Dwarf Flowering Trees: 21 Small Trees That Have Flowers
Thinking of planting some trees in your garden or near your home, but don't have a lot of space? That's where getting a dwarf flowering tree comes into play! These shorter trees are easy on space, without sacrificing any of their beautiful flowers. In this article, we take a deeper look at some of our favorites!
Flowering trees often serve as focal points in gardens, but there’s not always room for something massive. When you want something that enhances your landscaping without overwhelming it, you might consider dwarf flowering trees, which are essentially smaller versions of many bigger trees.
Smaller trees that cap out at ten or fifteen feet can add variety to a design and provide pops of color throughout the year. Of course, you have to consider your existing color scheme so that the tree doesn’t detract from the space. For example, if you have several trees with white flowers, you might not want a tree with yellow flowers.
We’ve complied a giant list of our favorite small flowering trees for your home or garden. Each of these trees has unique blossoms, foliage, and trunks. Some produce fragrant blooms while others yield fruit. A few of them even bloom at unusual times or have colorful foliage that adds color to your landscape year-round. Read on to learn about the top small flowering trees available.
- 1 Blue Chinese Wisteria Tree
- 2 Bottlebrush Tree
- 3 Chaste Tree
- 4 Crape Myrtle
- 5 Dragon Tree
- 6 Franklin Tree
- 7 Jack Dwarf Pear
- 8 Japanese Maple
- 9 Plumeria
- 10 Powder Puff
- 11 Purpleleaf Sand Cherry
- 12 Redbud
- 13 Sasanquas
- 14 Sargent Crabapple
- 15 Saucer Magnolia
- 16 Seven-Son Flower
- 17 Smoketree
- 18 Star Magnolia
- 19 Stewartia
- 20 Utah Serviceberry
- 21 Weeping Cherry
- 22 Final Thoughts
Blue Chinese Wisteria Tree
Scientific name: Wisteria sinensis
While wisteria sinensis is technically a flowering vine, it can be grown into a smaller tree, or a shrub. If you need a spot of violet to anchor the flowers in your landscaping, the Chinese wisteria may be a solid choice. It yields gorgeous, fragrant lavender flowers that fade to blue throughout the late spring and early summer. The bright green foliage turns yellow in the fall.
Blue Chinese wisteria can take full sun but will live just fine in partial shade as long as they have at least 6 hours of sunlight exposure. They aren’t particular about soil type or pH level and hold up in zones 5 through 9. Once established, this tree is disease-resistant and tolerates drought conditions.
Scientific name: Callistemon
Bottlebrush trees are extremely versatile and interesting plants that can be trained into a shrub-like shape or a small tree. Under the right conditions, these trees can reach up to 15 feet. They produce brush-like red blooms throughout the late spring, summer, and early fall, making them an eye-catching focal point.
These trees like mild climates and do best in warmer areas. However, it’s possible to keep potted bottlebrush trees in zones 8b through 11 if you move them inside when the weather turns cold. They thrive in rich, well-drained soil, though they aren’t too picky about pH levels.
Scientific name: Vitex agnus-castus
If drought is a concern, it might be time to consider a chaste tree. Most of these varieties cap out at eight to ten feet tall, though they can spread up to eight feet wide if left to grow. Chaste trees remain green through the spring and summer but produce white, blue, or lavender blooms in early fall.
Note that though these trees are suitable for zones 6 through 9, they are considered invasive species in some areas. Plan in full sun and maintain medium moisture as much as possible, though as noted, mature trees handle drought well.
Scientific name: Lagerstroemia
While not all crape myrtles are dwarf trees, you can find several varieties that cap out at six to ten feet and still manage to put on a display. Crape myrtles are southern staples that set off many landscapes with fully white, red, pink, or lavender flowers throughout the summer months. And, just wait until you get to fall when the brilliant color display shifts to the leaves!
Most dwarf crape myrtles thrive in zones 6 to 9 where they can soak up the full sun in well-drained soil. Expect a hardy tree that resists disease and pests with proper care.
Scientific name: Dracaena marginata
Dragon trees make a statement from day one, but it takes up to fifteen years for them to yield their first white blooms. While it’s a popular houseplant in many areas, the dragon tree typically only flowers outside, making it a statement piece in landscapes across zones 10 to 12. They are hardy trees that some specialists consider indestructible.
These trees can handle almost anything thrown at them, though they prefer neutral, well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. Of note, dragon trees are toxic to dogs and cats.
