Yes, it’s hardy, and I like it too!

I have a friend that lives in the Midwest and he is always looking for very hardy conifers. We’ll be on the phone talking about our latest finds – me bragging about the great new bun-shaped Chamaecyparis or fascinatingly irregular form of Cryptomeria  – and I know he’s rolling his eyes on the other end of the line.

“Yeah, but I found a really cool dwarf mugo,” my friend tells me.

I’m thinking, “Oh great, another little green blob.” until I remember how much I like some of the TRUdwarf® mugos I have in my rock garden. “What did you find?” I ask.

“Something called, ‘Short Needle,'” he says.

Pinus mugo 'Short Needle

Oh yeah…there really are some great dwarf and miniature, extremely hardy mugo pines available these days. Sometimes I forget, living in our relatively mild climate here in the PNW, that other areas of the country are very limited to what they can grow. But, super hardy does not need to mean boring!

I just came back in from my rock garden to realize that most of my very dwarf and miniature conifers ARE very hardy too! As I mentioned earlier, the TRUdwarf® line of dwarf mugo pines include some great finds in sizes ranging from tiny, with growth rates of an inch or less per year, to simply dwarf forms like P.m. ‘Mops’ that can grow to about 6 feet by 8 feet or so in 30 years.

Some of my favorites for their very neat and compact form are:

Pinus mugo ‘Mitsch Mini’
Pinus mugo ‘Donna’s Mini’
Pinus mugo ‘Slowmound’
Pinus mugo ‘Mops’ and
Pinus mugo ‘Big Tuna’

All are great specimens for any conifer garden – I’m glad my mid-western friend reminded me of these excellent garden gems.

Conifer Lover

Thanks to my friends at Iseli Nursery for providing the photo links.

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