Small shrubs you can keep 3 feet or less include dwarf shrub varieties and low growers that keep gardens beautiful and maintenance easy.
Since we have nearly 12 months of growing season here in South Florida, using more slow or moderate growers - whether large or small shrubs or plants - saves time and energy.
A "dwarf" shrub generally means one that will grow slowly or won't get very big when mature - or both.
Dwarf shrubs are a great choice for those of us who want to keep maintenance to a minimum...especially nice for snowbirds.
Although the plants in this section include many dwarf and slower varieties, we also feature moderate to fast growers you can keep trimmed to 3 feet or less. The Plant Pages will give the growth rate of each plant, so you can make good choices.
Use combinations of small shrubs that bloom with those that have colorful leaves.
When small flowering shrubs are growing out of a "haircut" - or they're between bloom cycles - colorful foliage plants step in and carry the day. In winter, when most things flower less, this is even more important.
Many low growing shrubs can be trimmed with hedge trimmers for a definitive shape such as rounded balls. Slow-growing all-green shrubs work best for you garden sculptors.
Other varieties are prettiest when left alone for a more natural look, cutting a few stems here and there to keep the plant in bounds. Then give it a good pruning once a year. (See the Plant Trimming page in the Gardening How-To section for more information.)
Some small shrubs grow pretty slowly...obviously, those that grow faster will require more trimming. But the beauty of a fast-growing plant and its intended use can make it well worth it.
Growth direction can make a shrub stay smaller - junipers generally grow outward rather than up.
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