Many times people plant a dwarf form of a plant thinking it will remain the size it was purchased at. This is ultimately the misconception of what the term dwarf really means. “Dwarf” is a relative term, not an absolute. Its meaning: a plant much smaller than the average of its kind or species. Dwarf species often grow much slower than the parent species and ultimately have a smaller mature size compared the parent plant.
We often see homeowners planting a “dwarf” plant a few feet from the house, which will easily outgrow the space at maturity. If you are designing your landscape be sure to research, read the labels or ask a professional about your selections. Use the mature size of the plant when planning and space them according to how big it will eventually be, not how big it is now. As your plants mature they will soon fill in the spaces in between. Otherwise you’ll be constantly pruning your plants to “stay” in their place. By being proactive and informed you will have a much nicer and healthier landscape to enjoy (instead of constantly working to maintain it!).
A few common dwarf plants and their mature size:
Dwarf burning bush: mature size 9-11’ (want something smaller, try Rudy Haag: 3-5’ or Little Moses: 2-3’)
Dwarf Korean lilac: mature size 4-5’
Allenman’s dwarf red dogwood: mature size 4-5’
Dwarf fothergilla: mature size 2-3’
Dwarf Pee Wee Oakleaf hydrangea: mature size 3-4’