Best Dwarf Varieties of Popular Plants to Satisfy the Container Gardener


Let’s say that you love the look of New Zealand Flax, but know that it would just take over your small balcony. Or similarly, would you really like to grow Lily of the Nile but think it is just too big? Don’t give up on having these plants on your balcony or patio, just look for dwarf varieties! Flax and Lily of the Nile aren’t the only plants with dwarf counterparts, so keep on reading for small versions of your favorite types of plants.

Lily of the Nile (Agapantus)

  • Peter Pan – Light blue flowers with 18 inch flower stalks.
  • Blue Storm – Deep sky-blue flowers on a rugged 30 inch tall plants.
  • Snow Storm – Abundant, snow white bell shaped blossoms on 24 inch stems.

New Zealand Flax (Phormium)

  • Surfer – Bronzy/olive leaves that twist upwards. Plants are about 24-36 inches tall and 24 inches wide.
  • Dazzler – Forms 36 inch clumps of maroon and scarlet leaves.
  • Apricot Queen – Creamy yellow leaves striped with thick and thin bands of green. Cool temps bring out a very thin band of apricot-orange. 24 to 36 inches tall.

Daylily (Hemerocallis)

  • Little Grapette – Profusion of wine-colored, ruffled flowers on plants that are under 16 inches high.
  • Happy Returns – Bright lemony yellow flowers on plants that top out at 18 inches tall.
  • Mini Pearl – 18 inch tall plants peppered with peach colored blossoms.
  • Pardon Me – Bright wine red blooms on 18-inch stalks.

Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia)

  • Bourbon Street – A 24-36 inch weeping variety of crepe myrtle that looks amazing in hanging baskets.
  • Chica Red – Produces masses of rosy-red crepe-like blooms on bushes that are 36-48 inches tall and wide.
  • Petite Snow – A crepe tree that is small enough for a large pot. Upright branched patio tree topped by a profusion of snow white crepe-like blooms.
  • Centennial – Produces masses of bright purple flowers. Can be maintained at 3 to 5 feet high and wide patio tree.


  • White Gold – Twelve inch mounds covered in white flowers with yellow throats.
  • Teenie Geenie – An extremely dense and compact shrub, reaching to 30 inches in height and 30 inches across. It provides a continuous display of festive multi-colored rosette flowers which open chiffon yellow, transitioning to fuchsia pink.
  • Patriot Rainbow – Multi-colored florets open chiffon yellow, then transition to orange, then a final fuchsia-pink flourish. Forms 12 inch mounds.


  • Pee Wee – White flowers bloom late spring to early summer, fading to pink as they mature. Three to four feet tall.
  • Pink Elf – Numerous colorful rich pink broad flower heads add long lasting enjoyment. Fast grower to 18 inches tall and 24 inches wide.
  • Citiline Venice – Compact mounds of blue flowers. No need to prune back.

Olive (Olea)

  • Little Ollie – Four to six foot tall, fruitless, flowerless olive. Dark green and silver leaves, drought tolerant, what more could you want?

This list is already getting pretty long, and I haven’t even scratched the surface of dwarf plants! What would you add? Let’s see if we can make this into a really useful list of dwarf container plants.

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