How to Care for a Dogwood Bush

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The red twig dogwood bush is an unusual ornamental shrub that can provide you with showy red stems that will contrast against the snow in the winter. This dogwood bush possesses small white flowers that emerge in the spring in clusters. These will change to blue berries in the summer. The green leaves turn purple in the fall, making this dogwood bush a plant for all seasons. You can care for this dogwood bush and help it to thrive so that it can be a mainstay of your garden or lawn for many years.

  • Give this dogwood bush room to grow. It has the ability to attain a height of 8 to 10 feet and be just as wide. If you are planning to use this bush for hedgerows or windbreaks, space them out accordingly so they will not wind up crowding each other.

  • Plant your red twig dogwood bush in rich soil. Select a place where the soil is moist, as this particular species does very well in such conditions. You can opt to choose a spot for it next to any water you have on your property, such as a small pond or brook.

  • Place this dogwood bush in full sun if you desire but be aware that it will do all right in the shade. A mixture of the two is the best possible scenario, such as a place where it gets sun in the morning and then some shade later in the day.

  • Water the red twig dogwood bush on a regular schedule if you cannot find a place for it with moist soil. This species of dogwood will suck up water, so when you first plant it make sure it does not lack for moisture. Water it so that the soil as deep as 6 inches down becomes saturated. Once it takes hold you will find that it can tolerate droughts, so the watering will not be as paramount as when it is maturing.

  • Prune the older stems of this dogwood bush after it takes hold and develops. Do so in the early portion of the spring. Dogwoods tend to ooze sap if you prune them in the winter months. By removing the older stems you will enhance the color of the bush as the newer, younger ones have the deepest red colors. You may choose to prune the entire plant down to the ground every three years to give it a chance to renew itself.

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  • Photo Credit Dynamic Graphics Group/Dynamic Graphics Group/Getty Images
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