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Dwarf Mugo Pine for Sale - Buying & Growing Guide

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Pinus mugo var. pumilio
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Although the dwarf mugo pine is not the most popular plant in the nursery trade, that does not mean that it lacks landscape value. On the contrary, this plant variety, known as Pinus mugo var. pumilio, is a lovely needled evergreen with a manageable size. This plant also has an intriguing growth habit that can include twisting branches and a low spreading form. New growth  stands out as its tan color strikes a pleasing contrast to the mature foliage. Some highlights of the dwarf mugo pine:

  • Slow growth and small size make for a plant that won't take up too much space.
  • New growth is prominent, upright, and tan-colored.
  • Irregular branching allows for an interesting spreading shape.

Plant Care



Grows best in areas that receive at least six hours of sunlight per day.



Water regularly during establishment. Water during drought periods when mature.



Fertilize once per year or less with a well-balanced fertilizer blend.

Planting and Care

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by John Haryasz | Horticulture Writer and Landscape Designer – last update on June 8, 2022

Planting instructions

To get the best results out of your dwarf mugo pine, you should plant it in moist loam and full sunlight. Beyond that, this plant won’t have too many preferences regarding growing locations as it can adapt to a wide range of hardiness zones and soil acidity levels. Also, you won’t need to worry about spacing since it is a dwarf variety and a slow-growing plant. After planting, be sure to give this pine plenty of water until it is established.

Watering and nutrients

To keep the soil consistently moist, you should water your dwarf mugo pine somewhat frequently after you plant it. Oncethis plant reaches a few years old, it will need much less water and may be able to survive considerable droughts. Dwarf mugo pine does not need much fertilization either. A single application of a general-purpose fertilizer should be sufficient. In many cases, you may not need to fertilize at all for this plant to grow healthily.


Like most coniferous plants, the dwarf mugo pine will rely on wind to conduct pollination. The plant also attracts some interesting pollinator insects such as moths. Dwarf mugo pine has a set of cones that are about one to two inches long and have a ovalesque shape for their pollination process. These reproductive cones take on a dark gray color as they mature on the plant.


Another great aspect of growing a dwarf mugo pine in your garden is that you won’t need to worry about pruning. Dwarf mugo pines often take on an interesting shape of their own accord and will not grow out of control since they develop very slowly. This cultivar also maintains a minimal size since it is a dwarf variety. If you decide to prune this plant, you can make your cuts in the spring and focus on removing newer growth.

Pests, diseases, and animals

There are a handful of complications that can occur for a dwarf mugo pine. Some of the most common are issues such as rot and rust. Infestations of borers and sawflies can also take place. The biggest problem for the dwarf mugo pine is scale, which can cause considerable damage if you don’t notice and treat it early. Occasionally, other fungal issues like tip blight can harm the dwarf mugo pine as well.

Achieving maximum results

One advantage of the dwarf mugo pine is that it does not develop a pervasive root system or a considerable large taproot, making it quite easy to transplant this species. Take advantage of that fact and move your dwarf mugo pine to different growing locations as you please. Dwarf mugo pine is also a fantastic option for any gardener who happens to have calcareous soils where nutrients are relatively low.


How large is a dwarf mugo pine at maturity?

Dwarf mugo pines grow to be about 3 to 5 feet tall at most, but the spread of these plants can be much larger. At times, a dwarf mugo pine may reach a width of 10 feet. However, it will take a long time for this pine to reach that size because it is a very slow-growing plant. Non-dwarf varieties of this plant will be much larger, becoming 20 feet tall or more in some scenarios.

What is a mugo pine candle?

The new shoots of a mugo pine are called candles since the new growth stands straight up with a shape very similar to a candle. Mugo pine candles have a contrasting color to the rest of the plant, adding some ornamental intrigue. Candles appear in spring and slowly transform into standard branches and needles.

What are some other names for dwarf mugo pine?

Dwarf mugo pine can go by several other names, which may be confusing for some gardeners. One of the most common of these names is Swiss mountain pine, which refers to the native range of this plant. Bog pine, dwarf mountain pine, and scrub mountain pine are also some typical names that refer to the same species, and there are several other monikers..

Compare Similar Products

Mature height
3-5 ft.
Mature width
6-10 Ft.
Sunlight requirement
Full Sun
Growth rate
Botanical name
Pinus mugo var. pumilio
Shipping exclusions
Grows Well In Zones
Growing Zones: 2-8 i Growing zones help determine if a particular plant is likely to grow well in a location. It identifies the average annual minimum winter temperatures across the U.S. provided as a map by the USDA.
(hardy down to -10°F)

Dwarf Mugo Pine

Pinus mugo var. pumilio
  • Ships in 1-2 days
  • 1-Year Warranty Eligible
  • Pots or accessories are not included unless specified in the product options.
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