Incorporating evergreen trees into your landscape design provides year-round interest and structure that meshes perfectly with the vibrant colors, rolling hills, and diverse flora of Iowa's native landscapes. However, if you have a smaller outdoor space, you may be thinking that the sprawling beauty of fresh evergreens is out of reach for you. If so, fear not! These small evergreen varieties will bring charm, texture, and enduring greenery to any Iowa garden, no matter the size.
What Are the Best Small Evergreens to Add to My Iowa Garden?
If you want all the vigor of an evergreen without their mighty size, these small evergreen varieties are for you!
With a maximum height of 6-8 feet and a shape that doesn't require much pruning, the Dwarf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca 'Conica') is a popular evergreen choice for smaller gardens.
Its conical shape and dense, compact foliage add a touch of elegance to any landscape, while its attractive blue-green needles provide year-round color that easily withstands Iowa's harsh winters. The Dwarf Alberta Spruce thrives in full sun to partial shade and prefers well-drained soil.
Golden Hinoki Cypress
If your landscape's still missing a statement plant, look no further than the golden hinoki cypress! Its compact, mounding growth and feathery, fan-shaped foliage keep things interesting, while its vibrant golden color makes it a stunning focal point or accent piece in any garden. This small evergreen reaches a height of 3-4 feet, prefers well-drained soil, and thrives in full sun to partial shade.
The Japanese yew is another stunningly sophisticated evergreen choice perfect for Iowa gardens. This low-maintenance, slow-growing beauty reaches a max height of 6-10 feet, features dense, dark green foliage, and can tolerate shade, making it ideal for planting under taller trees or along north-facing walls.
The Japanese yew is adaptable to different soil conditions but thrives in well-drained, slightly acidic soil. It also withstands pruning well, allowing you to shape it according to your preferences.
This small evergreen is a versatile plant that feels right at home in both small and large gardens. Its elegant pyramid shape and dense, glossy dark green foliage add an element of privacy to your landscape without the harshness of a fence line. It can reach a height of 10-15 feet, making it an excellent choice for hedging or screening.
The Techny Arborvitae is drought-tolerant and adapts well to various soil types, and while it prefers full sun, it can also tolerate partial shade. Just make sure to water this evergreen variety regularly during its first year in the ground to help it establish a healthy root system.
Dwarf Globe Arborvitaes (aka Thuja occidentalis 'Globosa') are popular evergreen shrubs that bring a touch of rugged charm and structure to any landscape. These compact, rounded shrubs are versatile and well-suited for various garden styles and sizes.
Their dense, globe-shaped growth habit gives them a neat, attractive appearance, and they typically only reach a height and width of 2 to 4 feet, making them an excellent option for smaller spaces, rock gardens, or as a container plant. They grow slowly, requiring minimal pruning or maintenance to maintain their compact form.
Sedums are an incredibly popular evergreen choice for smaller garden spaces, including rock, alpine, and even container gardens! Evergreen sedum is a smaller plant that typically flowers in late summer and into the fall with white, pink, or yellow blooms. They also attract pollinators like butterflies, making them the perfect addition to your late-blooming garden for some end-of-season interest.
Rug or groundcover junipers are a popular choice for Iowa gardens due to their hardiness, low-maintenance nature, and ability to provide excellent ground coverage.
These evergreen shrubs are known for their dense, spreading growth habit, making them an ideal choice for filling-in large bare patches, preventing soil erosion, and adding texture to your landscape.
Incorporating small evergreens into your Bettendorf garden can transform it into a picturesque and dynamic landscape. Whether you prefer the classic look of the Dwarf Alberta Spruce or the vibrant color of the Golden Hinoki Cypress, these evergreens offer a range of options for different garden styles and preferences. Just remember to consider factors such as sunlight, soil type, and desired size when selecting and planting your evergreens, and—with the proper care and attention—you'll be rewarded with enduring beauty and structure in your garden for years to come!