How To Care For Dogwood Shrubs

How To Care For Dogwood Shrubs

large blog header

Dogwood Shrubs (Cornus spp.) are well-known for their colors, which are vibrant during all four seasons of the year! Dogwood bushes are popular choices for snowy climates, where their brilliant stems and berries add color and life to otherwise drab winter landscapes.

Nature Hills offers Dogwood bushes in a wide variety of foliage colors, fall colors, stem shades, and a great many sizes and forms to choose from! 

Dogwood plants are used as specimens, privacy screens, in borders, or as smaller hedges. You can even train these plants into small multi-trunked tree forms! They look great planted as stand-alone focal points but are more dramatic when you plant several plants in a group. Either way, the Dogwood is a beautiful addition to any garden!

The stems not only light up the landscape but also the vase arrangement and outdoor seasonal planters for unique porch and patio décor!

Learn more about these great colorful accent shrubs available at!

Types of Dogwood Shrubs

There are two main types of Dogwood shrubs: neon burst dogwood

  • Native thicket-forming, suckering, and spreading type that thrives in higher moisture in wetlands throughout the US
  • The flowering Dogwood shrubs are typically grown as large, lower-branched shrubs or can be trained into small trees

Not only do Dogwoods provide a wide range of foliage colors, but they also adorn themselves with a flush of white flowers each spring and many provide berries for songbirds to fatten up for the winter!

The shrubs which form thickets and colonies thrive in higher moisture locations and their dense branching becomes bird heaven for nesting all spring and summer, and shelter throughout the colder months of the year. Plus, Giant Silk Moths and several species of butterflies favor Dogwood species as Host Plants.

Nature Hills Favorite Dogwood Shrubs ivory halo dogwood

Some variegated offerings, such as the Ivory Halo, Silver and Gold Dogwood, and the delicate-looking Elegantissima are a feast to the eyes each growing season!

For winter stem color, you can’t go wrong with the many types of Red Twigged and Yellow Twigged Dogwoods! The brightly colored young stems stand out against the snow and drab spring while also filling your late-season planters with colorful seasonal décor and your vases with unique stems.

Dogwood shrubs are typically used for informal hedges, screening, snow fencing, and intermixed in shelterbelts and windbreaks. Their color makes them fantastic as specimens, privacy groupings, and property-defining rows!

Tons of Color Variation! bud yellow dogwood

  • For red stems, try First Editions® Cayenne Dogwood, Arctic Fire®, Bailey Red Twigged, or Siberian Dogwood. Or go wild with Ivory Halo Dogwood with beautiful cream and green variegated leaves and compact dark red stems in winter.
  • Prefer orange stems? Go with the white-flowering Arctic Sun® Dogwood!
  • Bud's Yellow Dogwood and the Yellow Twig Dogwood add sunshine yellow contrast to winter's dull palette. 
  • Choose a Prairie Fire Dogwood for something beautiful to look at all year round!

Planting New Dogwood Shrubs

Properly located Dogwood Shrubs can live for a long time. Ensuring you follow these key steps during planting makes all the difference to young Shrubs while guaranteeing reliable floral displays every spring and the most colorful stems in the winter!

Dogwood shrubs are super hardy and tolerant of a wide range of conditions. Variegated forms will appreciate more sun to help keep the colorful foliage and the plants uniform. Easy to grow and require a once-a-year pruning once mature. Dogwood shrubs brighten the gloom without any fuss or muss.

These are hardy shrubs, and adaptable to multiple soil types. Provide consistent moisture for best health, and a well-drained soil location, then enjoy these beauties as they adapt to drier locations or moist sites with ease!

  1. Once you’ve received your new Dogwood Shrub, unpack it right away
  2. Rehydrate the roots after their trip by submerging the whole pot in a bucket of water until bubbles stop coming to the surface, then take out of the water and let the excess drain away.
  3. While your shrub is soaking, dig your planting hole twice as wide as the roots, but no deeper
  4. We highly encourage using Nature Hills Root Booster for lifelong symbiotic root support
  5. Remember not to plant Dogwood too deep. Keep them at the same level at which they were growing at the nursery
  6. Tap your Dogwood Shrub out of its nursery container, and settle it in the planting hole
  7. Firmly backfill soil around your Shrub to eliminate air pockets at the root zone
  8. Then saturate the ground completely at the roots of your new shrub 
  9. They do appreciate a 3-4 inch thick layer of mulch over their root systems 

Additional Tips for Dogwood Shrubs

  • Keep them consistently moist, but never in standing water
  • Berm your planting site if poor drainage is suspected
  • Maintain consistent soil moisture for the Shrub's first year in its new location. 
  • Fertilize your Dogwood Shrub with a good slow-release fertilizer according to the application rates on the package. 

Dogwood Shrub Upkeep & Care deer

Dogwood shrubs are generally deer-resistant and unless they are desperate, deer usually pass them by. If you live in an area with a heavy deer population, from day one spray your shrub with deer repellant and reapply according to product directions to train deer that your shrubs don’t taste good and steer them away from your landscape!

Once established Dogwood bushes are drought-tolerant and adaptable to both cold and hot weather extremes. 

Best pruned by removing the oldest stems down the ground leaving the younger thinner stems in place as they have the best stem color. This renewal pruning should be done about every second year or whenever you notice stems lacking color. Trim suckers to the ground on thicket-forming Dogwood shrubs to keep them tidy if you don’t wish them to spread.

Four-Season Beauty! white dogwood shrub

You, your home's curb appeal, and the green-with-envy neighbors will sing praises to these incredible colorful shrubs! Not to mention all the local songbirds and butterflies that will be glad you picked up a few Dogwood bushes from today! 

Spring flowers, fantastic foliage, fall color, berries, blooms, and fall color - Oh My!

Hurry and secure these versatile, adaptable native selections today from Nature Hills Nursery!

Happy Planting!

← Previous Next →