How To Plant A Flowering Dogwood Tree

If you’re a gardener and you’ve ever wondered how to plant a dogwood tree, you’re not alone. They are a lovely, hassle-free option for planting a flowering tree practically anywhere.

Their brilliant red berries are a popular food source for birds in the late fall and early winter. If you want to plant a dogwood tree in your garden or backyard but need help knowing where to start, you’ve come to the right place.

These trees have some of the most beautiful flowers of any tree species, making them excellent additions to any landscape.

Their lengthy bloom period in the spring and early summer is a wonderful seasonal feature wherever they are grown.

They are grown along the edges of forested areas as background trees, for garden and lawn specimens.

Some are lovely in the summer when they are covered in green and in the fall when their fruit has ripened and their leaves have changed color.

What you need to know about planting a dogwood tree:

Be sure you have a good spot to plant your dogwood before you go out and buy one, dig a hole, or even decide on a specific kind. These trees thrive in partial shade.

Full sunlight can scorch their leaves, resulting in a less healthy tree overall. But they can handle more sun with extra water.

Choose a spot that gets a little bit of everything (sun and shade), and pay attention to the other plants nearby. Don’t plant a dogwood tree next to anything that can’t survive in partial shade.

  • Dogwood trees prefer partial shade

Most dogwood species do better in filtered light or partial shade rather than direct sunlight. Dogwoods are low-lying underwood trees that do best in areas with other, larger shrubs and trees.

  • Put down some mulch

Mulch the ground around your dogwood tree to help retain soil moisture. Leave a few inches of clearance around the tree’s trunk to avoid decay.

  • Water the dogwood tree

Immediately after planting the dogwood tree, be sure to water it. Keep watering the plant once or twice weekly until it’s well-established. If the climate where you live is dry, you will need to water your dogwood more frequently.

  • Fertilize the soil

You may want to use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer or manure, but that depends on the state of the soil. Dogwood trees thrive in slightly acidic, organic-rich soil.

  • Pests

Dogwood trees are susceptible to attack from dogwood borer insects, so don’t damage their bark. Treat your dogwood tree with a natural insecticide if it has any infestations.

  • Pruning

If you need to prune the dogwood tree, do it in the early spring or late winter when it is dormant. Powdery mildew and dogwood anthracnose are two diseases that need to be watched for. You should cut back the infected branches when you detect the disease.

Is flowering dogwood a good tree?

The flowering dogwood tree is a great species to plant. The mature height of this plant is between 20 and 35 feet.

It’s possible that this tree won’t thrive outside of its recommended planting zone. Make sure the flowering dogwood has a suitable environment to thrive in. They thrive in bright, but not too hot, conditions.

Choose a spot that gets early sun but afternoon shade for optimal growing conditions. In addition, this tree prefers well-drained, aerated soil. Soggy soil can kill it.

Where is the best place to plant a flowering dogwood?

The dogwood tree is picky about its environment. They might struggle to adapt to drastic shifts in the availability of nutrients and water.

These trees also have a powerful scent, although it’s not offensive. The Dogwood will amaze you with its growth, inspiration, and beauty; in this way, it is most like a young child.

These trees prefer locations with partial shade, where larger trees partially block the sun’s rays. Choose a shady spot in your yard to plant the new dogwood.

Dogwoods prefer partial shade, which fast-growing shade trees like the Tulip Poplar or Royal Empress provide. In addition, you can plant the tree in a spot where a nearby structure provides shade.

Beware, though, as the tree can easily wither from heat reflected off nearby structures.

Access to water is the single most important consideration when planting a dogwood.

Dogwoods require regular watering, so make sure you have access to a reliable water source, be it an elaborate irrigation system, regular rainfall, a babbling brook, or a hand-watering can.

Even in partial shade, the thin root systems of dogwood will dry out rapidly. After watering the tree to a depth of 3 feet, check its leaf color for under and over-watering signs.