Scientific name: Franklinia alatamaha
Named after Benjamin Franklin, the Franklinia alatamaha is a dwarf tree that has bright white flowers. The flowers are somewhat resemblant of a white perennial flower known as the anemone. While this tree can grow up to about 30 feet tall, it’s most commonly used in a dwarf capacity, usually getting no larger than 10 feet in height.
This tree does well in full sun and can grow in growing zones 5-8. The blooms have five petals and have yellow tendrils in the center of the bloom. This tree can be grown as a shrub, or as a single trunk tree.
Jack Dwarf Pear
Scientific name: Pyrus calleryana ‘Jaczam’
Jack dwarf pears, also known as Jack flowering pears, are lovely ornamental trees that hold up well to common diseases and pests. Spring brings delicate white blooms that turn into tiny greenish-yellow fruit, and then reddish leaves through the fall.
They thrive in zones 5 through 8 and prefer full sun. One of the perks for this flowering dwarf tree is that it’s low-maintenance. Jack dwarf pears don’t care much about pH levels and once established, they only require occasional watering and pruning.
Scientific name: Acer palmatum
While some varieties can reach up to 20 feet, there are several Japanese maples that only reach half that size. Plus, this gorgeous little tree is easy to train into the desired size with proper pruning.
Depending on the variety, expect a purple flowered tree, or a tree with some red flowers. Some have leaves that turn reddish to maroon in fall. It’s a versatile option that can serve as a centerpiece or add variety to a border.
Japanese maples prefer partial shade with protection from the hot afternoon sun. Make sure the soil is well-drained, never too wet or dry, and has a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. Protect young trees from strong winds, excessive sun, and frosts.
Scientific name: Plumeria rubra
Plumerias rubra, also known as a frangipani, can thrive as small flowering trees or large shrubs. They produce massive fragrant pinkish-red flowers with yellow centers and have succulent branches. As a dwarf tree, plumerias take on an umbrella-like appearance and can serve as a focal point in your tropical-inspired garden.
Restrict plumerias to zones 10 to 12, unless you grow them in containers and move them indoors during the cold months. They are susceptible to freezing and can rot if the soil isn’t well-drained. Plumerias aren’t picky about soil pH levels or type, but they require full sun.
Scientific name: Calliandra haematocephala
This fast-growing tree is a southern Florida favorite that can reach up to 15 feet tall. While some gardeners opt to train it into a shrub, it’s a cute cottage-style dwarf tree that serves as a focal point in any landscape. These evergreen trees thrive south of zone 9B and produce fuzzy pink, red, and white blooms throughout most of the year.
Plant your powder puff tree in full sun, though they can handle partial sun if necessary. They can survive the southern cold, but harsh weather can damage the leaves a bit, requiring pruning in the spring. Keep the soil moist and maintain a pH level between 6.0 and 7.5.
Purpleleaf Sand Cherry
Scientific name: Prunus x cistena
These hardy small flowering trees produce dainty white flowers in the spring. Purpleleaf sand cherries often serve as a contrast piece throughout the year because of the purplish-red leaves that retain their color through the summer. Plus, they bear a small amount of fruit that makes amazing jams and desserts.
Purpleleaf sand cherry trees grow well in zones 3 through 7 in full sun or partial shade. They like loamy, acidic soil and require consistent moisture. These trees are not drought tolerant but they tolerate many soil types and survive through harsh winters.
Scientific name: Cercis canadensis
Don’t let the name fool you, redbuds are a tree that produces pink flowers, or white flowers. These dwarf trees max out at ten feet tall but deliver notable curb appeal from spring through fall. Depending on the variety, you can expect golden-yellow, white-splashed, or dark green leaves in the autumn.
Redbuds are easy to maintain in zones 5 to 9 and will handle dry spells in moderation. They thrive in full sun to partial shade and prefer well-drained soil. However, if you plant them in full sun, mulch the area around the trunk and water regularly to maintain the moisture levels.
Scientific name: Camellia sasanqua
Sasanquas are dwarf variations of the popular camellia tree. Several varieties fall within this class of small flowering trees that don’t reach more than six feet in size. They typically have daintier foliage than a camellia and often bloom longer.
Most varieties produce pink to red flowers, except for the Inspiration. This Louisiana native tree has white flowers with a maroon border.
Sasanquas prefer full sun to partial shade, though protection from the hot midday sun is helpful for younger trees. Well-drained soil is a must, and keep that pH level above 7 to keep them thriving.
Scientific name: Malus sargentii
While several varieties of crabapple trees can be pruned into dwarfs, the Sargent is naturally smaller. It reaches between six and ten feet at full maturity and delivers clusters of star-shaped white flowers in spring. Since the leaves and flowers are so dense, this variety makes an excellent privacy hedge.
