Fall Favorite That Spruces Up Any Snowy Winter
Red twig dogwood (Cornus sericea) is a transitory shrubbery with a simple form that rises 6 to 12 feet tall. Flat umbrella-comparable clusters of minor white, aromatic flowers come out in May or June.
The flowers ripen into green, pea-sized beans that ripen to white in the fall. The leaves are elliptical with distinct veins.
Dogwoods prefer full sun but will grow in light shade as well. They thrive in moist soil and can endure in wetlands.
The red branches lose their bright color and turn gray in the spring. Because older stems stop turning red in the winter, some gardeners Every year in early spring prune a few of the older branches at ground level.
If the plant becomes overgrown and out of control, you can rejuvenate it by cutting it down to about 9 inches in length.
Stem cuttings are a simple method of propagation for red twig dogwood. Some of the lower stems may be partially buried in the soil, and developing roots along the buried stems. These can be dug up and replanted.
As a native plant, dogwood provides a habitat for various birds and insects, not to mention photo opportunities when birds perch on its red winter branches.
The spring azure butterfly uses it as a larval host. Flowers draw insects, which in turn attract birds.
Red twig dogwood may be used as a specimen plant in the landscape or as part of a shrub border or informal hedge.
It works well with evergreens or a yellow-branched dogwood cultivar called “Flaviramia.” If a large shrub isn’t appropriate for your landscape, there is a dwarf cultivar called “Arctic Fire” that grows 3 to 5 feet tall.
Dogwood has few pests and diseases, but it is susceptible to leaf and twig blights, canker and leaf spots, and the occasional scale, leaf miners, and bagworms.
Red Twig Dogwood – Plant Info
SCIENTIFIC NAME – Cornus sericea ‘Cardinal’
Description: This dogwood is primarily grown for its salmon-red stems, which intensify in color as winter sets in. Although not required, annual prunings will promote the best stem color.
Clusters of tiny white flowers in spring give way to bluish-white fruits, which are attractive to birds.
Dark green leaves turn reddish-purple in autumn. Combine with yellow twig dogwoods for a bicolor winter stem display.
ZONE – 3 to 8
SIZE – 6 to 9 feet tall
COLOR – White
SUN – Full sun to part shade
WATER – Medium to wet
CARE – Grown best in organically rich, medium to wet soils in full sun to partial shade. It can resist a broad range of soil conditions, including swampy or boggy areas.
Suppose colonial spread is undesirable, trim roots with a spade and remove root suckers as soon as possible. Young stems have the best red stem color.
Although pruning is not required, many gardeners choose to remove 20 to 25% of the aged stems in the first spring each year to encourage the growth of new stems that will display the best red color.
ENVIRONMENTAL – Not known to be invasive.