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How to Grow and Care for Your Kousa Dogwood Ornamental Tree

How to Grow and Care for Kousa Dogwood
Kousa Dogwood is a small ornamental tree that makes for an excellent and beautiful landscape for your home all year round. If you are looking for such a tree, then try planting this. Gardenerdy tells you how to grow and care for your Kousa Dogwood.
Tanaya Navalkar
Last Updated: Jul 28, 2017
Did You Know?
Although its name bears the word "dog", some parts of Kousa Dogwood, especially the berries, may not necessarily be safe for dogs.
A native of Japan and Korea, Kousa Dogwood with tiny, star-shaped flowers are known for embellishing the yards and decks for all four seasons of the year. Its wide branches create the perfect canopy of bright green leaves, white flowers, and pink berries. It can easily be identified by its blooming white blanket of flowers on a roadside.

To keep your gardens looking beautiful, it is equally important to maintain and take care of your plants. And if you don't have a Kousa Dogwood in your garden collection, then why not give it a try? It will surely add to the beauty. In the sections below, you will read about how to plant and care for your Kousa Dogwood.
Common Name: Wolf Eyes, Chinese Dogwood, Japanese Dogwood, Korean Dogwood
Botanical Name: Cornus Kousa
Family: Cornaceae
Origin: Japan, Korea
Plant type: Shrub, Deciduous
Growth Rate: Slow to Moderate
Height: 15―30 feet tall
Spread: 10―15 feet wide
Foliage: Green
Color: White
Blooms: All year
Attributes: Showy, Ornamental
Kousa Dogwood Fruit
Kousa Dogwood Fruit
Kousa Dogwood is a small, deciduous tree that can grow up to 15-30 feet tall and 10-15 feet wide. It takes the shape of an umbrella, and is perfect as a specimen tree.

It thrives in the hardiness zones 5 through 8 where there is full sunlight to partial shade.

It grows best in moist but well-drained acidic soil.
The white flowers of this tree are "bracts" in actual, that give the ornamental appeal to the tree. They are 2-3 inches long, and start growing as white in color and turn pink over time.
The tree starts blooming in early June and persists for about six weeks.

It produces fruits that are pinkish-red in color, which look like raspberries upon ripening.

It has a shallow root system, which is why it needs more space to spread and grow.

It is not completely drought tolerant.
Growing Kousa Dogwood
Kousa Dogwood is easy to grow and requires little maintenance. The following steps will tell you how to grow Kousa Dogwood in your garden.

1. Before planting, select a location that receives full sunlight to partial shade. During summer months and dry spells, it is important for the tree to get shade in the afternoons to thrive.

2. Make sure the soil is moist enough because this tree is not very drought tolerant. Also ensure that it is acidic with a pH of 5.5-6.9.

3. Dig a hole of about three times the size of the root ball. Add two inches of compost or organic humus, and mix it thoroughly with the soil.

4. Gently mound the soil on the sides of the root ball. The soil should not be directly placed on top of it.

5. For conserving water, you can also apply a layer of mulch. However, ensure that you keep it a little away from the trunk.

6. After placing the plant, water it thoroughly, especially in the first growing season when it is establishing itself.
Growing in Containers
1. Select a wide and sturdy container, preferably clay or terracotta pots that won't blow or break away in windy weather.

2. Fill ⅓rd of the container with soil and set the tree sapling on top of it. Cover it appropriately with the remaining soil and leave 2-3 inches space on top for watering.

3. Place the container where there will be ample morning sunlight and shade in the afternoons during hotter months.

4. Water the tree immediately after planting and keep it moist at all times. However, ensure that it doesn't get soggy or overly-moist.

5. Fertilize the tree with a water-based fertilizer during spring and summer months.
Kousa Dogwood Care
Water the tree regularly during the initial months and hot spells. Once established, water the tree at least up to six inches.
Adding a generous amount of mulch will help retain the water and cut down on watering tasks.
Closely examine the leaves. If you notice any white, cotton-like masses under the leaves or stems, immediately spray an insecticide such as Diazinon. It should be preferably done in mid-summer.
To control the bark insects from feeding on it, spray fungicides like lime-sulfur during spring.
They rarely suffer from any serious diseases. However, if you think that your tree is infected with any disease, then apply fungicides or insecticides. If the rotting and decaying of the tree gets out of control, then it is best to remove the tree as soon as possible.
The trees growing in containers tend to get dry quickly, so make sure that you check for dryness regularly and keep it moist.
How to Prune Kousa Dogwood?
This tree requires minimal pruning. You can prune to maintain its natural shape. Remove the damaged, diseased, or dead branches. If not removed, they may become an entry point for insects and other diseases.

Remove the branches on the interior that you think are too dense so that the sunlight can reach the inner parts of the tree.

Make sure that you remove at least one of the branches that are crossing or rubbing together. The wounds created by them may allow insects to feed on the tree.

If the branches are touching the ground, then trim down those branches.
So, this was all about the Kousa Dogwood tree. The grace that they bring to your balconies and deck is worth taking care of and make an attractive addition to any kind of landscape. Show off and enjoy the beauty of your tree by just taking little efforts for its maintenance. Happy gardening!