Spectacular Red Twig Dogwood Adds Garden Interest Year Round

The red twig dogwood is a deciduous shrub that is native to the eastern United States. It has been used in landscaping and as a border plant for decades. This plant is grown for its year-round seasonal appeal. It has clusters of small white flowers in mid to late spring, white berries in late summer to fall, reddish purplish foliage in the fall, and vibrant red stems and branches in the winter months. Most people enjoy the plant when it is dormant and showcasing its spectacular red stems and branches.

This easy-to-grow shrub grows 6 to 9 feet tall and 8 to 12 feet wide.  It does not require a lot of maintenance and can grow in many different types of soil conditions. It can also be grown in a large pot. The red twig dogwood is a species of flowering plants in the dogwood family Cornaceae. These medium to tall shrubs are known for brightening the winter landscape with their bright red branches.

Care Of Red Twig Dogwood

Planting – Red twig dogwood is usually planted from a nursery plant in the fall or early spring. The shrub is fast growing and will grow about 2 feet each year. They are hardy for zones 3 – 8.

Light – The shrub will tolerate partial shade, but if you want to have bright red bark plant it in full sun.

Soil - Red twig dogwood prefers moist, well-drained, acidic soils with a lot of organic matter. It is not tolerant of drought conditions.

Water - Watering red twig dogwood is important to keep it healthy and looking beautiful. The plant prefers a moist location. You should be watering the plant at least once a week unless your area is receiving a lot of rain. If you live in an area with dry summers, you may need to water it more often. An older more mature plant only needs watering during dry spells when there is no rain for more than a week.

Temperature and Humidity - The red twig dogwood is a deciduous flowering shrub that requires a cold winter so the plant will flower. The temperature and humidity needed for this plant are below freezing temperatures and moist soil.

Fertilizer – The plant does not need to be fertilized. If you do want to fertilize the plant, do it in the early spring with composting.

Pruning - Pruning is done to control the size of the plant, remove dead branches, keep a good shape, and encourage new growth. The shrub’s red branches tend to fade when the plant gets older, so pruning for this plant is important. Cut back the plant about one-third to ground level each year. The best time to prune a red twig dogwood is in the late winter or early spring. Pruning can be done with hand shears, loppers, or a saw.  

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