Dwarf Shrub Suggestions

(Question)

We had two junipers on each side of the walk up to our covered front porch but removed them as they grew too tall and wide.  As such, we are now looking for replacements.  The space is about 3 feet wide on each side of the front steps so we need shrubs that at maturity are not much wider that three feet and ten feet tall.

The local nursery recommended Miss Kim Lilacs.  But in researching them found that they can get to be five feet wide.  This would then block part of the entrance to the porch.  What would you recommend?

 

 

 

 

 

(Answer)

I agree with you.  Miss Kim at it’s mature size is likely too big for your space without some regular pruning.  Here are a few other suggestions.  Based on Miss Kim’s requirements, I’m assuming you have a full sun location and I’ve limited my selections to deciduous, flowering shrubs that are hardy to at least a zone 5.  All of these shrubs are considered low maintenance and while two of them may have a mature spread of a little more than 3 feet, occasional pruning should keep them to your desired size.

Dwarf Oak Leaf Hydrangea, (Hydrangea quercifolia) ‘Sikes Dwarf’ has a height of just 2-3 feet and a spread of 3 to 4 feet at maturity.  It blooms in late spring with white, conical flowers that fade to pink.  The leaves are deep green which turn to shades of maroon in the fall.

Dwarf Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolious) ‘Tiny Wine’ is a new, smaller ninebark with a height and spread of 3-4 feet.  The leaves are a deep maroon and are a great contrast for the pink flowers. Bloom time is mid-spring.

Dwarf Fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii) ‘Mount Airy’ is a beautiful small shrub with a height and spread of 4 feet and a spread of 3 feet.   It is known for its profuse white spring flowers, good summer foliage, excellent fall colour and consistently upright habit.

There are also dwarf conifers that may meet your needs.  Please contact us again for coniferous suggestions if you wish to go with something evergreen.