Plant Information Database

Dogwood Tree

Learn how to care for dogwood trees along with its history and classification details.

how to care for dogwood trees

Hardiness Zone: 5-9
Soil Type: Dogwoods prefer moist, well-drained, acidic
Sun Exposure: Full sun or partial shade
Annual or Perennial: Perennial
Type: Tree

History: The legend holds that the tree was once very large, like a Great Oak tree, and because its wood was strong and sturdy, it provided building material for a variety of purposes. According to the story, it was the dogwood tree that provided the wood used to build the cross on which Jesus was crucified.

The name “dogwood” comes from a description during colonial times about the fruit being edible, but not fit for a dog.

Native Americans consider the trees to symbolize protection and safety.

The dogwood tree grows slowly, between 15 to 40 feet. The leaves are generally oval in shape and are green and white or green and yellow. Dogwood flowers are bisexual, and can self-fertilize. Fertilized flowers develop into red fruit.

How to Care for Dogwood Trees

Common questions and details on how to care for dogwood trees.

How do I plant dogwood trees?

Planting your dogwood: Before you plant, cut off any damaged roots with a sharp knife, and soak plant roots in water for 3-4 hours.

When is the best time to plant?

The best time of year to plant a dogwood tree is in the spring.

How do I propagate dogwood trees?

The best way to propagate dogwood tress is through runners, softwood cuttings and hardwood cuttings. Once you have your cuttings place the ends in water until they grow roots. Once roots are established go ahead and plant the clipping in soil.

Can I grow dogwood trees in a pot?

Plant in a rather large container with good drainage and make sure the container receives sunlight for at least part of the day.

How much should I water dogwood trees?

Water dogwood trees about an inch of water each week. Adjust for your rainy season. It is best to set up an irrigation system that ensure it has drainage.

How do I care for dogwood trees with fertilizer?

Apply a slow-release shrub and tree fertilizer as directed on the product label.

When does dogwood trees bloom?

Dogwood trees will bloom between late March and mid-May.

Should I plant any companion plants?

Companion plants for the dogwood tree include: Calycanthus floridus, Rhododendron periclymenoides, Kalmia latifolia, Leucothoe fontanesiana, Viburnum acerifolium, Geranium maculatum, and Polystichum acrostichoides.

Dogwood Tree Blessing

After being crucified on the dogwood cross, Christ blessed the tree with abundant blossoms that bloom every spring as a reminder of the resurrection of Christ.

You don’t judge a tree by the name it wears, you judge a tree by the fruit it bears.

~ Unknown

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