If you’re looking for a small shrub for your yard, look no further than these five choices. All of them are tolerant of our climate and thrive in sunny areas. Native sage, Japanese yew, Franklin’s Gem Boxwood, Rose creek abelia, and Pittosporum dwarf variety grow about 2′ tall. They also look great around tall interest items, such as Japanese maples.
For a native sage tree, the best choice in North Texas would be Compacta. Although Compacta is the most common native sage in the state, there are also many cultivars and species that can be planted in the landscape. Compacta grows to about 5 feet, with lavender flowers. The smaller cousins of Compacta include the silverado and the Greato. Both have rounded spreading forms and are hardy to a few degrees below freezing.
In North Texas, native sage is a perfect choice. It thrives in dry climates and blooms from late spring to summer. Nandina, which is up to 6 feet tall, is tough and rugged and shows off red new growth throughout the year. Yews, on the other hand, are often considered boring plants, but they keep their vibrant green color all four seasons. Regardless of what type you choose, you can’t go wrong.
While the name Texas sage suggests that it’s a single species, in reality there are three. The Chihuahuan Desert contains a handful of additional species. In the landscape industry, sage is cultivated under the name ‘cultivar’. Different cultivars have slightly different leaf color and are more suited to the climate in North Texas than others.
Another native sage dwarf shrub is L. revolutum, or ‘Houdini,’ a plant native to Mexico. Its needle-like leaves are dotted with purple blooms and grows to about four feet tall and five feet wide. Native sage dwarf shrubs in North Texas are hardy, but they are beautiful and useful for landscaping. If you’re interested in planting native sage dwarf shrubs in your landscape, check out the following recommendations.
If you’re looking for a low-growing, beautiful shrub for your landscape, consider Japanese Yew. This shrub grows to be between three and four feet tall. It thrives in zones 4 to 7 and can tolerate some drought. Besides being drought-resistant, these shrubs are also deer-resistant. In addition, these low-growing shrubs are often trimmed to keep their shape and add a natural look to the landscape.
Despite its name, the Japanese yew has an elongated shape, and produces oval, green fruits that ripen to purple in their second year. It is named after the Greek word podocarpus, which means “fruit foot,” which means “fruit foot.” While yews are attractive, they can be poisonous. For smaller spaces, try growing a slower-growing podocarpus, such as Pringle’s dwarf.
Despite its name, Japanese yew is not known to be a particularly drought-tolerant plant. However, it can tolerate full sun or partial shade. Unlike its Northern cousin, this plant tolerates full sun and moderate shade. Although it’s not a great choice for Central Texas climates, it can still add structure and privacy to your landscape. In addition, it can also tolerate shade, so if your garden doesn’t have much sunlight, you can consider a new plant in the area to provide a contrast.
The Japanese yew is an excellent choice for landscape planting in North Texas. Unlike many other conifers, these shrubs tolerate shade and require very little maintenance. Once established, these shrubs can be pruned into a hedge or pyramid. Pruning can be done anytime throughout the year, although they’re best pruned in early spring. These trees are pest-resistant and can tolerate some pruning, such as mealybugs, scale, and aphids. While they have few major problems, they can be susceptible to root rot if the soil is poorly drained. Over-exposure to harsh winters, they can develop bark that turns a redd-brown color.
Franklin’s Gem Boxwood
If you’re looking for a low-maintenance plant that will be beautiful and low-maintenance, try Franklin’s Gem Boxwood. It’s oval-shaped, glossy foliage is green during the summer and olive-green during winter. It’s deer-resistant and grows as a perennial in USDA zones 5 through 8.
The Franklin’s Gem Boxwood will add a sophisticated, formal look to your landscape. It’s low-maintenance and reaches a height of 24”. It’s the best choice for a low hedge in colder climates, but it won’t thrive in the hottest areas of the state. The Magic Carpet Spirea is another low-maintenance option, reaching only 12 to 18 inches tall.
