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Design

Great Low-Growing Plants

Lower the height, not the bar

Click here to enlarge the illustration.

Keeping plantings under 3 feet tall might imply a boring and static landscape. But thoughtful plant placement and a varied hardscape help a space really shine, without obstructing the view from the house.

Shorter plants deserve some love. True, they aren’t hulking beasts, drawing your eye from a mile away, but they can be focal points. The following are some of my favorite small plants whose texture, color, or form is hard to ignore.

 

To learn more about designing with these low-growing plants, check out Landscaping With Low-Growing Plants.

 

1 foot tall and under


‘Silver Shadow’ astelia
‘Silver Shadow’ astelia

1. ‘Silver Shadow’ astelia

Astelia ‘Silver Shadow’

Zones: 8 to 10

Conditions: Full sun; well-drained soil

 

2. ‘Cotton Tail’ thrift

Armeria maritima ‘Cotton Tail’

Zones: 3 to 8

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; well-drained soil

 

3. ‘Hocus Pocus’ geranium

Geranium pratense ‘Hocus Pocus’

Zones: 3 to 9

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; moist, well-drained soil

 

2 feet tall and under


4. Autumn moor grass

Sesleria autumnalis

Zones: 5 to 8

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; well-drained soil

 

‘Blue Ice’ bluestar
‘Blue Ice’ bluestar

5. ‘Blue Ice’ bluestar

Amsonia ‘Blue Ice’

Zones: 4 to 9

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; moist, well-drained soil

 

6. ‘Elsie’s Gold’ sedum

Sedum ‘Elsie’s Gold’

Zones: 3 to 9

Conditions: Full sun; well-drained soil


3 feet tall and under


7. ‘Blue Gem’ mountain plum pine

Podocarpus lawrencei ‘Blue Gem’

Zones: 7 to 9

Conditions: Full sun; well-drained soil

 

‘Purple Gem’ rhododendron
‘Purple Gem’ rhododendron

8. ‘Purple Gem’ rhododendron

Rhododendron ‘Purple Gem’

Zones: 4 to 8

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; well-drained soil

 

9. ‘Merrist Wood Cream’ shrubby rockrose

Halimiocistus wintonensis ‘Merrist Wood Cream’

Zones: 8 to 10

Conditions: Full sun; well-drained soil

 


This article first appeared as a sidebar in Landscaping With Low-Growing Plants by Susan Calhoun.

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Comments

  1. User avater
    SimpleSue 10/23/2019

    An interesting article. Good info to know and consider smaller scale plants in groupings.

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