The Mops Mugo Pine (Pinus Mugo ‘Mops’) Care Guide

The Mops Mugo Pine, otherwise known as the Pinus Mugo ‘Mops’ or Dwarf Mountain Pine ‘Mops’, Dwarf Pine ‘Mops’, Drooping Cone Pine ‘Mops’, Mountain Pine ‘Mops’, Swiss Mountain Pine ‘Mops’, is a rather well known shrub plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and slow growth, this shrub will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its blue-green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

This is why all the topics you need to know in order to achieve this will be covered in this Mops Mugo Pine Care Guide. Ready? Let’s go!

In order to take proper care of your Mops Mugo Pine you’ll need to keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • Water: The Mops Mugo Pine needs at least weekly watering, or more in extreme heat, preferably with regular water.
  • Light: Keep your Pinus Mugo ‘Mops’ in an environment where it can receive partial to full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Mops Mugo Pine in soil with well-draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

And as with many other plants, these are the only three care factors you need to remember to make sure your Mops Mugo Pine is, for the most part, healthy and well to survive.

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Mops Mugo Pine belongs to the Pinaceae family, the genus Pinus and the species Mugo, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Pinus Mugo ‘Mops’ (PY-nus MEW-go).

Other common Pinaceae species include Picea Abies ‘Nidiformis’, Pumila Norway Spruce, Abies Concolor ‘Blue Cloak’, Alberta Spruce ‘Echiniformis’, Blue Sapphire Ceanothus, Blue Atlas Cedar ‘Glauca Pendula’, Compact Tanyosho Japanese Red Pine, Chief Joseph Lodgepole Pine, Abies balsamea f. hudsonia, Drooping Cone Pine’, Pieris Japonica ‘Purity’, Sherwood Compact Mugo Pine, Pinus Contorta Var. Contorta, Abies Lasiocarpa ‘Glauca Compacta’, ‘Low Glow’ Japanese Red Pine, Abies koreana ‘Alpine Star’, Japanese Larch ‘Pendula’, Physocarpus Opulifolius ‘Podaras 3’ Plant Patent #22362, Photinia X Fraseri, Swamp Spruce ‘Nana’, Limbertwig, North American White Pine ‘Nana’, Pinus Sylvestris ‘Glauca Nana’, Raspberry Lemonade™ Ninebark, Calabrian Pine and Loblolly Pine.

As with other Pinus’s, the Mops Mugo Pine is an evergreen plant, which means it will be present year round in your garden.

Growing Region

The Pinus Mugo ‘Mops is native to southern and central Europe.

As a rule of thumb, we recommend to always keep in mind your plants’ native region and environment, since these are the conditions that your Mops Mugo Pine is most accustomed to, thus where it can most favorably.

With this in mind, the Pinus Mugo ‘Mops’ will be most used to the heat zones in the 1 – 7 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 2a, 2b, 3b, 3a, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a and the ideal climate zone is between 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3.

Growth and Size


In terms of size and growth, the Mops Mugo Pine is a relatively slow grower, which makes things easy for any plant enthusiast.


But, how big does the Mops Mugo Pine actually get? What should you expect in terms of size? Let’s dive right in…

The Pinus Mugo ‘Mops’ can grow up to 3′ – 4′ (90cm – 120cm) in 3′ – 4′ (90cm – 120cm) and 3′ – 4′ (90cm – 120cm) in 3′ – 4′ (90cm – 120cm). 

These dimensions make the Mops Mugo Pine a relatively medium shrub compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.

Also, expect it to grow in a wonderful compact, and rounded shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 36″ – 48″ (90cm – 120cm) free so the Mops Mugo Pine can spread to its best extent.


In terms of watering, the Mops Mugo Pine is a fairly simple plant to take care of. This is mostly because it has a straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Pinus Mugo ‘Mops’ needs at least weekly watering, or more in extreme heat, preferably with regular water.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Mops Mugo Pine in soil with well-draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

In our experience, the famous ‘thumb’ or ‘finger’ test is what works best for the Mops Mugo Pine since with it, you will be able to give it the right amount of water, every time – regardless of the environment or placement where you do decide to keep it.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Mops Mugo Pine prefers to have soil with good drainage properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

This is why most experts agree that the Mops Mugo Pine requires soil with clay, loam (silt), and sand, which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Mops Mugo Pine requires partial to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this shrub will do well as long as you keep it in full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Pinus Mugo ‘Mops’ in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).


Being an evergreen plant, the Mops Mugo Pine will be present year-round in your garden. But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (early, mid, late), the summer (early, mid, late), the fall, and during the winter.


The leaves from the Mops Mugo Pine have a beautiful blue-green color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a needles arrangement in its leaves.

You can expect the leaves from your Pinus Mugo ‘Mops’ to be around (1-3 inches) in size.

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Mops Mugo Pine is well known for its tolerance to drought and animals like deer, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Pinus Mugo ‘Mops’ will be fine.


Does your Mops Mugo Pine have any garden recommendations? Does it serve any gardening purposes? Here’s how you can get the most out of your new plant.

Most Pinus Mugo ‘Mops’ owners agree that this shrub will look great in most contemporary, asian/zen and rustic gardens of all types. 

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of informal and cottage, coastal garden, gravel and rock garden, and in traditional garden styles. 

In particular, the Mops Mugo Pine’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, and in small gardens, others use it for landscaping in a mass planting, border, specimen, container, rock garden, or a woodland garden.

Companion Plants

Mops Mugo Pine’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Acer, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Ilex will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!


Even though we covered a lot of care information for your Mops Mugo Pine, remember the basics: sunlight, soil and water, as these should be enough to grow a healthy plant at home.

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

Recent Posts