The tree requires extra water if its leaves are crispy, prickly, or pale green. Leaves that are enlarged, green-gray, or droopy indicate that the tree does not require as much water.

Best time of year to plant a dogwood tree

Dogwoods should be planted in the spring while the earth is still damp but before the tree begins to grow. You should select a spot that gets partial shade to plant in. Remove any turfgrass or debris and pull away any weeds.

It’s also an excellent time to plant dogwood trees, which go dormant in the late fall. The best time is after the tree has gone dormant but before the ground has frozen. Watering the dogwood tree is especially important in regions where fall is drier than spring.

Whether spring or fall is preferable for planting in your area depends on the weather. Find out which time of year has the most comfortable temperatures and plenty of rain.

The season’s duration also needs consideration. A tree’s root system benefits from longer growing seasons.

Trees planted in the fall often survive the winter and blossom beautifully the following spring. However, dogwood trees are especially susceptible to certain diseases in the fall.

How big does a flowering dogwood shrub get?

The species and environment determine the maximum height and spread. It can be as short as 15 or 20 feet (a sunny flowering dogwood) or as tall as 40 feet (a flowering dogwood in the shade).

The width may be greater than the height. These trees have a moderate to sluggish pace of growth (roughly 20 feet in 25 years).

Tips for caring for dogwood shrubs

In ideal conditions, dogwood shrubs are low-maintenance and simple to cultivate.

  • Humidity and temperature

These trees can survive in various temperatures but struggle in extremely hot and humid conditions. Place them in a spot with morning sun and afternoon shade to keep them safe from the heat.

  • Water and soil

Dogwood is one of the few shrubs that can thrive in marshy soil. After planting, give the shrubs a good soaking and cover the soil around their roots with a two-inch layer of mulch to retain soil moisture.

In order to foster a strong root system, water the new plants consistently throughout their first growing season. One inch of water per week, whether from irrigation, sprinkling or rain, is ideal.

Dogwood trees thrive on soil that is well-drained, more acidic, and moist. Use a humus supplement to create better soil.

  • Fertilizer

Dogwood bushes don’t need fertilization, but if you want to give them some extra nutrients, you can do so in the early spring.

  • Light

Planting dogwood bushes to receive at least 4 to 5 hours of sunlight daily will produce the brightest hues.

  • Pests and problems

Leaves and branches of dogwood plants affected with a fungus-like canker or leaf blight should be removed and thrown away to prevent the spread of the disease. The larvae of sawflies can eat large holes in leaves.

Bagworms and scale are two other common pests. You can use insecticide to get rid of them, even though they will not cause much damage.

  • Pruning

Dogwood bushes don’t require regular pruning, but cutting older canes frequently can enhance the winter stem color. This will allow the young woody stems to take center stage.

In the spring, prune away a third of the plant’s oldest, most wilted stems. You should get rid of the dead or damaged stems. Trim a third of the tree’s branches each spring until you reach the desired height. A rise in the number of colored stems will occur on the dogwood bush after you’ve clipped it in the winter.

Tips for Planting Dogwood Trees

Here are some key takeaways to remember:


The soil should be damp but not soggy when planted. Dogwoods thrive in slightly acidic loam but will grow in almost any soil.


Place your plants where they will receive indirect sunlight most of the day. The best conditions involve the sun being partially filtered by higher trees or partial shade.


Light pruning is all you need to keep a tree healthy; remove any broken or dead branches in late winter.


Dogwoods are susceptible to drought because their roots are so shallow. In most climates, the tree needs watering at least twice weekly and more often during dry spells.


Due to their beautiful, attractive leaves, spring flowers just like roses and hibiscus flowers, and vibrant fall displays, dogwood trees are popular in landscape design.

You may get the most out of your gorgeous dogwood trees for many years if you learn about their care requirements.

There is a dogwood tree that will work wonderfully as either a little floral accent tree or a larger, shady provider.