How to Grow Mugo Pine Shrub - Plant Care & Tips

By NorwichGardener Team   /   2024

Mugo pine shrub is a versatile plant that can be used as a hedge, windbreak, or specimen plant in the landscape. It is a slow-growing evergreen with a dense, rounded form. The dark green needles of mugo pine are 3-5 inches long and arranged in pairs. The orange-brown cones are about 2 inches long and mature in 18-24 months.

How to Grow Mugo Pine Shrub - Plant Care & Tips

Also called

  • Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
  • Vaccinium oxycoccos
  • Empetrum nigrum
  • Calluna vulgaris
  • Erica tetralix

Things to Know

  • The mugo pine shrub is a low-growing, evergreen coniferous shrub.
  • It is native to mountain regions of central and southern Europe.
  • Mugo pines are often used as ornamental plants in gardens and parks.
  • These shrubs are tolerant of a wide range of soil and climatic conditions.
  • Mugo pines have dark green needles and small, round cones.
  • The shrubs are slow-growing and can live for many years.
  • Mugo pines are susceptible to a number of pests and diseases.
  • Proper care is essential for keeping mugo pines healthy and attractive.
  • These shrubs need full sun and well-drained soil.
  • Mugo pines can be propagated from seed or cuttings.

Planting Process

  1. For mugo pine shrub, first step is to select a planting location. Pick a spot that receives full sun and has well-drained soil.
  2. Prepare the planting area by removing all weeds and debris.
  3. loosen the soil in the planting area to a depth of about 12 inches.
  4. Create a mound of soil in the center of the planting area.
  5. Spread the roots of the mugo pine shrub over the mound of soil.
  6. Backfill the planting area with the loosened soil, tamping it down as you go.
  7. Water the newly planted mugo pine shrub deeply.
  8. Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around the base of the plant, making sure to keep it away from the trunk.
  9. Fertilize the mugo pine shrub once a year in early spring.
  10. Prune the mugo pine shrub as needed to maintain its shape.

Related plant:
Pinus Mugo

Soil Condition

About soil of Mugo pine shrub, it should be a well-drained soil mix. The soil mix should be one part peat moss to one part Perlite or sand. The pH of the soil should be around 5.0 to 6.5. You can use a garden hose to test the soil pH.

Light requirement

So, like the other mugo pines, the mugo pine shrub requires full sun to partial sun in order to grow properly. Full sun is defined as 6 or more hours of direct sun per day. Partial sun is defined as 3 to 6 hours of direct sun per day. If you live in an area with hot summers, it's best to plant the shrub in an area that gets morning sun and afternoon shade.

Ideal Temperature

The temperature condition that is best for mugo pines is cool to cold weather. Mugo pines are shrubs that are native to Europe and Asia. They are known for their hardiness and can withstand colder temperatures than other types of plants.

Ideal Humidity

Ideal humidity condition for this plant is soil that is moist but not soggy. The best way to achieve this is to use a pot with drainage holes and to water the plant when the topsoil is dry to the touch. If the air in your home is too dry, you can increase the humidity around the plant by placing the pot on a pebble tray filled with water.

The Fertilizer

For the fertilizer, this family of plant is known to be responsive to organic and inorganic fertilizers. It is best to use a fertilizer with a low nitrogen content because too much nitrogen will encourage the growth of foliage at the expense of the flowers and fruit. An application of compost or well-rotted manure in late winter is adequate for most shrubs. For the roots, mugo pines are known to have a shallow root system so they don't need a lot of digging when transplanting. They like well-drained soil and do not like to be waterlogged.

About light

Pruning is a key part of keeping your mugo pine shrub healthy and looking its best. By pruning off dead or diseased branches, you allow new growth to flourish. Pruning also helps to control the size and shape of the shrub. The best time to prune your mugo pine is in late winter or early spring.

About Propagating

Propagation is very easy with mugo pine. Simply take a cutting from the desired plant, being sure to include a few inches of stem. Place the cutting in a glass of water, and put it in a sunny spot. After a few weeks, the cutting will have developed roots, and can be transplanted into soil.

Plant Growth

Usually, the plant growth rate is determined by the age and species of the plant, with younger plants tending to grow faster than older ones. Many mugo pine species have a slow growth rate, however, there are some that can grow quite quickly. Some of the faster-growing mugo pine species include the 'Mops' and 'Burgundy Glow'.

The Problems

Common problems for this kind of plant are powdery mildew, needledrop, and branch dieback. All of these problems can be caused by incorrect watering, over-fertilizing, or damage from pests. To prevent these problems, water your mugo pine regularly and deeply, fertilize it sparingly, and check it for insects and other pests.

List to Know

  • If you are growing a mugo pine shrub from seed, stratify the seeds for two to three months prior to planting.
  • Choose a planting site that has well-draining, sandy soil and full sun.
  • Space the plants at least 3 feet apart to allow for proper air circulation.
  • Water the plants deeply and regularly during the first growing season to establish a deep root system.
  • Apply a thick layer of mulch around the plants to help retain moisture and control weeds.
  • Prune the plants annually to shape and encourage new growth.
  • Fertilize the plants every other year with a balanced fertilizer.
  • Protect the plants from winter damage by covering them with a burlap wrap or plastic sheeting.
  • Scale insects and other pests can be a problem for mugo pines. Treat infestations promptly with an insecticide or horticultural oil.

Alternative Plants

  • Mugilum (mullet)
  • Muginella (mugwort)
  • Mugilomorpha (mullets)
  • Mugilage (mastic)
  • Mugiloidei (mullets)
  • Mugilomorpha (mullets)
  • Mugiles (mullets)
  • Mugiloidea (mullets)
  • Mugilosus (mullets)
  • Mugilliforma (mullets)

Mugo Pine - Bellarmine University
Mugo Pine (Pinus mugo) - Selecting Shrubs for Your Home
ENH-626/ST467: Pinus mugo: Mugo Pine - University of Florida

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Reviewed & Published by Richelle
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Shrubs Category