Dwarf Mugo Pine – Georama Growers Plant of the Week

July 16, 2013 Case News

Common Names:      Dwarf Mugo Pine, Mountain Pine

Botanical Names:     Pinus mugo vars.

dwarf_mugoWhen my dad first started introducing dwarf conifers to the nursery, back in the mid ‘70s, Dwarf Alberta spruce and Mugo pines were about it. Mugo pines had many appealing qualities; they were attractive, adaptable, free of pests, very hardy and best of all easy to grow. Yet they also had one main drawback – they were not really dwarf, and had very frustrating variations in size, shape and colour due to their very large native range. To overcome this problem, plant propagators began to graft, and later on to grow from self rooted cuttings, selected forms of the mugo pine. Many new, compact and extremely dwarf cultivars are now available, some names to look for are, ‘Slowmound’, ‘Mops’, ‘Sherwood Compact’, ‘White Bud’ and the smallest of all – ‘Donna’s Mini’. This cultivar has an average needle length of less than 5/8”! It is best used in rock gardens and Alpine troughs where its diminutive size is in correct scale. Few conifers are as versatile as the Mugo pine, their overall small size makes them excellent choices for the smaller garden, as evergreens for the rock garden, and as landscape shrubs for slopes, and being salt tolerant, for road side plantings.  It is a good idea to prune back the new growth on the larger varieties to keep them in check, and maintain a neat and tidy appearance.

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