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Podcast: Let's Argue About Plants

Episode 74: Short Plants Are Better

Video by Danielle Sherry & Steve Aitken, Edited by Kara Demos

Danielle was convinced that this was HER episode, considering she’s shorter than Steve. But it turns out that Steve had a lot of great short plants to talk about on this episode too. The pair discusses why short plants are important to good design and exactly what dimensions qualify a plant as “short.” The list includes some shrubs, some perennials, and plenty of options for multiple seasons of interest. After all, if you put a plant front and center, don’t you want it to look good for as long as possible?


Expert testimony: Susan Morrison, owner of Creative Exteriors Landscape Design in the East Bay region of Northern California


Steve’s plants

Wall germander (Teucrium chamaedrys, Zones 4–9)

‘Little Goldstar’ black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida var. sulivantii ‘Little Goldstar’, Zones 4–10)

‘Georgia Pancake’ amsonia (Amsonia ciliata var. filifolia ‘Georgia Pancake’, Zones 5–9)

‘Quicksilver’ Chinese wild ginger (Asarum splendens ‘Quicksilver’, Zones 6–9)


Danielle’s plants

‘Golden Fleece’ goldenrod (Solidago sphacelata ‘Golden Fleece’, Zones 4–9)

‘Mini Skirt’ hosta (Hosta ‘Mini Skirt’, Zones 3–9)

‘Sandy Claws’ epimedium (Epimedium wushanense ‘Sandy Claws’, 6–8)

Burly Blue™ juniper (Juniperus scopulorum ‘MonOliver’, Zones 3–8)


Expert’s plants

Baby Bliss flax lily (Dianella revoluta ‘DTN03’, Zones 7–11)

‘Koi’ geum (Geum coccineum ‘Koi’, Zones 5–7)

‘Kent Beauty’ ornamental oregano (Origanum ‘Kent Beauty’, Zones 5–8)



Wall germander
Wall germander
‘Golden Fleece’ goldenrod
‘Golden Fleece’ goldenrod


‘Georgia Pancake’ amsonia
‘Georgia Pancake’ amsonia


‘Quicksilver’ Chinese wild ginger
‘Quicksilver’ Chinese wild ginger


‘Sandy Claws’ epimedium (credit: Walters Gardens Inc.)
‘Sandy Claws’ epimedium. Photo: Walters Gardens Inc.
‘Mini Skirt’ hosta
‘Mini Skirt’ hosta. Photo: Walters Gardens Inc.


‘Little Goldstar’ black-eyed Susan
‘Little Goldstar’ black-eyed Susan


Burly Blue™ juniper
Burly Blue™ juniper


Expert pick

Susan Morrison: expert testimony (credit: Susan Morrison)
Photo: Susan Morrison



Expert testimony: Susan Morrison, owner of Creative Exteriors Landscape Design in the East Bay region of Northern California.

‘Kent Beauty’ ornamental oregano
‘Kent Beauty’ ornamental oregano


‘Koi’ geum
‘Koi’ geum
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