Dogwoods are deciduous woody plants that belong to the genus Cornus, which contains almost 30 to 60 species of shrubs and trees. Some of them are perennial, while others are evergreen trees. Dogwood trees, especially the flowering dogwoods are the favorite ornamental plants for landscaping and gardening, because of their unique branching structure and the exotic blooms of red, pink, white, or yellow color.
Dogwood Tree Maintenance
As mentioned already, there are several species of dogwood trees, of which a few species are preferred for gardening and landscaping purposes. These species are known as flowering dogwood tree, Kousa dogwood, pagoda dogwood, redtwig dogwood, pink dogwood, yellow twig dogwood, ivory halo dogwood, variegated dogwood, and white flowering dogwood.
In general, dogwood trees require well-drained soil, rich in organic matter. Places partially exposed to sun are better for growing these trees, as compared to the places exposed to direct sunlight for the entire day. Regular watering, pruning, and fertilization are some other essentials for ensuring the healthy growth of these ornamental plants.
Caring for Flowering Dogwood Tree
The flowering dogwood tree requires a shady and moist place, and nutrient-rich soil to thrive properly. Though this tree can be grown in full sun, it is better to opt for a partially-shaded area, so that it can perform better. In their natural habitat, flowering dogwood plants are found in areas surrounded by larger trees. Moreover, if they are grown in full sun, they might get exposed to dogwood borers. But still, if you like to plant them in full sun, make sure that you water them frequently during the summer days. As far as the soil is concerned, well-drained and slightly acidic, humus-rich soil is best for growing them.
Pink Dogwood Care
The pink flowering dogwood can be a really beautiful tree to have in a yard. It grows well in moist, well-drained soil. It can adapt to any type of soil and climatic conditions. A partially-shaded area is the best place for growing a pink dogwood. For the first two growing seasons, the tree would require a lot of water. So, make sure to water them regularly. Usually, watering twice a week is sufficient to keep the soil moist. Along with watering, apply a layer of mulch around it. It can help retain soil moisture. But avoid the excessive use of fertilizers, as it can inhibit the normal growth of this tree.
White Dogwood Care
The white flowering dogwood is an excellent tree for landscaping. It is cherished for its lovely creamy-white blossoms that unfold in spring. An interesting fact about this tree is that it is drought-resistant. It prefers a partially-shaded area, though it can also be grown in full sun. The soil should be moist, well-drained, and slightly acidic to ensure the proper growth of this tree. Watering should be done regularly during summer. In addition to regular watering, apply a layer of mulch around the tree to retain soil moisture.
Caring for Kousa Dogwood Tree
The Kousa dogwood is also known as Chinese dogwood or Japanese flowering dogwood. To ensure the healthy growth of this tree, one should be particular about watering, especially during the summer days. Underwatering can cause leaf curling in this tree. Sometimes, the leaves can become brown along with the margin due to underwatering. Unlike the flowering dogwood, the Kousa dogwood can be grown in alkaline soil. Tolerance to slightly salty or alkaline soil, and resistance to several diseases make this dogwood tree easier to grow and care for, as compared to the flowering dogwood tree.
Caring for Pagoda Dogwood Tree
This flowering tree usually prefers slightly acidic and well-drained soil, though some species can be grown in slightly alkaline or neutral soil as well. Though they can be grown in both full sun and partially-shaded areas, most of them are found to grow better in full sun. Next to soil and sunlight, drainage is very important for the healthy growth of pagoda dogwood. As far as fertilization is concerned, do it sparingly. Be sure to water the tree regularly during summer, and do not forget to apply a layer of mulch so that the soil remains moist.
Redtwig Dogwood Care
Redtwig dogwood is a shrub with bright red stems, the color of which becomes more pronounced during winter. Even the leaves turn red in fall. The redtwig dogwood generally blooms in spring. The tree can be grown in any place, provided it gets adequate sunlight and water. The soil should be moist and rich in nutrients for growing this tree. The plant requires pruning to maintain a good shape. As far as fertilization is concerned, do it occasionally and carefully to promote growth and blooming.
Yellow Twig Dogwood Care
Yellow twig dogwood is a medium-sized shrub that is famous for its striking yellow stems or twigs. The color becomes more prominent and the shrub more beautiful during winter. This tree is usually planted with the redtwig dogwood to provide a good contrast. Its foliage is green in color, but turns yellow in fall. The shrub grows well in full sun, though it can also be grown in partial shade as well. But if it is grown in full sun, its stems assume a brighter yellow color in winter. As far as the soil conditions are concerned, wet soil, rich in nutrients is ideal for growing the yellow twig dogwood. Winter is the ideal time for pruning the shrub, and ensuring the growth of bright, yellow-colored twigs.
Caring for Ivory Halo Dogwood
The ivory halo dogwood is characterized by variegated leaves, which are soft green in color with creamy-white edges. The twigs turn red during winter, which makes this deciduous shrub more beautiful. The clusters of small, yellow-white flowers appear in late spring. The ivory halo dogwood is a rapidly growing shrub that can be grown in full sun to partial shade. The soil should be well-drained and moist. This shrub is adaptable to a wide range of soil types. The plant does not require pruning as such, but the old stems can be removed in spring to ensure the growth of new stems. Moreover, the young stems look bright red in winter than the old stems.
Variegated Dogwood Care
The variegated dogwood is characterized by variegated or multicolored foliage, which is the main attraction of this shrub. The most common species of variegated dogwood is the variegated red stem dogwood. The leaves of this shrub are usually dark green, but the edged are creamy-white in color. To ensure the better growth of this shrub, it should be grown in full sun to partial shade. The soil should be moist and well-drained.
Dogwood trees, in general are susceptible to various diseases, like spot anthracnose, septoria leaf spot, dogwood anthracnose, etc., which may necessitate the use of fungicides. For this, one should consult an expert so as to get a clear idea about how to use fungicides. To sum up, the various types of dogwood plants do require some care and maintenance. But these amazing trees and shrubs really deserve a little care for their captivating beauty.