Pinus Mugo Pumilio (Swiss Mountain Pine)

A prostrate conifer with dark green needles on upright pointing branches. Please contact us for stock availability and sizes.

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Hardiness level Green

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We’ve really become obsessed with collecting pines in the last couple of years. Pinus mugo ‘Pumilio’ is a textural delight with naturally forming voluptuous clouds of deep green, and an abundance of tight needles on upright-pointing branches. Perfect, we think, for creating exciting coniferous humps, bumps and hummocks. Possibly even a tuffet. If you can, you might want to plant them in groups to enhance their undulating impact. There were some very good examples of this condensed planting style in RHS Wisley Wellbeing Garden last time I visited. A perfect companion for the contemporary landscaping, scree paths and weathered steel finishing. 

Planted as a blobbery with other compact varieties of pine or clipped broad leaved evergreens they will help make a dynamic design and a vision which really holds interest. We like to use them this way, en masse in our garden designs, creating a number of strategically placed blobberies for defining wider spaces and for underplanting and framing more vertical plants. Pinus mugo ‘Pumilo’ is perfect for planting along pathways, too, where their slow-growing nature makes them a well behaved and low maintenance choice. Over time it will gradually achieve a couple of metres in height and spread. 

A very versatile addition to a classic gravel or rockery garden with delicate alpines that can nestle among, around and against them. Of course, they look especially charming and atmospheric when dusted with the winter snow it would have in its home territory of the Pyrenees, the Alps and the Balkans. Closer to home they are very happy in containers and are a good option for patio pots or planters, it is quite hard to resist trailing your fingers through them when placed so invitingly within reach.

Pinus mugo ‘Pumilio’ needs full sun and any soil as long as it is well drained, even in exposed positions. It will grow by the coast but it would need some shelter. Prune in late winter during dormancy if required.


N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well watered when first planted.


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