What Are Some Slender Shrubs for Small Garden Spaces?

Slender Shrubs for Small Garden Spaces

“I have a spot on the front of my house that gets morning sun. Our house faces east. The spot is about 6 feet x 4 feet. I’d like to find a shrub that grows tall and skinny.” Question from Jen of Sycamore, Illinois

Answer: There are many slender shrubs for small garden spaces that are just tall and skinny enough to fit in your partially sunny bed. My suggestions only include shrubs that will not overgrow the spot. All are tolerant of partial sun.

  1. Stonehenge Skinny Yew stays upright, slender, and reaches just 8 feet when mature and 2 feet across. It is also tough, evergreen, and hardy to USDA Hardiness Zone 5.
  2. Sky Pencil Japanese Holly is a classic upright evergreen shrub that remains very slender–to 18 inches across- and only reaches 6 feet high.

  3. Filips Magic Moment’ Arborvitae is conical, upright, has golden evergreen foliage, and reaches 8 feet x 3 feet. It is also very hardy.
  4. Columnar Apple Trees can reach 8 feet and stay just 2 feet across. You need at least two for cross-pollination and fruiting, but you may have space for a couple. The spring flowers are very pretty.
  5. Fine Line® Buckthorn has fine, feathery leaves and reaches a maximum of 7 feet and only 2 to 3 feet across. It is a simple, and attractive choice.

Click here for planting tips. When amending your soil for a new planting, we recommend adding Black Gold Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss for increased fertility.

I hope that some of these ideas appeal to you!

Happy gardening,

Jessie Keith

Black Gold Horticulturist




Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

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