Another great choice for small-size gardens and secluded landscapes is the American Boxwood. At about 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide, it’s especially hardy and disease-resistant. A variety of boxwoods are available in North Texas, and several species have become favorites for gardeners. Wintergreen Boxwood, for example, grows to five feet tall and four feet wide. Baby Gem Boxwood is smaller, reaching only three feet tall and two feet wide at maturity.
This hardy evergreen plant is an excellent choice for outdoor containers. It’s commonly used as a ‘thriller’ in container plantings, and should be planted near the center of a pot surrounded by smaller plants. However, it can be grown alone in a container, though its performance may be a bit different from its yard counterpart. You may need to water it more frequently in outdoor containers compared to the yard.
In terms of size, this shrub is perfect for a short hedge. Its foliage stays yellow throughout the growing season and is not as drought-tolerant as boxwood. It can be planted in flowerbeds and is hardy in zones six through eight. A well-protected location is essential for this plant to grow successfully. It’s deer resistant and grows quickly. But you’ll have to plant it in a sunny, sheltered area to get the most out of it.
Rose creek abelia
The rose creek abelia is a compact, hardy shrub that offers a soft pop of color in the landscape. Its foliage is bright green, but turns a crimson hue as the weather cools. The flowers are white and slightly fragrant, and bloom throughout the summer and fall. Rose creek abelias are drought-tolerant and will not die in cold temperatures, but can be damaged by frosts. Once the weather warms up again, they will regrow. They are very pest-resistant, and can be used as a low hedge or as an ornamental container.
This plant grows quickly, and it has a vase-shaped shape. It tends to throw long branches. It also blooms on new growth, so prune it to keep it at a manageable height. If you do prune it, do it 4-6 inches below your desired height. The plant will regrow new growth and bloom again when pruned. The foliage will be attractive and drought-tolerant for years.
The foliage on the abelia is a glossy green that changes to a burgundy or bronze color in the winter. The flowers are white and resemble rose petals. This dwarf shrub grows to a height of 4 feet, but you can prune it back to a smaller height. It is easy to grow and will tolerate heat and drought. Its foliage is highly attractive and fragrant. Despite its small size, it is a hardy, drought-tolerant shrub that will make a stunning accent in your landscape.
The rose creek abelia is a dwarf shrub native to central China. Its parents are closely related, but they never met in China. They crossed in Italy and were introduced near the Swiss border on the shores of Lake Maggiore. The Rovelli nursery introduced their singular offspring in 1886. Its popularity grew rapidly after that. Now, it has become one of the most popular plants in the area.
‘Little Gem’ magnolia
‘Little Gem’ southern magnolia produces fragrant, cup-shaped flowers in mid-spring and early summer. The leaves are dark green and remain so throughout the winter. The fruits are pink pods that are displayed early to late fall. Despite its dwarf form, Little Gem southern magnolia grows rapidly and densely, making it an excellent choice for northern Texas gardens.
Plants from the southern hemisphere produce a dense canopy, and ‘Little Gem’ southern magnolia is no exception. Its natural compact growth means that you can grow it without a professional landscaper. But in some cases, pruning is necessary to maintain its compact shape. This Southern magnolia is an excellent choice for busy gardeners, as it’s low-maintenance and requires only occasional maintenance.
‘Little Gem’ southern magnolia trees should be planted four feet apart, evenly along the row. Using a string to tie each plant down, plant ‘Little Gem’ magnolias as formal hedges. You can make planting them easier by digging a trench instead of individual holes. Remember to prune them as they are young, and only lightly, to keep them dense and prevent hard pruning.
‘Little Gem’ southern magnolias will continue to flower through the summer months. They bloom more than standard southern magnolias and are intoxicating to smell. As a dwarf magnolia, ‘Little Gem’ southern magnolias will be a lovely addition to any lawn or garden in north Texas.