Dwarf evergreen plants are smaller versions of standard evergreen varieties. Miniature evergreens do well in areas where gardening space or lot size are limited. When used in conjunction with other plants, they provide year-round coverage and a variety in appearance. When placed in the landscape properly, the dwarf evergreen can recreate a forest feel.
When to Plant
Dwarf evergreen plants are available in numerous varieties, but most require a planting around October. It is important to know the variety and its ideal time for planting. Dwarf trees generally requires a well-draining soil that is slightly acidic, as well as placement providing full sunlight.
Dwarf evergreens are divided into 18 different shapes, according to Penn State University, including globose, narrow pyramid, pendulous pyramid, narrow upright, prostrate, irregular, cushion and weeping. Occasional pruning to keep the shape of the plant may be necessary, so choose a shape that is easy to maintain and requires only the work you are willing to put into it.
Pruning is only necessary for shaping and the removal of dead or diseased branches in most years. Dwarf plants grow slowly and need size pruning only every other season to improve their shape. Fertilizer is required in the early spring or late fall, says the University of Washington Extension. Apply a high-nitrogen commercial fertilizer to the tree at a third of a pound per foot of tree height, or the spread of the plant, whichever length is greater. The fertilizer is best worked into the soil around the plant.
Select your plant based on the soil conditions and the region where you live. Dwarf evergreens require a slightly acidic soil, so a pH test is often necessary before choosing a location. Soil composition also plays a major role in whether a tree will grow. The umbrella pine likes rocky areas while the Japanese cedar needs a well maintained soil.
Planting Your Dwarf
Dig a hole that is as deep as the rootball of the plant is high. Lower the plant into the hole and remove the pot or bag around the rootball. If the roots appear crushed, spread them out gently, using your fingers. Fill the hole with the soil originally removed, and tap it down so that it is tight, but not compacted. A ring of loose soil built around the tree will create a small valley that catches water.