How to Root a Dogwood Tree


The flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) flourishes in the forests of the eastern United States where it thrives under the shade canopy of larger trees. A welcome addition to cottage gardens and urban landscapes, the dogwood offers a generous display of spring flowers, summer shade and winter interest. Adding the flowers and shade benefits of a dogwood trees to your yard is inexpensive. They are one of the easiest trees to grow from cuttings. So take some cuttings and start rooting a batch of dogwoods to grace your garden.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Garden gloves
  • Potting soil
  • Commercial rooting solution
  • Peat moss
  • Organic compost
  • Pencil
  • Screwdriver

Take New Growth Cuttings

  • Trim tender new growth for cuttings in the spring. Use only new growth; if the twig is woody, discard it.

  • Cut the new growth twigs into 3 to 4-inch lengths.

  • Use sharp, clean pruning shears to a make a clean cut.

  • Make sure that there is at least one leaf located towards the top of the cutting.

  • Leave one or two leaves on the cutting, stripping off any remaining leaves. You want a 3 to 4-inch length of new growth. Leave at least one leaf on the top inch, but no leaves on the bottom 2 to 3 inches.

Planting Your Cuttings

  • Prepare a mixture of equal parts of potting soil, organic compost and peat moss.

  • Fill small flower pots with the soil mixture. Plastic pots for this purpose can be purchased at garden supply centers or use recycled pots or Styrofoam coffee cups. If you're using coffee cups, punch a hole in the bottom for drainage using a pencil or screwdriver.

  • Insert the lower end of your cuttings down into the planting mixture, to a depth of 2 to 3 inches.

  • Tamp the soil down gently enough to hold the cutting upright and in place.

  • Place cuttings in a warm, humid and shady location. If available, a greenhouse environment is preferred.

  • Water well. Your will want to keep the soil uniformly moist, but not soggy.

  • Continue to keep moist until well rooted. Then transplant to larger pots or a moist and shady location in the garden.

Tips & Warnings

  • The ideal time to plant cuttings is late spring to early summer.
  • Dogwoods require lots of water and wet springs to flourish. Remember to water generously.

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