs in your massive grade, or you are looking for smaller varieties to fill up the bald spaces in your garden. Or maybe you love the idea of dwarf shrubs in your yard.

But we are sure that with these stunning and petite varieties, you will be able to fulfill all your requirements.

If you have a big garden and you want it to be colorful. I wrote an article about flowering plants that are the best to grow. You can choose from colors Blue, White, Red, Purple, and Orange. You can read it by clicking the color that you want.

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Tony O'Neill

I am Tony O'Neill, A full-time firefighter, and professional gardener. I have spent most of my life gardening. From the age of 7 until the present day at 46. My goal is to use my love and knowledge of gardening to support you and to simplify the gardening process so you are more productive

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