Home Gardening Trees Flowering Dogwood Tree Care

Flowering Dogwood Tree Care – GIY Plants

Flowering dogwood tree care. Blooming dogwood trees blooming with white flowers.

The allure of the Flowering Dogwood Tree, or Cornus florida, is undeniable. Noted for its dazzling white or pink bracts, verdant green foliage, and vibrant berries, this deciduous tree is a cornerstone of many landscapes.

Flowering Dogwood Tree Characteristics

The Flowering Dogwood, a deciduous understory tree, charms homeowners with its year-round allure. The springtime ‘flowers’ of the Dogwood are not true petals but are modified leaves known as bracts, offering an aesthetic imitation of blossoms.

Dogwood Tree Care Guide

Close up of white flowers of a dogwood tree.


For your Dogwood tree to thrive, well-drained soil is key. Incorporating organic matter into the soil can improve its structure, allowing the tree to access essential nutrients and water. A layer of mulch around the tree’s base will help retain soil moisture and suppress weeds.


Water your Dogwood tree thoroughly, especially during dry spells. Soak the soil around the tree, allowing the water to reach the deep root system. In periods of drought, increase the frequency of watering to maintain soil moisture.


While Dogwood trees are understory and can tolerate partial shade, they will thrive in locations with full sun as long as they receive sufficient water. This light exposure promotes lush growth and abundant flowering.


Fertilizing young Dogwoods in early spring with a balanced fertilizer or compost promotes vigorous growth and a lush display of flowers. Be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to excess foliage growth at the expense of flowering.

Diseases and Pests

Dogwood trees are susceptible to diseases like powdery mildew and anthracnose and pests such as the Dogwood borer. Regular monitoring and the right care practices can keep your tree healthy.


Prune your Dogwood tree in late winter or early spring to remove dead or diseased branches. Pruning also allows for better air circulation within the tree, which can help prevent disease.

Planting a Dogwood Tree: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to plant a dogwood tree like the pink one in bloom here.

1. Site Selection: Choose a location that offers your Dogwood full sun to partial shade. The tree also needs well-drained soil to prevent waterlogging and encourage strong root growth.

2. Prepare the Site: Prepare the planting hole by digging it twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball of your tree. This ensures there is enough room for the roots to grow comfortably.

3. Soil Enhancement: Improve your soil by blending original soil and organic matter or compost. This mix offers the right balance of nutrients and promotes excellent drainage, which Dogwoods prefer.

4. Planting: Position your tree in the hole, ensuring the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Fill the hole with your soil mixture, firming it around the root ball.

5. Mulching: Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the tree. This will help to retain moisture, suppress weed growth, and maintain soil temperature. Keep the mulch away from the tree trunk to avoid rot.

6. Watering: After planting, water the tree thoroughly. This settles the soil and eliminates any air pockets. Ensure the water penetrates deep into the ground to encourage the roots to grow down.

7. Aftercare: Monitor your tree, especially in the first few weeks. Water regularly, but don’t overwater – the soil should be moist, not soggy. Protecting the young tree from strong winds and extreme temperatures for the first season is also wise.

Remember, the key to planting a Dogwood tree is preparation and aftercare. You’ll set your tree up for a lifetime of health and beauty with proper site preparation, soil improvement, and care after planting.

Types of Dogwood Trees

Red dogwood tree blooming.

Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida): Notable for its lovely red, pink, or white blooms that adorn the tree in spring.

Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa): This Asian variety is resistant to most diseases and features unique pointed blooms.

Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii): Native to western North America, this tree is known for its large, white flowers.

Chinese Dogwood (Cornus kousa var. chinensis): Similar to the Kousa but flowers later and has a more striking fall color.

Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea): This type stands out with its red branches, especially during winter.

Silky Dogwood (Cornus amomum): Recognized for its clusters of white flowers in late spring and bluish fruit in summer.

Yellow Twig Dogwood (Cornus sericea ‘Flaviramea’): It’s admired for its vibrant yellow branches that brighten up winter landscapes.

Gray Dogwood (Cornus racemosa): This type offers white flowers in spring and white berries in summer to early fall.


Caring for a Dogwood tree necessitates an understanding of its needs. With proper watering, fertilization, and pest control measures, your Dogwood tree will reward you with a spectacular display that enhances your landscape.

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