Sargent crabapples survive in zones 4 through 8. They prefer full sun and require at least six hours of direct light each day. Soil should be moist and well-drained but otherwise, this tree isn’t particular about type or pH levels.
Scientific name: Magnolia x soulangeana
Saucer magnolias can reach up to twenty feet, but many gardeners elect to keep them smaller with regular pruning. They serve as a staple in many gardens because of the fragrant pink blooms that emerge early in the spring.
Though magnolias are often associated with the south, saucer magnolias can thrive in zones 4 through 9. These small flowering trees need full sun with at least six hours of direct light every day. They aren’t particular about soil types or pH levels and can handle some drought-like conditions. They are closely related to full sized magnolias, and these trees also produce beautiful flowers.
Scientific name: Heptacodium miconioides
The seven-son flower is part of the honeysuckle family that thrives as a small tree. In the spring, this flowering dwarf tree produces large, glossy leaves. It blooms mid-summer with bunches of seven, fragrant, white flowers.
Though some people prune it down to a large shrub, the seven-son flower fares best as a compact or small tree. It has irregular branches and grows quickly.
Seven-son flower trees do best in zones 5 through 9 and require full sun to partial shade. They prefer drier soil that’s loamy or sandy and slightly alkaline.
Scientific name: Cotinus coggygria
Smoketrees might be one of the more unique options on the list. These versatile trees can double as shrubs if you prefer something smaller, but they can reach up to 15 feet tall. What sets them apart are the pinkish blooms that look like smoke on the branches. By fall, the leaves shift from a bluish-green to reddish-purple and yellow in the fall.
Plus, smoketrees handle almost any soil type as long as it is well-drained. They can even hold up under mild to moderate drought or wet conditions. Plant them in full sun if possible, but they can tolerate partial shade as long as they get at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.
Scientific name: Magnolia stellata
Star magnolias are somewhat smaller than the saucer variety, topping out at closer to fifteen feet. This variety is also a little hardier and produces three to four-inch, star-shaped white flowers that bloom throughout the spring. While some people elect to prune star magnolias down to shrubs, they do best as oval-shaped or pyramidal trees.
These dwarf trees work best in zones 4 through 9 and prefer full sun but can handle partial shade. They aren’t particular about soil type or the pH level and can handle moderate flooding and drought conditions.
Scientific name: Stewartia
Though some varieties of Stewartia can reach up to 40 feet, most don’t reach more than 20 feet, and there are a few dwarfs in the family. Since these trees all grow slowly, it’s easy to prune any variety to the desired size. They yield delicate white flowers through most of the summer and the leaves shift to purple and orange through the autumn.
Stewartia trees enjoy partial shade, especially with protection throughout the middle of the day. They are insect and disease resistant and fare best in zones 5 through 8. Keep the soil moist but well-drained and acidic.
Scientific name: Amelanchier utahensis Koehne
Several serviceberry varieties can be kept as small flowering trees, but the Utah serviceberry is naturally smaller. It typically doesn’t exceed 16 feet, and some people trim it down to shrub size. Utah serviceberries yield white blooms in spring and purplish-black fruit during the summer months.
This tree prefers zones 6 through 9 but might tolerate zone 5 if you take extra precautions during the winter months. It loves the sun but enjoys shade protection from the midday rays. Utah serviceberries handle drought well but don’t tolerate salt. Keep soil well-drained but these trees are otherwise fairly self-sufficient.
Scientific name: Prunus pendula
The weeping cherry is a popular dwarf flowering tree thanks to the gorgeous cascades of pink flowers. Despite its name, the weeping cherry is grown for decoration, not fruit, though birds eat the small black fruit.
Weeping cherries thrive in zones 5 through 8 as long as they have full sun. They need well-drained, fertile soil that’s more acidic with pH levels between 6.0 and 7.0. These little trees require limited to no pruning unless you notice undesirable shoots or dead branches.
Dwarf flowering trees add texture and color to landscape designs while breaking up the space. They are versatile plants that can blend with a hedge of small trees and shrubs or serve as striking focal points. Whether you need an evergreen tree that anchors your design or gravitate toward an ornamental tree with stunning blooms, you have plenty of options.
Whether you need a white flowered tree to balance a color scheme or seek a fragrant bloom to announce the arrival of spring, there’s a different type dwarf flowering tree to meet your needs. Many of these trees are hardy and require limited care to thrive, and some can double as shrubs or potted trees that you can move around to enjoy year-round.